Schezwan fried rice

Last Saturday, we invited my hubby’s friend and his wife over for lunch. For lunch, I used to cook Indian meals but wanted to change that norm today by trying my hands on indo-Chinese. So I cooked schezwan fried rice and gobi manchurian gravy for them.

After cooking, it looked really good, but I was little apprehensive as I was serving it to someone outside family. But I was totally flattered after they took a taste. They asked me from which restaurant did I buy it. I was just speechless and also happy that my food tasted just like restaurant fare. Without any more self-tooting, I will straight away get to the recipes. Hope you all like it and hope it becomes as special to you in your kitchen too.

 

Schezwan fried rice :-

Serves: 2 to 4 people

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Ingredients –

10 red chillies (I had medium spicy ones, you can adjust as per your taste)

6 tbsp vinegar

5 big garlic cloves

1 inch ginger

4 to 5 cups cooked rice

1 onion – sliced lengthwise

2 to 3 spring onions – sliced lengthwise

1 cup carrot, beans (cut length wise)

1 cup peas

6 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

 

Garnish :

Spring greens (optional)

 

Method –

1. Soak red chillies in vinegar for half an hour.

2. Then grind the red chillies soaked in vinegar with garlic cloves and ginger to a smooth paste. Set aside the mixture.

3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add the onion to it and fry till it turns pinkish in colour. Add spring onions and give it a stir.

4. Then, add the cup of mixed veggies and let it cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Veggies should be crunchy and not mushy.

5. Add the set aside red chilli mixture and soy sauce to this. Give it a stir. Add salt to taste (bear in mind that soy sauce does contain salt, so adjust it according to taste). And keep it on flame till the raw smell fades away.

6. Add the cooked rice and mix it evenly.

 

Garnish with spring onion greens (optional)

 

Serve it in a plate with gobi manchurian gravy and dig in. Your meal is ready!

 

Notes –

2 cups of basmati rice cooked in 4 cups of water yielded me 4 to 5 cups of cooked rice

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Tomato Rice

Tomato rice or takkali sadam in tamil, can be prepared in many ways. It can be made as a simple dish or as a complicated and elegant one suiting different tastes. This particular recipe is adapted from Tarla Dalal and adjustments are made suiting my needs. The good thing about this is that it can be made as a lunch box item for office goers. And it works for kids as well with its fascinating colours. In my house, it is loved a little bit spicy and luckily my kitchen cupboard was stocked with these items. So I made it today for my hubby’s lunch box.  This is what I made:

tomato rice

Ingredients –

7 to 8 tomatoes medium size – blanch, peel and purée.
1 onion chopped finely

2 garlic cloves chopped finely
4 to 5 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste

To temper –
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp groundnut
1 sprig curry leaves ( optional)

For masala –
1 tbsp oil
5 red chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp Chana dal
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp asafetida
1 tsp desiccated coconut

For garnish ( optional) –
Coriander leaves

Method –

1. Fry all the ingredients mentioned under “for masala”. Once it cools, grind it in a mixer. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add “to temper” ingredients. Once it splutters, add onion and garlic and sauté till raw smell disappears and onions become slightly golden in colour.
3. Once done, add the puréed tomato paste to this. And keep stirring it till oil separates.
4. Add the ground masalas along with turmeric powder and cumin powder and mix it evenly. Add salt according to taste.
5. Mix in the cooked rice evenly.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve it with appalam, chips or raita. Dig in as your “meal is ready”.

Notes –
1 cup basmati rice cooked in 2.5 cups water yielded me 4 to 5 cups cooked rice.

Pineapple Rasam

Just the other day we were watching an episode of ‘Great British Menu’ desserts where a certain Mr. Daniel Clifford presented a pineapple and coconut cheesecake inside a pineapple shell – It was very well presented. This gave me an idea –  Giving it a try in an Indian way i.e. with Indian food instead of eating it as a fruit.

Who doesn’t love a pineapple, it is heaven. I love it in any form – fruit, juice, smoothie, rasam, raita. Two things flashed in mind when I thought about Pineapple in Indian meals – (1) Pineapple rasam, and (2) pineapple raita. I decided to first make the rasam!

I have had this kind of rasam in marriage sappadu menu – It is great. Most Sundays, we enjoy South Indian sappadu – rasam or sambhar, rice, dal, curry and curd. We didn’t have any sambar vegetables at home. So there were more reasons to try and make pineapple rasam.  Normally when we make rasam, the main ingredient is tomato. But with this rasam, the main ingredient is pineapple – without any tomato. The fusion of pineapple and tamarind makes it a sweet and tangy mix.

The final product came out well.

pineapple rasam (2)

So, here is the recipe for Pineapple Rasam. Pineapple raita will be discussed separately in another entry.

Serves : 2 to 3 people

Ingredients –

2 to 3 rounds of peeled pineapple (or 2 cups of chopped pineapple)

1 cup tamarind water

1/2 cup toor dal cooked and mashed in water

1 cup water

2 tsp rasam powder

Salt to taste

Pinch of black pepper powder

1 tbsp ghee / oil

To temper

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 dry red chillies

1 green chilly

Sprig of curry leaves

To garnish

Coriander leaves

Method –

1. Take 1 round or 1 cup of chopped pineapple and mash it in mixer-grinder to pulp.

2. Chop the remaining pineapple and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a pan.

4. Once it is hot, add the items mentioned in “to temper”

5. Once they splutter and change color, add the chopped pineapple and give it a stir.

6. When the pineapple oozes a little water, add tamarind water to it along with the pineapple pulp. Let it boil for a while.

7. Once it is boiling, add the rasam powder, salt and black pepper powder. And let it boil further and thicken.

8. Once it is boiling, add dal water to it. Adjust salt if needed. Bring it to slight boil. Then switch off the gas. Garnish it with coriander leaves.

And serve it with plain rice and curry. And dig in as our “meal is ready” !!

Schezwan Paneer Fried rice

Today my husband asked for something dry in his lunch box – so thought of making fried rice for him. But plain fried rice is bland in taste. And any other vegetable rice needs raita as its accompaniment. So what to do? Eureka, got an idea of trying to make Schezuan paneer fried rice!

While looking out for a recipe, I came across Tarla Dalal’s website but most of the ingredients she recommended weren’t in the kitchen. Then while I was going through other blogs , I came across this one and liked it for its simplicity. This recipe was posted on spiceindiaonline.com  by Divya Pugazhendy – So thanks, Divya for such a great recipe.

So I used her recipe as the base, added my own twist with ingredients available and adjusted the spiciness – So read on to find out what I did!

 

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Ingredients

7 to 10 dry red chillies

4 tbsp vinegar

3 big garlic cloves

1 inch ginger

3 cups cooked rice

1 onion – sliced lengthwise

1 cup carrot, beans (cut length wise)

1 cup peas

4tbsp soy sauce

220gm paneer – cubed and fried

2 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

Method

1. Soak dry red chillies in vinegar for half an hour.

2. Then grind the red chillies soaked in vinegar with garlic cloves and ginger to a smooth paste. (if you have the veggie red chillies – u can use that as it will result in smooth sauce ). Set aside the mixture.

3. If using frozen paneer, allow it to remain in hot boiling water for 10 minutes. It will make it soft in texture.

4. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the paneer cubes and keep it in a bowl of lukewarm water to retain its softness after frying.

5. Heat 2 tbsp oil in another pan, add onions to it and fry till it turns pinkish in color.

6. Then, add the cup of mixed veggies and let it cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Veggies should be crunchy and not mushy.

7. Add the set aside red chilli mixture and soy sauce to this. Give it a stir. Add salt to taste (bear in mind that soy sauce does contains salt, so adjust it according to taste). And keep it on flame till the raw smell fades away.

8. Add cooked rice and mix it evenly for the mixture to get coated evenly.

9. Add the fried paneer cubes to this. Switch off the hob.

 

Garnish with spring onion greens (optional)

Serve it in a plate and so, your meal is ready .