Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thai Basil Fried Rice

Hello readers :-)

How are you all doing with your Christmas preparation? Being in US, I always look forward to the holiday season, not just for the obvious reasons, but also because I like the atmosphere it creates among people,
 and the constant Christmas carols that you get to hear almost everywhere .

I am excited about the decision made by our nearest grocery store to include more Asian food produce in their produce isle :-)  especially ever since I saw the big bundle of Curry Leaves :-) though they cost a bit more, it's nothing compared to the long distance tedious monthly trips we make with a cranky toddler to the "nearest" (Not) Indian grocery store.

So needless to say, I was excited to find a bunch of Thai Basil leaves in the same store, ..... I was searching for these leaves from a long time , and to pay $ 3.00 for an 'ok' amount didn't make me think twice, as I had always seen them not any less than $5.00 for a scanty amount of wilted leaves.
We love Thai food which we usually do a take out from the nearest Thai restaurant, but were disappointed when the menu and quality and quantity of food changed along with their management. Hence I have been on a mission to recreate some of our favorite dishes from that restaurant. Thai Basil Fried Rice is one of many and though we usually order the Thai Basil Chicken Fried rice, here I have made the non-meat version.

I was searching through various recipes online and finally landed upon this blog, I followed it and omitted certain ingredients as it was too spicy for my son's palette . Here goes the recipe:


1 cup cooked Basmati/Jasmine rice
1/2 cup Onions Sliced
1/2 cup Carrot strips
1/2 cup Sliced Green Pepper (I did not have it in my pantry, hence I skipped it)
1/4 cup frozen peas
5 cloves Garlic slightly crushed and then minced
1 tablespoon thinly sliced Ginger
1/4 cup Olive oil + 2 tablespoons Chilli oil

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon Brown sugar
Salt: a pinch to flavor the oil initially
Thai Basil leaves: 1 cup

How I made it:

  1. Heat a frying pan with oil
  2. Saute the garlic and ginger for a few seconds until it gives a nice aroma
  3. Next saute the onions, carrots, and Pepper and saute until veggies are tender
  4. Add a pinch of salt and saute it again for a few seconds
  5. Next add the frozen peas and saute for 2-3 minutes until peas are cooked
  6. Follow it with the cooked rice, the soy sauce, Sriracha hot sauce and stir well to combine and coat everything
  7. Then add the Brown sugar which according to the blog I referred , is the ingredient that adds the slightly sweet lingering taste. You do not want to substitute it or skip it , I tell you :)
  8. Stir for 2 minutes and then towards the end add the Basil leaves and stir well again until the leaves wilt in the pan along with everything. 
There you go: Almost close to the restaurant style Thai Basil Fried Rice ready :-)

Have a great day :-)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pal Payasam made with Payasam rice


Hello dear readers :-)

How are you all??...Here I have been very busy with my busy body son what  can be better
ry keen to blog along with me ;-) , and by 'along with me I meant, i have to share the same keyboard with him, so pardon me if this post would have quite a few word errors or spelling errors :p

Since the festive season of Diwali is approaching, I thought about starting with a sweet dish andwhat canned better than  can be better than "Pal Payasam" ("Milk-Rice Pudding" :-) ? So without further delay, here is the recipe:

This is the time consuming method (but the more delicious way of doing it):

I used the following ingredients:

3/4 cup Payasam rice soaked in enough water for atleast 10 hours (you can find this in any Indian store, its mostly a distant cousin of Rose Matta rice)- I recommend using this rice instead of the basmati/regular white rice as it indeed brngs out a delicious rosy hue and an authentic taste that white rice might lack in. But if you can't find ,white rice would indeed be a good substitute)

2 cups whole milk

2 cups water

3/4 cup sugar

As garnish:

Whole cashews


Cardomom pods crushed lightly

Pinch of grated Nutmeg


How I made it:

In a deep bottom vessel (I made it in a claypot we recently bought back from our India trip), add the drained rice, milk, water, and the cardomom. Bring it to a boil, then let it simmer until the rice is cooked thoroughly. Keep an eye on the milk, and stir it to prevent boiling over or getting burnt. Let the heat do its job of making the rice absorb all the liquid. Now mash the cooked rice a bit. lower the heat and add the sugar. It will make the dried up cooked rice watery again, so dont add any extra liquid at this point. You may add a bit of milk if you prefer the pudding a bit runnier. Add a pinch of grated nutmeg.Add a tablespoon of ghee (clarified butter) to a small pan and add the raisins and on a very low fire, saute until all the raisins have plumped up. Pour this into the payasam. Serve cold or hot

Have a Happy and Safe Diwali everyone !! :-)


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