Friday, March 14, 2008

Ammamma's Fried Rice

I spent a lot of time at my grandma's house as a kid - usually after school while waiting for my parents to get home from work and on holidays. It never ceased (until today) to amaze me how my grandma could complete all the household chores and cook a full lunch by noon. She was
strongly opposed to instant food like maggi mee and meals in a box, so even on the days when she claimed "I have no time so we're having something simple for lunch today" meant having a fried egg, rice, dhal and vegetable.

My grandma or ammamma as we called her, passed away in January. For 30 days, the family gathered for prayers and dinner which included most of her favorite (and best remembered) dishes. Here's a well loved grandma "quickie" - fried rice with a rather indian twist to it...

Ammama's vegetarian fried rice
Rice - pre-cooked, usually leftovers
Tofu - rubbed with a touch of chilli powder, turmeric, salt and then
lightly browned on all sides in a frying pan.
Long brinjal - sliced and follow tofu rub and fry till cooked. Place on
kitchen roll to soak oil off.
Carrot - shredded finely
Onions - sliced finely
Garlic - chopped
Light soy sauce

Drizzle light soy sauce (not too much, or it will be salty) on top of rice and toss in bowl till well mixed. In a wok, heat up some oil and throw in chopped garlic. Once aromatic, add in sliced onions and leave to brown (tip: add a pinch of salt to onions, so that it softens and browns faster). Add carrots, brinjal and tofu. When aromatic and carrots soft, add in the rice. Stir well and increase heat to "fry" the rice. You'll notice the rice will seperate/ not be too sticky together. Taste for salt, if it isn't enough, add a bit more light soy sauce or salt. Remove from heat and serve.

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