Hello, rice lovers! Why is it that eating rice has become so difficult these days with all that health talk going on about rice being the “villain” of a healthy diet? It’s the type of rice and the quantity you eat that matters. With this red rice recipe, you can have your favorite fried rice and eat it too!
Does the citrusy, refreshing flavor of lemongrass make you wonder why it should be called a “grass” at all? Yes, sounds quite demeaning. Well, my love for the Thai herbs –lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves has transformed into this flavourful fried rice recipe with red rice and some veggies thrown in, with egg as an option. Simple, quick, delicious and healthy, it’s ideal for a weekday lunchbox or a weeknight dinner that keeps you full and satiated for long. Combine this fried rice with Green mango salad and Quick and easy soy chicken for a wholesome meal.
Some health benefits of red rice
- The red rice gets its rich color from an antioxidant called anthocyanins, that can reduce inflammation, allergy, prevent risks of cancer and help in weight management.
- manganese helps in strengthening metabolism.
- magnesium helps in controlling migraine, lowers blood pressure as well as risks of heart attacks.
- calcium helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth and prevents risks of arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Selenium protects the body against infections.
- high fiber content slows down the digestion process which leads to a strengthened digestive system.
- fiber also aids in slowing down the rate at which carbs are converted into blood sugar, making red rice one of the foods with a low glycemic index.
Now onto the recipe:
Ingredients (makes 4 portions)
- red rice – 1 cup
- carrot – 1, grated
- green peas – 1/2 cup
- onions – 2, thinly sliced
- minced ginger – 1/2 teaspoon
- garlic – 2 pods, minced
- serrano chili – 1, finely chopped
- lemongrass – 3 stalks
- kaffir lime leaves – 4
- coconut oil – one and a half tablespoons
- eggs – 3 (can be skipped for a vegan recipe)
- water or stock to cook rice – 4 cups (may vary depending on the type of rice. I used Thai unpolished red rice.)
- chopped cilantro/ spring onion leaves for garnish
- Peel the outer layer of the lemongrass stalks, chop them into 2-inch pieces with diagonal cuts (you can see them in the first picture, peeking from the left top corner) and lightly smash them with the flat part of your knife.
- Break the kaffir lime leaves into 2 each (they are double-lobed leaves).
- Add the lemongrass pieces and the kaffir lime leaves to the red rice, add water and cook as per package instructions.
- Once the rice is cooked, allow it to cool by spreading it on a large tray (baking tray would be fine).
- Remove the lemongrass stalks and the lime leaves.
- Boil the green peas and keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok on medium flame, add the minced ginger and garlic and roast until you get an aroma, but not browned.
- Add the onions and chili and saute until translucent.
- Add the grated carrots, cooked peas, and salt and saute for 5 minutes.
- If you’re using eggs, beat them with a few dashes of salt and pepper and stir-fry along with the vegetables.
- Mix in the rice when the eggs are semi-cooked (still gooey) and stir well.
- Take off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro or spring onion leaves.
- The red rice needs to be thoroughly cooled, else it may become sticky.
- While stir-frying, the rice has to be added before the eggs get fully cooked, so that the eggs combine well with the rice.
Now, go ahead. Eat your fried rice without an ounce of guilt.