Recipe: Flavours of India Fried Rice

Recipe: Flavours of India Fried Rice
Jenny Osburn | The Union Street Cafe Cookbook |

Jenny Osburn is the author of The Union Street Café Cookbook. Her second collaboration with Laura MacDonald of Deep Hollow Print, The Kitchen Party Cookbook, is now available! Find more recipes at and see what she’s up to on instagram at jenny.osburn

Don’t you just love a recipe that is dependably delicious AND allows you to add as many of your favourite vegetables as you can fit in one pan? This is a simply spiced and very riffable recipe, so feel free to swap in whatever vegetables look good to you at the market: carrots, broccoli, turnip, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, even frozen peas. Just chop everything fairly small so it cooks quickly.

Pick up a bag of pea shoots from Taproot Farm at Noggins Corner or swing by Henny Penny’s and grab some grown by Hen of the Woods. They are crisp and sweet and provide some welcome green freshness in these last weeks of winter. At Stirling’s you’ll find baby cilantro sprigs from Local By Atta that I find especially addictive.

The only caveat here is that you’ll need to cook the rice a day ahead so the grains will separate and stay firm when fried up. Leftover rice is just great, too! You’ll need 3 cups.

If you’d like to serve an Annapolis Valley beverage alongside, this dish would be just as happy with an IPA (Lunn’s Mill makes a great one) as it would be with a glass of muscat from Grand Pré or Gaspereau wineries. A hopped cider or any of the offerings from Annapolis Cider Company would also be super tasty!

Flavours of India Fried Rice

(serves 4-ish)

1 cup basmati rice (white or brown)
1 tsp salt
1/3 C vegetable or coconut oil
1 Tbsp cumin seed
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 small head cabbage, finely chopped (about 5 cups)
4 eggs or 1 C diced cooked chicken
1 bag pea shoots or mixed sprouts

Serve with any or all: mango chutney, Indian pickle, chopped cashews, cilantro sprigs, whole milk yogurt (plain or mixed with a little shredded cucumber, garlic and salt)

Rinse the rice in a strainer until the water runs clear, drain well, then place in a small heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Allow to soak for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes for white rice or 40 minutes for brown. Turn off the heat, allow the rice to cool with the lid in place, then refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, turn the rice out of the pot into a bowl and use your hands to break it up into separate grains.

If using the eggs, break them into a bowl and beat well with a fork. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat for a few minutes, then add the oil. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and let cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the onions. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook the onions, stirring often, until tender and beginning to brown around the edges, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and keep stirring and cooking for another minute or so. Delicious aromas will already be rising out of the pan!

Add the turmeric and salt, and stir for a few seconds before adding the cauliflower and cabbage. Use your spoon or spatula to evenly combine the contents of the pan, then increase the heat to medium and cover. Let cook for about three minutes, until tender-crisp, lifting the cover from time to time to stir. Add the rice and toss to combine for several minutes, until the rice is heated through. Taste now to see if the rice needs a little more salt.

If using the eggs, push the rice and vegetable mixture to one side of the pan and quickly scramble the eggs on the other side (you may want to add a little extra oil). Once the eggs are cooked, stir them into the vegetables and rice. If using chicken, add it now and let heat through, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and fold in the pea shoots.

Serve with any or all of the toppings, letting eaters add their own to taste.