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Monday, February 14, 2011

Carrot Fried Rice & Cauliflower Manchurian

The cooking part in Chinese cuisine takes no time at all; the chopping part however is a different story. And that is the reason why most of the times I crave for home made Chinese food my heart goes: Veg. Manchurian..yess.. and the mind (my hands) go..nah..too much chopping, maybe some other time ! 

But then, in the battle of the heart and mind, the heart always wins. After spending quite some time in the kitchen mulling over the preparations, I have figured out a not so tiring Indian-Chinese menu to cook at home.

Cauliflower Manchurian and Carrot fried rice use all the necessary sauces and only a couple of the veggies, making it a mouth watering yet easy to cook meal. That it happens to be Valentine’s day today and those two are my valentine’s favorite dishes is of course just a coincidence!

Carrot Fried Rice
White rice – 2 cups
Thinly sliced carrots – 3 medium
Finely chopped scallions – 1 small bunch
Finely chopped ginger – 1 tsp
Vinegar – 2 tsp
Green chili sauce – half tsp
Soya sauce – 2 tsp
Oil – 4 tsp
Salt and pepper

Cook rice in 4 cups of water and a little salt and set aside at least three hours before. Heat the oil in a deep vessel and add scallions and ginger. Stir on high flame for 2 minutes. Add carrots and keep cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on high flame. Add the sauces, cooked rice, salt and pepper. Mix well and serve steaming hot with:

Cauliflower Manchurian
Cauliflower florets – 2 cups
Chopped green bell pepper – half a cup
Finely chopped scallions – half a cup
Finely chopped ginger – half tsp
Finely chopped green chilies – 1 tsp
Finely chopped garlic – 1 tsp
Vinegar – 2 tsp
Red chili sauce – 1 tsp
Soya sauce – 4 tsp
Tomato ketchup – 1 tsp
Water – 5 cups
Corn starch – 7 tsp
Oil for frying – as needed
Salt and pepper

Boil 2 cups of water, add salt and cauliflower florets. Cook for 5 minutes, drain and keep aside. In a bowl take 6 tsp of corn starch, a little salt, finely chopped green chilies and ginger and form a thick paste adding some water (less than half a cup will be needed). Heat oil in a frying pan; dip the cauliflower florets in the corn starch paste and deep fry till golden brown.

In yet another pan heat 1 tsp of oil and stir fry scallion, green chilies, garlic and ginger on high flame for 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the sauces and remaining water, bring to a boil. Dissolve 1 tsp corn starch in 3 tsp water and stir in into the gravy to thicken it. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 2 minutes. Cauliflower Manchurian is ready to be devoured!

Interesting fact
*The Indian-Chinese cuisine was developed over a century ago in Kolkata by
  the Chinese community living there.

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