Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stir fried veggies & brown rice

Dear foodies,

Weeknights are usually for quick meals. I don't indulge in anything that involves a lot of prep time or needs constant attention. More often I cook so I can take a boxed lunch and look for dishes that are easy to carry. I like dishes that are all-in-one where I don't have to carry multiple boxes to work, and this fried rice fits the bill perfectly. This summer I indulged in the bounty fresh snow peas in the market. They are good to go with hardly any cooking, and a perfect snack or a salad with a few extra flavorings added to it. One of my favorite ways of eating them was in this burger, the other way is to blanch them in salted water for just a few minutes and then saute them in some oil with chopped garlic. This was my dinner for quite a few nights the past months and a very good one at that.

I still do find snow peas in the stores but they are not as tender as they used to be and have a tough string around them that needs to be removed. I find that a little cumbersome when I am dealing with a whole bag of these, but the fresh taste of the beans makes it worth all the time spent. I end up eating most of the beans once they are done blanching and the rest goes into the saute. This time I added some fresh crunchy carrots to the mix, few more of my favorite flavors and came up with a lunch I was waiting to have..

Ingredients:
  • 2 handfuls - snow peas
  • 2-3 medium carrots
  • 1 cup - Arugula or baby bok choy
  • 1 Tbsp - Tamari/soy sauce, adjusted to taste
  • 1 Tbsp - sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp - garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp - Red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp - Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups - brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 Tbsp - tamari/soy sauce
  • 1/2 -1 tsp - freshly ground black pepper
Method:
  1. Wash and de-string the beans if required. Boil some water in a saucepan and salt it. Add the snow peas and blanch for no more than 5 mins. They must still be crunchy and a bright green when you take them out. I usually drop them into cold water or place them under the running tap water at this point so they stop cooking.
  2. Wash & peel the carrots, cut them first into 2 inch pieces and then slice them thin, length wise. Similarly cut the snow peas about the same size as the carrots, roughly into thirds.
  3. Heat a pan with the oil and add the garlic and red chili flakes while the oil is still cold. As the oil heats up it will absorb their flavors. On medium-high heat, toss in the sesame seeds and carrots, saute for 3-4 mins , next add the snow peas, arugula and tamari ( or soy sauce). Saute on high heat for a few more minutes until the veggies are well coated with the flavorings and the arugula wilts down.
  4. Transfer this to a bowl and add the brown rice to the pan. Add some more soy sauce and black pepper to taste, mix well. Cook for 1-2 mins, turn off the heat, add the veggies, stir and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
This was really good fried rice. I ate quite a bit of it right from the pan under the excuse of tasting and checking for seasonings. The veggies are still crunchy and the sesame seeds just make it better. Garlic and red chilli flakes give it the kick but don't overpower the dish with spices. The brown rice is a perfect pair for these veggies with its nutty texture making it a component of the dish and not just a filler base. For me black pepper in fried rice reminds me of Indo-chinese fried rice and I absolutely love its flavor. All in all it was a wonderful meal and I was looking forward to lunch all morning :)


Looks like this will be perfect for Srivalli, the mela queen's Rice Mela, perfect timing I say. I wish I had even a tiny share of the enthusiasm she has for holding events!

20 thoughts:

A Cook @ Heart said...

Look absolutely delicious!

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Looks so good. Colorful... Appetizing pictures. YUM!

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

Hey priya, The photos are very very yummy. I use brown rice a lot and I am happy to see you post on it.

Arundathi said...

That looks yummy. I love brown rice and wild rice - miss those in India. Love your header.

Manisha said...

Yes, yes, yummy and all that. You know, will surely try. But first tell me, are you game?

Meeta said...

This looks like my kind of dish! I love the simplicity of such dishes but the full flavor you get out of the veggies!

SMN said...

Hey priya looks divine and cant make out its the brown rice..

Nirmala said...

Looks lovely. I always like my vegies green and crunchy. Whats brown rice ? Is it available in India ?

Priya said...


Cook@heart, Sukanya, thank you :)

Srimathi, I am trying to use it more frequently too.

Arundathi, thank you :) I am surprised that brown rice is tough to find given many other exotic herbs and spices seem to be easily available.

Manisha, thank you, and all that :D

Meeta, true that you get to enjoy the veggies in all their glory.

SMN, it was really nice in this one.

Nirmala,brown rice is rice without the hull removed, here's more info. I am not sure where you can find it in India. I'll chk with my mom and see if she can find it in the stores and let you know.

Anonymous said...

hi priya
brown is good for health. i havent tried snow peas at all. should do now.

anudivya said...

I have been using brown rice for the last 3 years, and love every bit of it. And with veggies, who could ask for a better wholesome meal!
This is my quick lunch most of the days.

Sangeeth said...

I am gonna try this ...we bought a bag of brown rice last week by mistake! and this would be a perfect way to use it!

Srivalli said...

Thats lovely priya..the way you take the pictures takes more energy than hosting my dear!..lovely pictures...pls do send the details through mail!

Divya Vikram said...

Perfect entry for the mela..Looks healthy n yumm!

vidhas said...

delicious receipe i will surely try

soums said...

Looks so tasty....

Gayatri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gayatri said...

Hi Priya,
am a frequent visitor of ur blog; like ur recipes and the luk of ur blog,keep up the good work :-)

Sagari said...

plate full of healthy goodness

Anonymous said...

I tried this for my office lunch and liked it a lot,will love to get some new and quick ideas related to lunch.

Blogging tips