Those who grew up in Chennai would know all about the Vegetable Fried Rice, Chennai style. Some of my fondest memories growing up include eating loads of tasty vegetable fried rice in dubious Chinese restaurants. There is a genre called Desi-Chinese variety of food. I remember feeling very sophisticated eating this fried rice with friends in my high school and college days. This fried rice is totally Tam Brahm friendly with no eggs. I don’t even use Ajino Moto (MSG). Besides my mother, my friend Hastha was a major food purveyor for me. She would bring this in two big dubbas/boxes to share with us at work. Whenever I would ask her the secret recipe, she would say, “It is nothing da, just spring onions.” After almost twenty years (yes, do the math), I have managed to crack her recipe for this fried rice. Hastha, check it and let me know! Traditionally, you eat this with Gobi Manchurian – a deep friend cauliflower dish with tomato ketchup. Yes, you heard it right. Tomato ketchup!
I substitute rice with quinoa and serve it with Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower Curry) and yogurt to make it healthier all around. But Gobi Manchurian is an excellent pairing for this dish.
- Quinoa (dry): 1/2 cup
- Julienned carrots: 1 cup
- Julienned green beans: 1 cup
- Julienned bell pepper: 1/2 cup
- Chopped Green onions: 1/4 cup
- Garlic (optional): chopped: 1 tsp
- Ground Black Pepper
- Peanut oil: 1 tbsp
- Cook quinoa to directions. A little dry is better
- Heat oil pan or a big skillet or a wok on Medium High. I use cast iron ceramic cookware and love it.
- Stir fry green beans until it is coated with oil. Sprinkle a few drops of water and cook for two minutes.
- Add the julienned carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Now add the green pepper (I used sweet red peppers because I didn’t have green bell peppers) and mix to coat
- Add salt to taste and cook for 4-5 minutes until all the vegetables are tender but not mushy.
- Now add a lot of black pepper or as much as you can stand. Pepper makes this dish pop.
- Don’t let pepper overcook. Immediately add the cooked quinoa and mix it all up but be gentle and don’t make the quinoa all mushy. You can also use any long grained rice in place of quinoa if you prefer.
- Finally, add the chopped green onions, mix it and take it off the stove.
- Enjoy when hot with Gobi Manchurian or raita/yogurt or ketchup!