Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Indian Style Fried Rice

U.S. Teens Rank Lower In Math And Science Compared To Other Teens Abroad - i was listening to this program on our local NPR radio station this morning. While this is concerning in itself there is another facet of the US education which is perhaps unique and I hope never changes due to some education reform or another. What sets it apart is the appreciation for innovation and creativity which are highly valued. Being Indian and ahem Asian another facet of the education that caught my attention almost immediately is the encouragement by teachers to think critically and the understand that the teacher is not necessarily the final authority and the students are given the leeway to question the teacher's assumptions. This is the exact opposite of what happens in most Asian countries where the teacher is the final authority right or wrong. I won't comment on education in other European countries of which I have no first or even second hand experience. Readers chip in. Students never question the teacher and most times does not have the skills or the encouragement to think out of the box. What is in the textbook is final. Critical thinking is not openly encouraged.

This probably explains why most Asians are reluctant to question authority even when they know they are right. In the work place we are always afraid of losing the job or a promotion opportunity and suppress opinions even when positive we are right. The management knows that they can count on these employees not to open their mouths if a stupid decision is taken. Is it the education system or is it the social culture that has made people doormats. But once the authority figure is out of earshot opinions tumble out like water in Niagara Falls. Why do you think this is so?

Now the recipe,
This recipe was inspired by a recipe that Sanjeev Kapoor cooked on Rachel Ray's morning show on TV. They were a max of 6 ingredients, day old rice, tomato pickle, shrimp,cumin seeds and coriander leaves. I rarely have day old rice when in a mood to cook fried rice. What works best is to cook brown rice or par boiled rice in a electric rice cooker and to use it after it has cooled.

Indian Style Fried Rice
1. 12-16 Shrimp marinated in lemon juice, red chili powder a couple of pinches of salt and 2 tsp red chili paste (used a Thai kind) for a vegetarian version use cauliflower.
2. 2 bell peppers cut into thin strips.
3. 1/2 Medium sized onion cut into thin strips (1/2 cup worth)
4. 1 tsp of soy sauce (optional)
5. 2 tsp of Maggi chili sauce
6. 1 tbsp of mango pickle or tomato pickle
7. 2 eggs beaten with salt and pepper powder
8. 2-3 tsp of oil
9. a handful of coriander leaves
10. 2 cups of cooked brown rice
1. In a wok heat the oil and when almost smoking, add the shrimp and cook them for a minute or two till it starts to turn pink, remove and set aside.
2. To same pot add the onions and saute till slightly brown followed by the bell pepper strips and let them cook till soft.
3. Add the cooked rice and mix it in. Add the chili sauce, pickles and soy sauce and mix well and let the rice heat through
4. In the meantime make scrambled eggs with the beaten egg.
5. Mix the shrimp and the eggs to the rice and after a couple of minutes turn off the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.


  1. Whatever you have said is true. I have always noticed ( in India )that to be popular in a class, you have to to be very intelligent or not one at all. We are not given the opportunity to voice our opinion and that could be the reason.
    ...and adding pickle is new to me. I am going to try it out next time.

  2. Wow! Shrimp fried rice with Thai paste. Am drooling Indo. You are right about the questioning part. But atleast in India they choose a best person to be the leader and taught obedience to ther rest of the people who could listen and act according to the leader's decision. Having endless meetings and convincing everybody for all the questions (sometimes stupid) makes me feel obedience is bliss!

  3. Some of my favourites are all here ... shrimp, pepper powder, maggi chilli sauce ... such a wonderful combi! Sounds spicy and chatpata! :-)

  4. Hi though am refular reader of your blog but this post made me enter your comment page too.

    I believe to be critical of something you need to be aware of the subject and we Indians love our morning dose of tea with our newspaper. Teachers also play a vital role in this. by different teaching techniques they need to grow and hold student's interest in the subject...

    This Indian style rice looks a meal in itself. with a 6 months old that remains a must try for me.

  5. This I am going to make soon:-) both DD1 & 2 loves Shrimp & Rice & at my state right now, this is a fantastic recipe!

    DD1 is in elementary school, & I do feel the school stresses lot on Reading & not as much on Math. But the whole approach to teaching here is different. I won't agree to say that they are teaching any less, I think something is wrong with the parents & students not going over it enough. well my knowledge is just limited to elementary school & comparing it with Indian system. I don't like the 1 book & memorizing thing that we did, & here the system is more practical..I am yet to see:)

  6. That fried rice looks ravishing and it has shrimp, what more could I ask for !!!

    You are right about the education system here. I like whatever I have seen of it.
    But when it comes to any decision or opinion or whatever, we Indians always try to play it on the safe side. Very few of us do something radical, even as parents we always try to conform to norms.

  7. Nice fried rice recipe. Looks so good. YUM!

  8. Wow Indo. One of my colleague always says 'Achieving simplicity is hard'. Always your recipes proved to be very simple and tasty. I can just pick up a recipe of yours and go with it, and it always works well even the first time.

  9. Indo, this looks great. I've been craving a one pot rice meal... going to try this soon!

  10. The post was really appreciated.It is true that in Asian countries there is no voice. There is so much to talk about it that I will have one post instead of a comment.
    Indian Style Fried Rice - Nice Simple recipe. Am not a big fan of shrimp but will try it with chicken.


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