Me and my colleague M were talking about healthier alternatives to rice and pasta for dinner. I was telling her how we eat rice almost every alternate day and she almost squeaked in horror. She couldn’t digest the fact, that I eat White rice 4 times a week for dinner, and still manage to stay non-fat ( in her exact words, since I don’t have a well-toned body either ). So , there she started giving me the healthier choices over white rice. First came brown rice, which she is evidently a big fan of. But she stopped praising it when I said, I can hardly eat one table spoon without burping twice.. the second option was bulgur wheat, which I can have at times, but only in the form of either Salad or Khichdi.. I simply can’t have them instead of rice, end of topic.
Next on the list was cous cous, which I love but again as either Salad or Upma. I still do have to try a sweet Vietnamese pudding, where they cook Cous cous with coconut milk and china grass. Anyway, so coming back to rice alternatives, soon M ran out of options ( after few more moments of blabbering about starchiness of rice and pasta, and how much harmful it is for health. ) I agree to some extent.. having rice for dinner is worse than having it for Lunch. But, if you are having small portions and not jumping onto it then it’s really OK to have it every day, provided you select a variety which has less starch and not the most expensive Basmati in the Country. I use Sona Masuri rice for my daily life consumption, and for special occasion only take out my Basmati bag.
Rice is a light and easy to digest food, good for people with slow metabolism and stomach issues. Yes, it is rich in carbs but we do need a bit of that in our diet, don’t we ? Blaming rice for all the love handles you have in your body, not so fair people ! Just try eating in moderation, which honestly doesn’t mean 3-4 servings all plateful… And you should be OK. Its way better than having bowl full of pasta, fresh or not.
This recipe of today, I must say is a complete One pot meal. Carbs from rice, Protein from eggs, vitamins and minerals from vegetables and the bonus goodness from coconut milk and spices. It’s a true keeper, uses all the common ingredients from your pantry and you can make it anytime you feel lazy to cook an elaborated meal. Just few moves and you are done with a delicious, healthy meal which can be eaten with Raita, Salad, chutneys or just on its own and still manages to taste heavenly. My suggestion, have it fresh and hot with chilled raita, preferably a green raita like this Palak Raita. Yeah, you may over eat again, if you are like me, but then at least you will curse me with a satisfying stomach 🙂
What you need?
- 1 cup rice, rinsed well, and soaked for at least half an hour
- 3-4 eggs
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 cup chopped assorted vegetables – beans, potatoes, green peas, carrots, broccoli etc.
- 3-4 bulbs of spring onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp desiccated coconut – (optional)
- 1 tsp coriander powder , garam masala each
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- A pinch of black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 7-8 large garlic cloves – we use a lot of garlic in this recipe, tastes awesome with coconut milk
- 1 inch ginger piece, grated
- 2 tbsp Sesame oil- preferable, you may use Olive oil or any other oil as well
- 1 tbsp butter – optional , brings a very nice flavour with garlic
- 1 1/2 cup water
How to make?
- Heat butter in a rice pot, fry garlic and cumin seeds. Add rinsed rice, and roast for a minute on the low flame, till the water evaporates. Add water and coconut milk, stir and cook it till it comes to a boil. Then lower the flame, and simmer it covered for 7-10 minutes until the rice is almost cooked. We don’t need mushy rice, just fluffy grainy one. And that’s the reason we have used just enough quantity of water. Keep rice aside till it comes to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, start with the vegetables by heating oil in a wok. Throw in cumin seeds, and let them splutter. Add grated ginger, chopped spring onion and desiccated coconut ( if using ) and fry for half a minutes or so on low flame.
- Add in all the chopped vegetables, salt and spices and mix everything well. Cover this mixture and cook it for 5-6 minutes till the vegetables get tender. Now uncover and cook for 5-6 minutes on low flame so it doesn’t get all watery and mushy. Vegetables should retain their crisp and should just be cooked, not too soft to eat.
- While its cooking, break the eggs in a mix8ing bowl and whisk lightly with a pinch of salt. Add this to the wok, and cook it further for 8-10 minutes on medium flame stirring and mixing everything frequently. Turn off when the eggs are all solid and done.
- Add the rice to the wok and with a flat spatula, fold it gently so everything gets mixed up well. Enjoy it fresh and hot, with Raita and Chutneys aside.
- Egg fried rice usually tastes best when eaten fresh, since the eggs start smelling bad when gets cold. If you re-heat it, it’s better to do it on the hob ( using pan, wok etc. ) rather than in the microwave. Since a big piece of scrambled egg might burst off ( happened to me once )
- Eggs usually release water when re-heated so you may re-heat it on a higher flame and keep stirring to avoid any burning.
- you may use any oil other than Sesame oil, but that gives the best flavour with anything remotely Indo-Chinese. I sometimes use a combination of both Olive oil and Sesame Oil.