It’s the middle of a busy week. Middle of yet another usual routine day and it is unusually quiet. Lethargy reigns the room. She sits beside me doing her homework, while I struggle to stay alert to answer her random queries which usually require superlative performance by my lackadaisical intellect. Then all of a sudden I just wanna let go. I shut the books, my abstractive answers and my mind and simply let go. I fall asleep.
The 20 minute power nap did it. It nudged my languorous senses and my long forgotten inactive taste buds to work. A little bit of sweet, a little bit of tang, a whole lot of spice and a slight crunch of vegetables… mmmm. Oh God! Have I started dreaming of food now?!
Now, that I will never be able to really tell, the only thing huge and apparent was my sudden irresistible urge to eat Chinese. Sigh…
With a wonderful recipe tucked away, patiently waiting to be tried and tested, I decided to satiate my scrumptious cravings. Vegetables coated in a spicy sweet tangy sesame orange sauce along with some burnt garlic fried rice was on the cards.
Burnt garlic fried rice is a fool proof dish that has never failed me till date. You can add any minced veggies of your choice, but a whole lot of garlic is mandatory. Since I like pretty lookin food, along with onion greens I decided to throw in minced red peppers. So the red and green beautifully compliment the white, and tiny minuscule dust of pepper powder adds the finishing touch!
Dinner that night –
The surprise ingredient: An orange. Its milder and sweeter than a lemon, which adds such amazing depth to the sauce, you will be stunned.
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 cup vegetables, like broccoli, babycorn, colored peppers, mushrooms.. whatever you fancy
- 1 big onion, diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp red chili flakes or as desired
- 1+ Tbsp Chings Schezuan Chutney or Asian Hot Chili paste or 2 tsp of Sriracha
- Zest of 1 small orange
- Juice of 1 orange (1/3+ cup)
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp chopped spring onion greens to garnish.
In a bowl, add cornstarch, water, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, red chili flakes, sriracha and orange juice and zest. Whisk everything. Keep aside.
Now heat oil in a wok, saute garlic and onions till the onions turn pink. Now add peppers and veggies along with salt. Stir fry till 3/4th done. You want a bit of crunch in your vegetables not a soggy mass. To this vegetable mix, stir in your sauce. Keep mixing till you get a boil and the sauce turns translucent and glossy. Stir in more water or orange juice if very thick. Check the seasoning. Add extra honey or salt if required. Garnish with spring onion greens and toasted sesame seeds.
Best when served warm.
Note: Sesame oil produces the best results, but you can make this with regular oil too.
Note: the original recipe calls for asian hot sauce or sriracha sauce, since I did not have any I used Chings Schezwan chutney(easily available in super markets). It worked very well.
Note: This sauce works very well with only tofu or paneer or mushrooms.
Note: Simple plain sticky white rice and this aromatic vegetable seals your dinner deal. 🙂
Well.. here I wake up dreaming of food in the middle of day and incorrigible hunger does nothing but fire my will to satisfy my random food fancies. Now does it happen to you too?