Thai inspired Veggi Rice
Other day me and my friend Stacey did little lunch prep together over the playdate.Stacey is my Indian food loving buddy,so i get excited to cook Indian inspired dish with her.I introduced her to eggplant,which she had earlier said,she didn’t like.So when she came over,she brought eggplant and made Sauted eggplants as i made her use some Indian spices along the line.To go with it we made plain rice.For the lack of gravy,we turned that into Butter Rice and devoured it with our cooked eggplants.
Whenever I make rice,I always make extra.One,we eat rice regularly.Two,it is easy to transform plain rice into delicious side meal.Three,I don’t wanted to burn gas twice and last but not the least,cooked rice freezes very well,to be used later.As a result,we had lots of rice leftover.So for the evening meal,I was thinking to dress them up.When I opened my refrigerator,I saw cabbage and cauliflower wilting and begging me to be used or they will be unusable soon.So I obliged.I chopped them all in small pieces.Then I wanted to play around with Thai spices,I had sitting my in pantry,unopened for sometime.
I had never used Lemongrass and Galangal before.I was ok with Galangal as it looked like Ginger’s cousin to me,I use so frequently.Lemongrass I have heard, can make or break the dish.So it intimidated me little bit.Yes I do get intimidated by spices contrary to popular belief that i use spices so much in Indian cooking.Exotic spices,that is.One thing which i have learnt about using spices,when in doubt using the spices,start with less,like a pinch ,taste along and increase the amount later.I sniffed the spice powder and it was certainly strong.I had Sambal Oelek,Thai Chili paste,so dish was taking ‘Thai’ shape all along.This is what went to it.
1/4 tsp Galangal powder
pinch of Lemongrass powder
1 tsp Sambal Oelek
1/4 Black mustard seeds(optional)
2 cups of cauliflower,cabbage,onion mix chopped
1/2 lime juice
2 cups of cooked rice
salt to taste
- Season the oil with mustard seeds.This is my Indian habit of seasoning the oil,i am so used to it and i didn’t think it will compete with Thai spices,so i continued.
- Add the veggies.When it starts browning ,add the spices and continue to saute until veggies are wilted.I tend to break the veggie pieces in small as my kids would try to fish them out.
- Add rice to it and stir it until rice is completely coated with veggie mixture.
- Add lime juice and stir and let it sit for 5 mins.It helps the rice and spices and lime juice to settle down.Voila,you have Thai inspired veggie rice!
- Rice was spicy when I tasted it after it was done.So I added lime juice to cut the heat.You can use less Chili paste or omit it completely or use sweet paprika.You can still use lime juice,I like slight tartness and freshness it adds to the dish.
- Next time I would use little more Lemongrass and Galangal powder,i have gained some confidence there !
- It would be worth trying with other veggies too as well as with brown rice.