Sunday, February 25, 2007

E is for Egg-Fried Rice

The myriad cuisines of India all love their vegetables! Veggies are diced and sliced, grated and mashed, stir-fried and curried into hundreds of vegetable dishes. In this series, the A to Z of Indian Vegetables, we take an alphabetical journey through the various avatars of vegetables relished in Indian cuisine. For each letter, we will make a tasty vegetable dish that illustrates one manner in which vegetables are savored in India.

The "E" of Indian Vegetables

The letter E inspired 11 exotic Indian flavors!

To start off, one E vegetable and seven preparations, all showcasing the beloved eggplant, that purple beauty of a vegetable, cooked and relished in a hundred different ways in India.

First up, eggplant chutney, a spicy combination of eggplant, tomato and onion to be devoured with idli and dosa, shared by Priya of Aahaar. See the recipe here.

Next, eggplants-stuffed, a cherished family recipe for baby eggplants stuffed with nutty and mild daliya powder, contributed by Suma of Veggie Platter. See the recipe here.

Then, two eggplant recipes by Pinki of Come Cook With Me, the traditional Bengali begun bhaja or eggplant fritters fried to a crisp, and a lovely stuffed eggplant dish.

Next comes a mouth-watering eggplant in coconut gravy, a curry made with the sweet long Japanese eggplants by a *huge* eggplant fan (see her post for proof), Pavani of Cook's Hideout. See the recipe here.

Bilbo from Smorgasbord comes up with a quick and easy guide to eggplant stuffed to the gills! Click here for the recipe.

Finally, the ever-creative Linda of Out Of The Garden sings well-deserved praises of the "incredible edible eggplant", along with links to her favorite eggplant recipes, and creates a one-of-a-kind recipe for eggplant with jackfruit seed gravy! It looks amazing, and you can find the recipe here.

E also represents a traditional Kerala curry, erissheri, also spelled as erissery! We are lucky enough to have two versions of this regional festival dish in the round-up.

First up, Bee of Jugalbandi relates an engaging account of the beautiful harvest festival of Onam and presents a delectable family recipe for erissheri: a combination of golden pumpkin, coconut and spices. See the post here.

Next, Asha of Aroma Hope made an unusual and delicious version of erissery using cauliflower instead of the more traditional root vegetables and gourds. See this version here.

Finally, as every kindergartener knows, E stands for egg! While not a vegetable, the "incredible edible" egg is used in combination with vegetables in many Indian dishes.

First up, spicy egg pakodas, a hearty snack by Swapna of Swad. See the recipe here.

And finally, I combined eggs with loads of vegetables and some left-over rice to make egg-fried rice.

E is for Egg-Fried Rice: Rice and Vegetables

A typical vegetarian meal in an Indian home is likely to contain three components: a carbohydrate (rice or rotis or both), a protein (usually in the form of dal) and a tasty vegetable dish. Indian cuisines have come up with many innovative ways to mix and match these components into an array of dishes; for instance...
rice + vegetable = pulao
rice + dal + (vegetable) = khichdi
roti + vegetable = stuffed paratha
dal + vegetable = sambar...
to name just a few combinations that are possible!

My friend Laureen has a sign on her desk that says...

"Quick. Good. Cheap. Choose Two"

How very true for most of life's situations! But rice-and-vegetables dishes such as pulaos and khichdis and fried rice are quick and cheap and very very good. In my eyes (those of a home cook who is always looking for quick, economical and nutritious dishes), the combination of rice and vegetables is a life-saver on busy weeknights.

For the vegetable-and-rice segment, I chose an unlikely candidate, egg-fried rice, from the hundreds of dishes possible, for three reasons:
1. I love eggs, and the combination of rice and eggs is something I have enjoyed ever since I was a kid.
2. I wanted to give a nod to Indian-Chinese fusion cuisine at some point in this series. It is such a beloved cuisine in India now (even in really tiny towns!) and it would be a shame not to acknowledge that.
3. This is a great dish to use up leftover rice and the odds and ends from the vegetable crisper for an economical meal.

Egg Fried Rice

(serves 3-4)
Main ingredients:
3 cups cooked rice (from 1 cup raw rice)
3 eggs
3 cups mixed vegetables, sliced fine (I used snow peas, mushrooms and carrots, but the other veggies that work well in this dish are peppers, cabbage, bean sprouts, peas etc.)
3-4 scallions, green and white parts sliced separately
1 tsp ginger-garlic sauce
Low-sodium soy sauce
Hot sauce (I use sriracha red chili-vinegar sauce)
Toasted sesame oil
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir in the white parts of scallions and ginger-garlic paste until fragrant.
2. Add the mixed vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes.
3. Add soy sauce, sriracha sauce and fresh ground pepper (all to taste). The soy sauce is salty enough that extra salt is not generally required.
4. Stir in the rice and fry until steaming hot.
5. Add a few drops of toasted sesame oil and the green parts of scallions.
6. Whisk the eggs with some salt and pepper. Make omelets with the egg and cut them into thin strips. Mix half the strips into the rice and use the other half as garnish. Serve the rice hot!

Variations on a theme
1. Use noodles or brown rice instead of the white rice.
2. For a vegan version, simply leave out the egg or use some mock-chicken strips instead for a protein boost.

Delicious vegetable-rice dishes from fellow bloggers:
Three combinations of pulaos (rice and veggies)...
Peas Pulao from Hooked on Heat,
Vaangi Bhaat or eggplant rice from Masala Magic,
Carrot Rice from Food-In The Main
Two one-dish-meal khichdis (rice and dal and veggies)...
Bisi Bele Huli Anna from Luv Bites
Vegetable Pongal from Mahanandi

Previously on the A to Z of Indian Vegetables...
A is for Aloo Gobi: North-Indian Stir-Fry
B is for Bharli Mirchi: Stuffed Vegetables
C is for Carrot-Cashew Payasam: Desserts
D is for Dum ki Arbi: The "Dum" Method of Cooking


  1. Wow! So many great recipes to choose from! I love egg fried rice, and the eggplant fritters caught my eye. I'm learning something new with each letter of the alphabet!

  2. Hey,
    I thot of making Egg Fried Rice too:-).Some days back, I ate egg fried rice.. my friend scrambled the eggs and added them in rice..Taste too good..M having fun with the A-Z series..Just made an Excel file with all alphabets and dates:-)

  3. What a lovely, light recipe for fried rice! I love the eggs cooked separately and then added, rather than all scrambled together as usual. I will defnintely try this - chili-vinegar sauce addition sounds really interesting. The plate looks so pretty, Nupur -- a real "incredible edible"! :)

    Lots of other eggcellent "e" dishes you've collected, too. What a fun way to end the weekend... thanks so much! :)

  4. hey nupur,
    thanks for including the eggplants in the round up.

    The fried rice look very good and the errishari sounds way too good.

    Take care

  5. Hi Nupur, this was the first time that I ever participated in foodie event. Thanks for keep my cooking life on track otherwise with 9 month old its almost impossible to even be in kitchen.

  6. that's what we're making for dinne tomorrow. your egg fried rice.

    - bee

  7. Nupur, that egg fried rice is simply fantastic. I also love eggplant so this is going to be a very interesting post for me. Thanks!

  8. Great post and what a plethora of tempting recipes to choose from! Coming from the Philippines, I have eaten rice with almost every meal and I have learned out of necessity to find creative uses for leftover rice...your recipe sounds like a winner! I also love both eggplants and eggs! This series is so interesting :)

    On the subject of rice, this may be a dumb question, but I really have always wondered: what is the difference between a pulao and a biryani?

    Indian cuisine is one of my favorites...thanks for furthering my knowledge! :)

  9. WHAT?!! I thought Egg are not allowed in veg dishes.I had plenty of recipes with Eggs!:(

    Great round up and I love the dishes with E!! Next E week,I am cooking with Eggs!;D

    Thank you Nupur.

  10. Wow!!! a colourful egg fried rice. Thanks for the recipe. Will sure try it.

  11. Nupur, the egg fried rice looks almost restaurant style.I ve never tried with chili-vinegar sauce.


  12. Nupur, the egg fried looks so good.Thank You for a Great round up.Durga

  13. Nupur: Love your site. Ive visited it several times and tried many of your recipes. *Most* of them have turned out well. Finally, I decided to "show" up and write a few words. (I usually like to wait a while before leaving a note - to check on consistency! ;)). You have passed the test. Kudos! :)

    Quick question - I have a blog where I express my opinions on various topics that concern me (only for friends). Would you mind if I put up a link to your blog for the category of: "Recipe of the month"? After I try out a recipe, I shall add the link of that specific recipe on my blog. That way, people who trust my judgement have a place to come and get a new recipe every month. Let me know what you think? If it works, Ill start it going from the 28th of this month. :)

    Great job, Chef Nupur!

  14. Yum! Growing up, fried rice was frequently on our dinner table and my Dad was the one who made it! .(Of course, my Mom cut and chopped everything so he just had to throw it together, :) ) Anyway, it's been a long time... I think it's time I made some myself!

  15. nupur, i miss the drop down functionality where i could search the recipes quickly. Is there any way you could add it back?

  16. Hi Nupur.. the eggfried rice looks too good... just as served in restaurants....
    Thanks for sharing!!

  17. Thanks everyone, for the lovely comments! I really appreciate it!

  18. To answer some questions:

    Joey, it is actually a great question, but I don't know if I have the correct answer for you. My understanding is that pulao is a mixture of rice with veggies or whatever, and biryani is more of rice *layered * with vegetables etc (more elaborate) but I think there may be more differences than that.

    Raingirl, if I understand correctly, you are asking if you can place a link to one of my recipes on your blog? If that is the case, yes, please go right ahead. For just placing a link, you don't even need to ask (but thanks for asking anyway!).

    Anon, sorry about that, but since I have a separate page for the recipes, I have no plans to have the drop-down menu any more. But I will try and make the recipe page more user-friendly by placing internal links to separate categories so you don't have to scroll so much.

  19. Thanks, Nupur. It is always better to ask since you are truly the "owner" of this place. Hopefully, I can share the joy of this wonderful website with many of my friends. Keep up the good work! :)

  20. Tried your egg fried rice...Absolutely loved it!!!

  21. tried it and loved it..thanx...

  22. Hey nupur tried ur recipe was delicious and so is the snap.... its so tempting... who wudnt want to try?? do check my blog... and give me ur comments...:D

  23. Hi Nupur,
    Lovely blog..reminds me of my childhood in Mumbai..I used to love maharastrian cuisine especially the Vada pav and Sabudana wada.
    I tried your Egg fried rice with slight modifications, have a look at my version @


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