Szechwan cuisine is known for its liberal use of garlic and spices and what more do we Indians need to like Chinese cuisine or any other cuisine for that matter :-). Indian streets are dotted with number of Chinese street food stalls. They sell all kinds of spicy and colorful Indian Chinese dishes (it’s kind of new cuisine now). Szechwan rice is the Indianized spicy version of the Szechwan rice.
Again, there are different versions of this recipe. You can add celery, spring onion, Sichuan peppers too. Some people add ajinomoto (MSG) to get that “Chinese food taste”, but I prefer it without the MSG. You can also add a little orange color for that street food look. As the dish is cooked on high heat throughout, chop the vegetables very fine so that the vegetables are cooked well. Cooking on high heat also adds a smoky flavor to the dish.
This is one of the best recipes that my aunt makes. She always prepares the sauce in advance and whips up this spicy dish every time we crib about the dinner being too boring. You can prepare the sauce in advance and keep it in fridge in airtight container. Make sure the rice is not over cooked. you can also use the sauce for stir fries.
You can serve Szechwan rice with a sauce of your choice or it tastes good just by itself.
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 10-12 dry red chillies (tops removed) soaked in hot water for 10 mins
- 3 inch piece of ginger
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
- ½ cup onions finely chopped
- ½ cup finely grated cabbage
- ¼ cup beans finely chopped
- ¼ cup carrots finely chopped
- ¼ cup capsicum finely chopped
- ¼ cup celery finely chopped
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil/any other cooking oil
- Salt to taste
Grind tomato, ginger, garlic, and red chillies to a smooth paste. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add onions and cook for few minutes (1-2) till they are translucent and pink. Add cabbage and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the tomato chilli paste and mix well. Keep mixing it every 30-40 seconds. Cook till oil separates. Transfer this sauce to a bowl and keep aside. This sauce can be used for stir fries too. Once it is completely cooled, you can store it in fridge for upto two weeks in an air tight container.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok/kadhai. Add finely chopped celery and sauté on high heat for 30-40 secs. Add carrots and beans and sauté for 1-2minutes on high heat. Add capsicum and sauté for 1 minute. Add salt and cook for 1-2 mins. Add the schezuan sauce and mix well. Add this gravy to the cooked rice. Mix well and serve hot.