A one pot meal is usually my meal of choice and even more so as a mother of two. I have to think of meal ideas on a daily basis and sometimes this daily rigmarole can really get to me! If I have some leftover rice I usually like to make a quick egg fried rice or 'puliogre' (tamarind rice) using the MTR ready spice mix (of course!). My kids lap it up without a fuss as rice and yogurt is their preferred meal too but since I like to spruce it up a bit and make it more colourful and nutritious I like to add a few things to plain rice.
Ever since we moved to a new place last month I hadn't tried out anything new. The unpacking and settling in took centre stage and I heavily depended on scheduled posts to run the blog but now I am back with renewed vigour to sparkle the blog and dazzle you all with some great recipes. When the word 'pulao' comes to mind I have always played safe by trying out simple recipes and so when I came across this one I was wondering if the outcome would be as great as it sounded. Since the recipe was not accompanied by any pictures I used my mind's eye to conjure up an image of how the end result would look like and I think the result was spot on!
The best thing that I liked about this rice is that it not only tastes good if you are looking for a simple and nutritious way of reusing leftover rice but it also doubles up as an Indo-Chinese dish if you use Chinese condiments such as sesame oil and soy sauce to flavour it. You can use some store bought or homemade schezuan sauce
for that added pizzaz! Throw in a few bean sprouts and spring onion greens or perhaps scramble an egg or two and shredded cooked chicken to make it a complete veg or non-veg dish to go with your oriental accompaniments. It is really very easy to impress people with this dish, trust me!
You can also make it for your weekday meal if you have some pre-cooked rice handy. However, please note that fully cooked rice will turn mushy when you start mixing it all together. This is why for fried rice and such, we cook the rice al-dente (90% done). A day old, refrigerated rice works best, especially if you have cooked a variety of rice that retains its texture without turning mushy (like surti kolam, sona masoori or sela basmati rice). So try it and let me know how it turned out!
You may like these other simple and flavourful rice varieties from my archives
Chilli Garlic Rice
Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10-12 mins | Serves 2-3
To be ground (see note#3 for alternatives)
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup finely shredded cabbage
- 1/2 a bell pepper (capsicum), deseeded and cubed
- 1/4 cup carrots, grated or finely chopped
- 1/4 cup snow peas (or french beans), cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- oil for frying
- salt to taste
- 3-4 long dry red chillies (adjust to taste, remove seeds to tone down spice)
- 5-6 fat cloves of garlic flakes
1. Wash the rice till the water runs clear. Soak for 15 minutes in plenty of water.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the washed and soaked rice and cook it al dente (90% cooked). Strain and spread out on a large plate. Let it cool
3. Using water sparingly (about 1-2 tablespoons) grind the ingredients mentioned under 'To be ground
' to a fine paste. Mix this paste into the cooked rice and keep aside
4. Heat the oil in a large wok and fry the onions till pale (translucent). Add the rest of the vegetables in this order, giving half a minute between additions - carrots, beans, capsicum, bean sprouts and cabbage. Fry everything on a high heat, tossing them about using a spatula to avoid scorching. Sprinkle a little salt.
5. When the vegetables are tender but not mushy (they should have some crunch left in them so don't over cook or burn them!) add the rice and mix everything on a high heat. Adjust salt to taste
6. Garnish with spring onion greens if using and serve hot!
1. Add a cup of boneless chicken which has been washed, drained, marinated with salt & pepper and shallow fried in 2 tablespoons of oil. Shred it when warm enough to handle and add it to the pan and stir fry for a minute before adding the rice (step#5)
2. To make an Indo-Chinese version (like a fried rice), use sesame oil (not til oil but the oriental variety) and soy sauce to flavour it. Also, add vegetables such as bean sprouts and spring onions to finish .
3. If you wish you can use readymade or Homemade schezuan sauce
. Just use 1 tablespoon or to taste (increase it later, according to taste). Skip the garlic and chillies mentioned under 'To be ground
' in that case
4. To make a non vegetarian version just scramble 2 eggs separately and add it once the rice has been properly mixed. You can also add pre cooked chicken (marinated in salt & pepper and boiled or shallow fried and then shredded)
Recipe adapted from 100 Rice Delights by Mallika Badrinath