Are you one of those persons that tear up at the mere thought of cutting onions, if yes, you may find this post interesting. I have seen people at both ends of the spectrum, some who do not shed one tear while cutting onions and some who tear up when others are cutting onions across the room. I consider myself to be somewhere in the middle, I tear up when I am cutting onions and if I am standing close to the person cutting onions. And when I tear up I really do, I never shed dainty tears the way some do, I tear up to the point where my eyes look like I have been bawling for an hour :-)
So when I came across a tip that may reduce tears when cutting onions I was obviously interested. The tip is to place the onion you are planning to cut, in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes before starting to cut it. So the last time I was using onions, I first placed one onion in a plastic cover (like the zip loc covers) zipped it closed and placed it in the freezer while I was doing the prep work for the rest of the dish. About 20 minutes later I removed the onion from the freezer and cut it and sure enough, I cut the entire onion without a single tear....Yea I am always happy with tips that make my life easier in the kitchen:-) My only suggestion when you try this tip is to make sure that your onion is in a tightly sealed plastic bag so that the onion smell does not get into your freezer.
Moving on, R loves Indo-Chinese cuisine, and would love to have it more than once a week if possible. But we do not have it as much as we used to, buying Indo- chinese from restaurants got complicated when I started learning about MSG and how it is not good for us. Making this cuisine at home does not happen as regularly as R would like it. So when I came across this recipe on Chitra's site for Schezuan rice, I thought this might be something R would like and decided to surprise him with it. This was a simple and spicy dish that was much appreciated by both of us. I made it using brown basmati and loved the taste of it. The convenience of using brown rice in this is that brown rice holds its shape and texture more easily, so I do not have to wait for the rice to cool down thoroughly as I would if using white rice.
Ingredients and Method to make Schezuan Fried Rice
1 1/4 cup brown basmati rice soaked in 2 cups of water for about 1/2 an hour and cooked until done
I cooked this in a rice cooker but you can use a pressure cooker for this too.
1 yellow onion cut fine
2 cups cabbage cut fine
3 cups of other veggies ( I used cauliflower florets+ peas+ carrots)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp schezuan sauce (recipe below)
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt to taste
Soak basmati rice for about 1/2 an hour and cook it either in a rice cooker or pressure cooker until done.
Spread it out on a plate to cool
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add onion to it and saute until transparent.
Add cabbage and all other vegetables and saute until cooked and still crisp (Do not add any water in the process of cooking vegetables)
Add the schezuan sauce, soy sauce and mix well with vegetables.
Add cooled rice and salt to taste and mix well and heat on a low to medium heat until ready to serve.
Serve with steamed vegetables or any other chinese style veggie preparation. This one was hearty enough to be had on its own too.
Serves approximately 3-4
Soak 12 dry red chillies in warm water for 15 minutes. Remove from water and drain
2 tsp minced garlic,
3 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame oil
Grind the drained red chillies with all of the above ingredients EXCEPT sesame oil and keep aside.
Heat sesame oil to smoking point and pour over the ground mixture and mix well.
Keep in an airtight container and refrigerate and use as required. For the quantity of schezuan rice I made this sauce lasted for two rounds of use.
If using white rice, cook it earlier and cool thoroughly before using in this dish.
Mix very gently with white rice since it tends to break faster.
If using white rice, short grain rice may be more effective than basmati.
Also if using white rice you may need to use lesser amount of sauce.