Chinese Fried Rice
Chop up a few vegetables, cook some long grained rice, add some seasonings and voila, Chinese fried rice is done! Simple, tasty, nutritious and versatile (goes with a wide variety of gravy accompaniments), Chinese fried rice can transform a simple dinner menu into a treat!
Ingredients (serves 4):
- Finely chopped vegetables (spring/green onions – keep the whites and greens separate, carrots, cabbage, corn, beans, peas, broccoli etc.)
- Long grained rice (Basmati, Jasmine, even Sona Masoori will do) (1.5 cups)
- Oil (olive or regular) (1 tbsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (1 tsp)
- Crushed red pepper (1 tsp)
- Ginger and garlic paste (1 tbsp) (optional)
- Vinegar (1 tbsp) (optional)
- Chilli sauce or chilli garlic sauce (optional)
- Soy sauce (2 tbsp) (you can reduce the quantity if you want to have the rice to turn out slightly whiter)
- Finely chopped coriander leaves (1.5 tbsp)
- Cook the rice so that each grain is separate, yet fully cooked. With Basmati rice, I add water in double proportion and pressure cook for 2 whistles and keep on simmer for 4 minutes. I do add a few drops of oil into the rice and a dash of salt.
- When the rice is done, spread it on a wide plate and let it air out a bit so that the extra moisture leaves the rice.
- Using a mortar and pestle, grind the ginger garlic paste and chilli flakes with a few drops of water, until they homogenize.
- On a medium flame, add some oil to a wide pan that is large enough to house all the vegetables and rice in the end.
- Add the ginger-garlic-chilli paste (if you are using it) and whites of spring onions at this stage.
- After a couple minutes of rapid stirring, add the remaining vegetables and cook on high for a few minutes so that the vegetables retain the crunch. Make sure that the vegetables don’t get over done, but at the same time, you want to make sure that they are cooked, especially vegetables like beans.
- Add salt and pepper after turning off the flame. Add sauces at this stage, if adding.
- Toss the rice into the pan and mix everything on a medium flame. Adjust tastes and switch off the flame.
- Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
Fried rice goes well with gravy dishes like gobi manchurian, vegetable manchurian, tofu/paneer with peppers in gravy etc. Pictured below is fried rice with tofu and peppers in gravy.
Tastes (Rasa): Sweet (rice, some vegetables like carrots, beans, peas etc.), sour (vinegar), salty (salt and soy sauce), bitter (coriander leaves), astringent (cabbage)
In general, this recipe has a tendency to aggravate pitta and kapha. The spices (chilli flakes, black pepper, ginger, garlic), sauces (soy, vinegar, chilli) and oil increase the pitta quality. Reducing the saltiness, sourness and pungency of the dish will control the pitta component. The rice and oil are in general kapha like in quality. Increasing the ratio of vegetables to rice will definitely make the dish more healthful and also increase the flavor.
This dish is traditionally rajasic and tamasic. It is rajasic because of the overuse of spices, sauces and oils. The tamasic quality is because of the preservatives that get added to the dish from the store-bought sauces that are added to it. To reduce these qualities and increase sattva in the dish, reduce or eliminate sauces and ginger, garlic, reduce amount of oil, peppers and salt. Also, needless to say, eat the fried rice 3-4 hours maximum after making it and use fresh ingredients.