Monday, May 25, 2015

Spicy Veggie Fried Rice

Chinese food in India is so different from the Chinese food in America, and I am sure neither tastes like Chinese food in China. 

I love Indo-Chinese - Gobi Manchurian, Vegetable Balls in Hot Garlic Sauce, Fried Rice, Sweet Corn Soup, Crispy Fried Veggies, American Chopsuey, Chinese Chopsuey – the list goes on and on.

When I moved to the U.S, it took a while to get used to the Chinese food here.  Now, I love it! We do a take out dinner almost every Friday and try to alternate between Chinese, Mexican and Italian or pizza.  Indian – we save for special occasions.  We have two favorite Chinese restaurants – both vegetarian friendly.  This means that they don’t use fish/oyster sauce if you let them know that you are vegetarian.

Since we get to eat Chinese once every two to three weeks, I don’t make it often at home.  My younger son, Aakash, doesn’t like Indo-Chinese food.  So making Gobi Manchurian or Vegetable Balls in Hot Garlic sauce just for my husband and myself is really not appealing.

One dish we always order for him, when we do a take out, is fried rice.  He loves fried rice.  So every once in a while, I make fried rice at home.  It tastes so good and is so easy to make, I wonder why I don’t make it more often!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 – 3 tsp. Chili oil
  • 2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1” piece ginger, slivered
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 -3 spring onions, chopped (green part separated from the white part)
  • 2 - 3 cup mixed veggies chopped (I used carrots, beans, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, green peppers, and red peppers)
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • salt to taste
  • spicy chili garlic paste (I use Tuong Ot Toi Viet-Nam Chili Garlic Sauce)

Here is how I made it:

  1. Heat chili oil on high heat.  Add red chilies, ginger, and garlic.  Sauté till the chili turns dark.
  2. Add the white part of the green onions.  Continue adding veggies one at a time, mixing well.
  3. Cook on high heat for about five minutes.  Add the cooked rice and salt to taste.  Mix well.
  4. Let this cook for a few more minutes.  Turn off the heat. 
  5. Add chili sauce and green onions. Mix well.  Taste to adjust seasoning.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Veggie Burrito - a 10 minute recipe

For the longest time (I am talking couple of years!) my younger son, Aakash, only took bagels for lunch.  He did not want to use silverware and it had to be something he could eat standing up.  He has since moved away from bagels to sandwiches and pasta.  After about 6 months of this combination, both pesto based, he suddenly decided that he needed to try something different.

After many suggestions, he finally settled on pasta salad and a veggie burrito.  I love the veggie burrito lunch idea, because I make extra filling and take it to lunch – like a naked burrito.  This means I don’t have to make two different things in the morning.  And it is ready in about 10 minutes!


Here is what you need:

(you can probably make 3 -4 burritos with this filling)

  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 2 -3 cups diced veggies of your choice – I used broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red, yellow, green peppers, and mushrooms.
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ - ¾ cups cooked rice
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp. taco seasoning (you can substitute little bit of chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and garlic powder instead)
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (reduce if you want it less spicy)
  •  flour tortillas
  • shredded Mexican cheese

Here is how I made it:

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. While the oil is getting heated, quickly wash and dice the veggies in this order – yellow squash, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms
  3. As you dice the veggies, add them to the hot oil.  Toss to coat.
  4. Add the beans and rice.  Mix well.
  5. Add the salt and spices.  Sauté on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes so that the veggies are still crunchy, but cooked.  Remove from heat.
  6. While the veggies are cooking, soften the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  7. Place the filling in the tortilla.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Roll it up into a burrito.
  8. Place burrito in a Panini press and grill till done.  Wrap in aluminum foil if you are sending it for lunch.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Kunukku – with leftover adai batter

This is a snack with a funny name – and is super easy to make – especially if you have some left over adai batter.  My grandma used to repurpose adai batter to make this delicious snack on days when she felt like indulging us.  In Chennai – with the heat and humidity, adai batter turns sour very quickly.  So if you don’t use up the batter in a day or so, it doesn’t taste good.

I make adais about once in three weeks.  It is a great dish for dinner and if  I make it the traditional way, I don’t have to plan in advance.  The last time I made adais, I had some batter left.  There was enough to make two or three, but not enough for a meal for all of us.  That is when I remembered the snack that I used to have as a kid.

It had been raining the last few days and kunukku seemed like the perfect snack to have in this weather  I had made my adai batter with shredded cabbage and carrots.  So I just added some chopped onions, green chilies, rice flour, and besan (to thicken the batter) and made yummy kunukku.

This came out so well that I am thinking I should make it the next time I have friends over.  If you don’t have left over batter – or are just in the mood for kunukku, then you can make the batter thicker than you would for adais and reduce the amount of rice flour and besan.

Here is what you need:

(for about 2 cups adai batter)

  • 2 cups adai batter (recipe here)
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, minced
  • ½ cup each rice flour and besan (garbanzo flour) – you may need to add more or less depending on how thick your batter is
  • salt to taste (remember the adai batter already has salt in it)
  • oil for deep frying


Here is how I made it:

  1. If you don’t have adai batter, follow these steps to make it.  If you are only going to make kunukku, then make the batter with very less water.  Add grated carrots and cabbage to the batter
  2. Heat oil for deep frying.
  3. Mix onions, green chilies, rice flour, besan, and salt to the batter.  Mix well.  The batter should be of dropping consistency.  You should be able to shape it into a ball without it falling apart.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil.  Fry till kunukku turns golden brown.
  5. Continue till all the batter is done.
  6. Serve hot with chutney of your choice

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...