Thursday, February 11, 2016

Indian Mixed Vegetables Fried Rice (no soy sauce)

Remember a few blog posts ago I was talking about Mindfulness? I was reminded of it again when I drove into oncoming one day last week. Not to worry, nothing untoward happened that time but it could have been bad. I had several things in mind, had an argument with DH and was driving DD2 to a birthday party. If you know DD2 she seems to live her life primarily for socializing. DH and I have become full time chauffeurs driving her around for her numerous appointments.

Well anyway this particular time I was driving her to a town that I am not too fond of driving to. The town seems to have been planned in concentric circles and a big jigsaw puzzle, so if you miss a turn, you are better off driving back to your starting location and starting over than trying to find your way. So on this day I was peering at the GPS specifically so I don't get lost and when I had to make a left turn, turned straight onto the direction of oncoming traffic and ended up going in the wrong direction. I quickly realized my mistake by it was too late, understood why someone honked as I turned.

With glares from some of the drivers, with some looking at me in astonishment and few others wondering what in the world I was up to, slowly inched my way forward in the wrong direction. Lucky for me there was no concrete median but only grass so I could drive on that till I reached the intersection where I could turn. With blinking flashers I reached the intersection where I could safely merge into the road going the right way. Phew! a few very but what seemed like very long embarrassing minutes on the road :(

The incident is mostly my fault for not paying enough attention to the road and also an example of not being mindful and also more importantly of electronic distraction, even the ones that are supposed to help. All is well that ends well. I decided to be more tolerant of drivers who make mistakes on the road, a few of them were tolerant and changed lanes to help me pass when I did a stupid thing on the road. I would like to keep in mind mindfulness and try pay attention solely to what I am doing. Drive safely everybody without distractions.

Now on to the recipe,

If you have ordered Fried Rice in an Indian restaurant in India not a Chinese restaurant, you will see that the fried rice has no color at all, it is white the color of the rice of course, speckled with vegetables for color. Spiced with just pepper powder the rice is flavorful all by itself. Mostly when I think of fried rice that is what I am thinking of but after living here in the US for a while fried rice has come to represent something else altogether.

Recipe in pictures,
Cook the rice and spread it out to cool. Cut the vegetables into strips and keep them ready.
Chop the green onions and have them ready. In a heavy bottomed, wide mouthed pan add oil and when hot add the green onions and saute till they are wilted.
. Add in the vegetables one by one till they are cooked but still crunchy. Add in the rice and mix it in.
Add in pepper powder and salt if required and mix it into the rice evenly and gently so the grains don't break.

That is pretty easy to make isn't?

Indian Mixed Vegetables Fried Rice
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:30 minutes
  1. 2 cups of Basmati rice washed and soaked for 20-30 minutes.
  2. 1 Green Bell Pepper cut into thin 1 inch strips
  3. 3-4 Carrots cut into strips
  4. 1 cup of French cut Green Beans
  5. 2 cups of thinly cut green cabbage
  6. 2 bunches of green onions chopped - green and white parts
  7. 1/2 tbsp of grated ginger
  8. 3/4 tbsp black or white pepper powder
  9. salt to taste
  10. 1 tbsp oil

  1. Cook the soaked Basmati rice along with 2 tsp of oil and salt. (I used a pressure cooker but stove top is fine). The grains should be nice and separate. Once cooked spread the rice on a platter to cool.
  2. In a wide mouthed pan heat the rest of the oil and add the green onions and saute till they are completely wilted.
  3. Add in the ginger and saute for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the bell peppers first, saute for a minute or two, add in the beans and carrots and saute for another 4-5 minutes. Just enough the vegetables should still retain the crunch.
  5. Add in the cabbage and saute for 2-3 minutes more. Add salt. (remember you have also added salt to the rice.
  6. Add the rice separating them as you add them. Sprinkle the pepper powder and gently mix it into the rice. Make sure the rice is fully coated and if required sprinkle a bit more oil. Take care not to break the grains of rice.
Tastes good all by itself or add with a side of mildly spiced egg curry or paneer or cauliflower curry.

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