From instant noodles to thick and greasy chowmein India laps it all in the name of Chinese cuisine to maintain the status quo of “hindi chini bhai bhai” though we had several incursion in our homeland from across the borders like a daily dose of gobi manchurian peppered with Indian spices.
In early 60’s or 70’s it was quiet fashionable to have Chinese cuisine almost a status symbol and many fancy restaurants took pride in their sizzlers and noodles greased in oil and laced with soy sauce, momos, dimsums and chili chicken acquired the gourmet status. Quarter century later we still hooked to this Chinese cuisines which is way different from the cuisine of mainland china, but then who cares ? As long as we can relish on our gobi manchuria or chilli chicken we are happy with our Chinese food. Some says it is fusion and named it as Indo-China, I say it is just the case of natural selection, fusion food involves creativity, but this is purely naturalized.
And that is the reason it has stayed with us so long and has potential to cut across the different strata of society, it reaches there, where even our own desi food fails to impress, and in cities like Kolkata and Mumbai it evolved as a street food. So next time you are on street to have vada pav or phuchka, you might chanced upon a small shack selling Fried rice and chilli chicken in 20 Rs or veg manchuria combo in 15 bucks.
For now grab your bottle of soy sauce and rush to the kitchen, will have today fried rice and veg manchurian, the latter had no relation to the manchuria province of China !
For blog hop Wednesday, I was paired with Vidya of Kurryleaves who has some envious collection of recipes supported by wonderful pictures and I have selected this ubiquitous Chinese dish which is present in various avatars through out our country.
Ingredients for fried rice
Short grain rice : 1 cup
Ginger chopped finely : 1/2 ” piece
Garlic: 2 cloves
Spring onion chopped : 2 tbsp
Onion chopped : 1 small
Carrot,beans, capsicum and cabbage finely chopped : 2 cups
Soya sauce-3/4 tbsp
Tomato ketchup-3/4 tbsp
Pepper powder-1/2 tsp(or to taste)
Salt to taste
Wash and cook the rice and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan add chopped ginger and garlic and saute till raw smell leaves.
Now add the chopped onion, saute for few minutes followed by chopped vegetables and saute till it is just done.
Now add the soya sauce, tomato sauce, pepper powder and salt to taste, mix well.
Add the cooked rice and mix carefully until combined.
Cook for a few minutes and switch off the stove.
Garnish with chopped spring onion and serve with Vegetable manchurian, scroll below for the recipe.
A chef’s tips to perfect fried rice : A noted chef on TV once told its viewers that best fried rice are made with leftover rice kept in refrigerator , because it absorbs no moisture and perfect for fried rice.
If you want to make it fresh, then plan accordingly and use the cooked rice only when it is cooled completely and for instant cooling, put it in fridge.
Ingredients for veg manchurian :
Cabbage shredded :1 cup
Carrot grated : 3/4 cup
All purpose flour : 1-2 tbsp for binding the manchurian
Bread crumbs : 1/2 cup
Grated ginger : 1/2 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste
Soy sauce ; 1 tbsp
For Sauce :
Light or dark Soy sauce : 2-3 tbsp
Roasted garlic (minced) : 1 tsp
Grated ginger : 1 tbsp
Red chilli flakes : 1 tsp or less (depending upon your taste)
Cornstarch (optional) : 1 tbsp to thicken the sauce
Oil for deep frying
Green chilies chopped- 1 no(or to taste)
Onion chopped- 1 medium
Spring onion chopped-3 tbsp
Chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce-1/2 tbsp
Tomato ketchup-1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Blanch the vegetables required for manchurian balls in hot water and let it cool slightly.
Squeeze out excess water from the vegetables and mix it with rest of the ingredients for the manchurian balls until combined.
Make small balls out of this mixture.
Deep fry the balls in hot oil till it turns golden brown.Keep aside
Now for the sauce,heat oil in a pan and add the chopped garlic ,ginger,red chili flakes and green chilies.saute till the raw smell disappear.
Now add chopped onion and spring onion and saute for a minute, add chili powder and mix well.
Add soya sauce ,tomato ketchup,salt to taste and required amount of water,bring to a boil.
Now mix cornflour with 1/4 cup water and add it to the sauce.Mix well.
When the sauce thickens add the manchurian balls and bring it first boil. Switch off the stove and
garnish with spring onions and serve.