Refrigerator! One of the best life saving inventions of mankind. It is hard to imagine how people survived during pre-refrigerator days. And refrigerated leftover rice is always a life saviour . There are so many ways one can use it from fried rice,pancakes, to cutlets.
Fried rice has to be one of the most versatile of recipes and while I make basic no-spice variations to mildly spiced, Thai and Indonesian kinds, this fuss-free Cheesy Veggie Rice has to be one of my favourites. Flavoured only with onions and curry leaves, the hero is a Mexican Four Cheese Mix which gives this dish a gooey almost risotto like taste and flavour. It is a mixture of shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero Natural cheeses and it features regularly in a lot of my recipes. My absolute favourite- in a mildly spiced curry, on a toast or even fried eggs.
This cheesy fried rice tastes great hot or even cold making it a perfect lunchbox recipe. Works wonderfully well with a side of protein or even as is. The possibilities are limitless with what veggies or proteins go into it. I usually add carrots, corn, spinach and green peas. One could also add precooked shredded meat, tofu or paneer to make this a more wholesome meal.
- Pre-cooked refrigerated rice- 2 cups
- Chopped Spinach-1 cup
- Garlic, finely chopped-1 tsp
- Parboiled Cauliflower- 1 cup
- Grated Carrot- 1 cup
- Green Peas-3/4 cup
- Boiled Sweet-Corn- 3/4 cup
- Mexican Four Cheese Mix- 1 cup
- Finely chopped Onion- 1/2 cup
- Curry Leaves- 2 tbsp
- Black Mustard-1 teaspoon
- Oil or Butter- 1 tbsp
- Salt- 1/2 tsp and 1 tsp or as per taste
- Boil water, turn off heat and add cauliflower florets with 1 tsp salt. Let it sit for 15 minutes, drain and keep aside
- Heat oil in a pan then add black mustard seeds, chopped garlic and curry leaves; add chopped onions once the seeds start to crackle
- Add par-boiled cauliflower and cook covered on a medium flame with intermittent stirring ; add 1/2 tsp salt while the cauliflower is cooking
- When cauliflower is 80% done then add spinach and carrot and sauté for two minutes then add peas and corn followed by rice
- Sauté for another minute then add cheese and mix
- Once the cheese starts to melt, test for salt, give it one final stir and serve