Sweet corn fried rice is a kid-favourite rice dish that is easy to put together (if you forget the vegetable chopping part for a minute) and would make a great main dish for a kid’s get-together. The adults will enjoy it just as much. The best thing about fried rice is that you can put in just about anything you fancy – mushrooms, peas, paneer, bean sprouts, shredded chicken, chopped up fried eggs or anything else and it’ll rarely disappoint you. When you are making fried rice in big batches like I did here, it is best to switch off the stove, combine the rice and vegetables and then heat through for a few minutes to avoid the rice sticking to the bottom of the pan and lots of scraping and stirring which would again break the rice. If you are doing in small batches, you can do this real time in a wok and even toss them around like they do in the fast food joints which would render that nice smoky flavour.
A wok with a long handle is on my wish-list for some-time now. If I did get one I don’t know where I’d put it. The kitchen is already bursting at its seams with pots, kadais, sattis and gundaans. The kadais are already piled one atop another, masala dabbas in 3 lines and a another line stacked on top, the microwave oven stowed away in the loft and my convection oven and baking paraphernalia moved to a separate room. I think we should start using up the head room like they do in airplanes and trains (upper, middle and lower berths). Lower berth is full, middle is where we operate and half the counter is anyway occupied already. Upper berth is what we should target going forward.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Sweet corn – 300 gm
Long grained rice/basmati rice – 3 cups
Carrots – 2 finely chopped
Green beans – 200 gm finely chopped
Green Capsicum – 1 finely chopped
Yellow capsicum – 1 finely chopped
Onions – 2 large finely chopped
Garlic – 6 cloves – finely minced
Spring onions – 3-4 chopped fine – whites and greens separated
Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
White pepper powder/Black pepper powder – 2 tbsp (adjust)
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp + 3 tbsp
1. Rinse the rice in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak in water for 1 hour or more.
2. Heat about 6 cups of water in a vessel. Add salt to the boiling water. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the soaked and drained rice. The water will temporarily stop bubbling for a minute or so. When the water again comes to a boil, bubbling up, switch off and cover with a plate. Keep a close watch on the rice all the time as rice gets cooked very fast. In a few minutes time the rice would have cooked and elongated. When the rice is nearly done (90%) but not fully done (test by picking out one grain of rice and eating it. It should be cooked with a slight crunchy middle), drain the water and transfer the rice on to a wide plate to cool. If you have time, refrigerate the rice after cooling. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the cooled rice and mix well (but gently) with your hands so that the rice is evenly coated with the oil.
3. Steam sweet corn as per packet instructions or steam in an idli plate for 10 minutes.
4. In a wok/kadai heat oil 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and stir around. Add the finely chopped onions and white part of spring onions and sauté on high heat till they turn translucent. Add the chopped vegetables – carrots, beans and sweet corn and stir them all up. Cook on medium-high heat constantly stirring the vegetables around. When the vegetables are soft, add the capsicum and immediately add the soy sauce, salt, sugar and pepper powder. Mix well. Let the capsicum cook for a minute or so. It should be crunchy and not too soft. Switch off.
5. Add the cooked and cooled rice in batches to the cooked vegetables and gently mix them up so that the rice and vegetables are evenly distributed. Once they’re mixed up, turn on the stove and heat through for 1-2 minutes. Switch off. Throw in the chopped green part of the spring onions and gently mix. Serve hot.