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Instant gratification (Part I)

I now know what instant gratification feels like. The object of my desire last night  was something which would please my sweet tooth. This, even after a hearty meal of egg fried rice. It was a great meal I must say because the recipe was one that I could call my own, not my mother’s or my mother in law’s,  but if you ask me I would call it Amruta original. It initially started out as rough scribbles on a piece of paper inspired from the internet, but carelessly enough I lost that teeny chit and  began relying on my senses entirely whenever I cooked it. The kind and quantities of vegetables and rice which go into this dish were all tweaked by moi, to the extent that it came to be known as Amruta’s signature dish among our close family. But somehow this dish got lost in time , though not long ago it was a weekly affair and for some reason (probably I finished up the bottle of soy and carelessly forgot to buy one during all our grocery trips that followed). Actually i’ll let you in a secret..promise not to tell my husband , will you? I got sick of eating egg fried rice as a one pot meal every friday for six months straight ! My husband loves egg fried rice for it takes him back to the night canteen of his IIM – B days where this was the only thing he liked. He would skip dinner and head to the canteen after 11 pm and find comfort in this steaming plate of rice. That he also ventured to another place called Athica’s for cheese maggie at 3 am is another story altogether.

So yesterday in a fix over what to cook for dinner my husband matter -of -factly pointed out that it had been a long time since we last had some good old egg fried rice. It was fate ( all veggies and eggs, except for the sauces were in the fridge) and it was also a friday and so we got down to making it.  I asked my husband to get me a bottle of dark soy and another of green chilli from the grocer to which he happily obliged.  Meanwhile me and my sister began slicing and dicing the vegetables : onions both red and green, capsicum, cabbage, carrots, this being my favorite part of the process. I kept an open pot of rice on the stove to simmer. I guess slow cooking of rice in this case is important as you can check in on the texture of the rice as it is cooking and stop cooking at just the right time. The right rice grain texture is vital because you don’t want the rice grains to break when you stir fry it. It should be just shy of completely cooked. Also it is important for the rice to cool down before it is added to the stir fried veggies. ( If you happen to have some leftover rice from a previous nights dinner, its ideal to use it for egg fried rice for lunch the next day. )

And so all of it came back to me; the process of cooking egg fried rice, like a favorite poem from school that you still remember. This time it also marked the conversion of a vegetarian sister to an eggetarian one. And she loved it albeit with a little more green chilli sauce, and claimed she couldn’t taste or smell the eggs in it. This is how our time between 8 pm to 10 pm was occupied; right from examining the cooked rice texture between my fingers to licking our plates clean off the last rice grain of rice, it was all good.

Oh, and I just remembered, wasn’t I talking about a dessert craving at the beginning of this post? But first let me share my recipe for egg fried rice with you. No strict weights and measurements and no bullet points here beware. Consider this as a rough guide if ever you want to rustle up some egg fried rice in your kitchen.

                                        ***  Egg Fried Rice  ***

                                                   (Serves 4)

In a wok, heat some oil (about 2-3 tbsp) enough to submerge one large finely chopped onion, finely diced cloves of garlic (2-3 nos.) and green chillies (2 nos.) When the onion just starts browning add in the finely diced carrot (1 medium). Increase the flame to high and begin stir frying. When the carrot cubes change  colour, add chopped capsicum (1 nos) and green onions with their greens (5-6 nos.) Add shredded cabbage (about 1/4 head of a medium one). Continue stir frying till the cabbage is not raw but has a crunch to it. Reduce the flame and add in whisked eggs (4 nos) Let the eggs envelop the veggies and begin scrambling them at a low flame. Scramble them till the egg proteins coagulate and break into small cooked masses. Add chilli sauce to taste (1 tbsp if you cant stomach spicy food). And yes, salt should be added, some of it while you cook the rice and some in the whisked eggs (to taste). Now wet your hand and lightly crumble the rice (to separate the rice grains) over the veggie-egg mixture. Now continue stir frying but with lighter less vigorous motions. Add in 1-2 tbsp of soy sauce and mix till the rice gets a light brown soy coat. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice or some vinegar. It gives a nice tangy taste to it. Serve hot.

                                                          * * *

I hope you too make this recipe your own and when you do, do share it with me so I don’t ever get sick of eating egg fried rice again.

To be continued…

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