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South Indian Spiced Lemon Rice Recipe Recipe

I've had South Indian lemon rice several times and always wondered how it was made. Naively, I thought the rich yellow hue of the rice came from the abundance of lemon in the dish. In fact it's because of turmeric. I finally learned the recipe from my husband Lulu's aunt, Sara. We get along great; we're the same age and Sara is so much fun to be around.  

The preparation requires 3 steps. First, making lemon rice is a great way to use leftover cooked basmati rice. Separate and massage the grains of rice and season them with turmeric, lemon and red chili powder. Then comes the baghar (which translates to "tempering," which involves frying chana dal (dried chickpeas), red dried chiles, mustard seeds, curry leaves, onions and cashew nuts. Lastly, the yellow rice is added, then flavored with a generous amount of ghee (clarified butter). A last drizzling of lemon juice provides a touch of tanginess to fragrant, spicy rice. Our family loves it!

For extra richness, you could sprinkle a bit of coconut powder at the end or serve the rice with coconut chutney and raita (Indian yogurt sauce)


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Tofu Fried Rice Recipe Recipe

Tofu Fried Rice Recipe

02.18.14 by Jackie

I often find myself with a lot of leftover jasmine rice. At the end of the day, if the rice cooker is still full of rice, I unplug the machine, let the rice cool to room temperature and store the rice in the refrigerator. Last night was no exception, so this morning I gathered the cooled rice and made cơm chiên chay (Vietnamese for "vegetarian fried rice") and added tofu for extra protein.

For this version, I added vegetables I had readily available such as carrots, peas and sugar snap peas. You could combine the vegetables of your choice. Simply make sure you don't choose any "watery" vegetables such as bok choy, or the rice will turn mushy and soggy. 

Baby Aria absolutely loves fried rice. I never have to feed this dish to her. She scoops the rice into her spoon and asks for more! 


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Vegetarian Fried Rice Recipe (Com Chien Chay in Vietnamese) Recipe

Yesterday, we had a lot of relatives over and after dinner there was leftover steamed jasmine rice. I wasn't going to let the rice go to waste; I usually make cơm chiên chay ("vegetarian fried rice" in Vietnamese). That way my husband Lulu and his sisters who are all vegetarians, can make it disappear!

I also happily discovered that baby Aria absolutely loves fried rice. I’m thrilled because this dish is super easy to prepare. Once you know the tricks to keep the rice from turning soggy and mushy, you can make it as often as it pleases you, with whatever veggies you have on hand.

For this version, I mixed carrots, peas, corn, red and green bell peppers, green onions and diced fried tofu with the jasmine rice. I didn't add any egg so the rest of the family could enjoy it as well.

As a child, Maman would always tell us kids not waste food; it's "tội chết" ("dreadfully sinful" in Vietnamese). As an Asian mom, I'm definitely keeping the family "tradition" and teacingh the same ethic to my daughter Aria. 


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Aloo Taheri Recipe (Indian Potato Rice) Recipe

Taheri is to Indian cuisine what risotto is to Italian cuisine. In the Indian version, basmati rice is cooked in the same manner as Arborio rice would be in risotto.

I cooked a few vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini (freshly picked from our garden) and carrots with caramelized onions and spices, then pan-fried pre-boiled potatoes. Once the vegetable mixture is very fragrant, the grains of basmati rice are incorporated and cooked until softened. Unlike pilaf, the rice is pre-boiled separately, then steamed on top of the vegetables, this method provides a very flavorful rice.

Aloo is Indian for "potato". I initially planned this recipe for my first cookbook  Haute Potato but later decided otherwise. Taheri is a very common Pakistani dish. My husband's aunt, Phoopi, is an expert Pakistani cook as her in-laws are the owner of the delicious Shezan in downtown Mountain View, California. If you're searching for authentic Pakistani and Indian cuisine, stop by, say hi and savor mouth-watering, spicy food.


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Coconut Curry Tofu Recipe Recipe

Coconut Curry Tofu Recipe

04.16.13 by Jackie

I haven't cooked any tofu dishes for my husband Lulu in a while and I thought it would be good to vary his diet. So I prepared tofu with fresh wood ear mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots and red bell peppers that I stir-fried in coconut, galangal and turmeric curry sauce.

I topped the tofu dish with a few roasted peanuts to create a contrast in texture and make the dish more fun. 


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