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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Schezwan Rice

Once you know how to make Schezwan sauce, then it is very easy to make schezwan rice or noodles. I use a variety of vegetables, generally whatever is available in the fridge to create a stir fried vegetable based in which I add cooked rice or noodles dish. Then I mix in an appropriate amount of Schezwan sauce. Schezwan rice is once of my favorite Indo-Chinese dishes. I used to eat it weekly or even more frequently when I was in college. There was a small restaurant across from my college where they used to make the most delicious Schezwan rice. It was this  memory that made me experiment with Schezwan sauce ingredients and try to develop that taste. Of course, they added ajinomoto in the restaurant, which is an ingredient that I skip. Instead I use celery in the sauce as well as the stir fry vegetable base.


Ingredients
1 cup rice, cooked
1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic pod, minced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
6-7 green beans, diced
1-3 tbsp schezwan sauce
salt to taste


Method
In a large pan (which can accomodate the cooked rice), heat the oil. Add garlic and onions. Stir fry till the onion startes to look transparent. Then add the vegetables in the order of the vegetable that takes the longest to cook to the one that takes the least amount of time. Here it would be celery, carrots, beans, and bell peppers. It does not take too long to cook each vegetable. The vegetable needs to be cooked, overcooked and soft/mushy. So each vegetable will take about a couple of minutes. Once all the vegetables have beeen cooked, add the cooked rice to it and stir well to mix the vegetables in with the rice. Then add the schezwan sauce to the rice. Add a little at a time to avoid getting it too spicy by adding too much at a time. Best way is to mix the rice and sauce well and taste as you go along. Once you have added enough sauce, adjust the salt. Serve hot.


Tips
If you have used deggi or kasmiri chilli powder in the sauce, you will be able to achieve a slight red color without adding food coloring. When you cook rice, add a little salt to it so that it is well distributed in the rice. Don't add a lot of salt, as the sauce has salt in it too. So final adjustment for the saltiness should be done at the end of the recipe. Cool the rice after cooking it. Try and separate out the grains before the rice cools down. This will help the rice grains stay separate instead of being stuck to each other. 

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