Our “Cooking for Two” series is all about those of us who love good food but need smaller batches. Maybe you’re single, or coupled but with no kids (no kids, before kids, after kids). Whatever the reason, you don’t necessarily want a lot of leftovers hanging around. We had you in mind when we developed these recipes.
I love Indian flavors, and vegetables, and healthy meals! So, this Indian-style fried rice is right up my alley.
This recipe takes a detour from traditional fried rice, the well-known Chinese invention of leftover rice and vegetables cooked in a wok with some scrambled eggs in the mix.
Here you start with onion, ginger, garlic, and leftover rice, and so far, you’re in the ballpark of the original. But that’s where the similarity ends. Cumin, turmeric, chickpeas, tomatoes, and shredded kale add a different twist. The egg (optional) goes on top of, not in, the rice.
This dish gets bonus points for being quick and easy. If you want a dish that’s more veg than rice, use one cup of rice, but if you’re extra hungry, add more rice to taste. And yes, it can be doubled.
WHAT IS THE BEST RICE FOR FRIED RICE?
The best rice for fried rice remains the same: leftover cooked rice. I prefer basmati rice, but you can use any rice you have on hand, including brown rice. Leftover rice usually dries out a little, so the grains stay separate when you stir-fry them.
If you don’t have cooked rice on hand, make it with a little bit less water—for one cup of rice, you could subtract two tablespoons from the amount of water recommended in the cooked rice recipe. Be sure to let it steam for 10 minutes after cooking so the grains separate, and the rice isn’t clumpy.
WHAT IS TURMERIC?
Turmeric, like ginger, is a flowering plant, with rhizomes (thick root stalks) that are used fresh, or dried and ground into powder.
It is bright yellow with an earthy, sometimes bitter flavor and is often a component of curry powder. It has been used throughout Southeast Asia and the Middle East for centuries.
The bright color can stain your hands and your aprons, so be prepared to handle with care or treat stains by dabbing with a solution of cool water and soap. Even better, soak linens or dishtowels in a mild bleach solution or white vinegar for 20 minutes or longer as soon as you notice the stain. Then wash in cool water and soap.
SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
If you don’t have kale, you could substitute just about any sturdy leafy green you have in your fridge. Stir in leftover vegetables like broccoli or zucchini, or add grated carrots or cabbage if that’s what you have. Like most fried rice recipes, this one is adaptable to what you have on hand.
TIPS FOR FRIED RICE AHEAD OF TIME
The rice will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend freezing this dish since it loses some of its verve, but if you do, let it cool completely before packaging it in airtight freezer bags.
Remove it from the freezer and steam it in a container with a lid set askew in the microwave.
MORE GREAT FRIED RICE RECIPES