The markets and the grocery stores in New York and Boston are bursting at the seams with amazingly fresh produce…it takes a LOT of will to not buy everything in sight! I found these irrestible multicolored carrots and broccoli and picked them up. A look at my pantry revealed certain things that had been sitting around for some time; namely: Indian style garlic pickle and green chilies in vinegar. So, I mixed the fresh with the pickled and created a simple meal of lemony carrots with burnt garlic and chili fried rice. Add topped with crispy tofu and charred broccoli, and voila! You have a beautiful vegan veggie forward dinner plate to enjoy! And here’s how they all came together:
Extra firm tofu, Fresh young carrots, Broccoli, Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), Garlic pickle/fresh garlic, Green chilies in vinegar, Red chili flakes, Fresh lemon juice, Olive oil, Sesame oil, Basmati rice.
- Wash and peel 8 multicolor carrots.
- Take a large bowl and fill it with ice and some water. Leave some room at the top.
- Boil a big pot of water and sprinkle some salt.
- Add the carrots to the boiling water and blanch them for 2 minutes.
- Turn off heat and quickly take out the carrots with a slotted spoon and drop them into the bowl with ice and water.
- After 1 minute, take the carrots out on to a plate lined with towels and keep them aside.
- Dab the carrots with the towel to dry fully.
- With a sharp knife, slit each carrot vertically into halves.
- Heat 1.5 tbsp of olive oil in a large flat bottomed pan.
- Add 1 tsp of dried red chili flakes to the oil, reduce the heat and saute lightly.
- Gently add the carrots into the oil and mix well.
- Once the carrots are heated through, transfer them one by one to a serving platter.
- Heat 1 tsp of sesame oil.
- Add 3/4 cup of cubed extra firm tofu and spread them in a single layer at the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce the heat and allow the tofu skin to get crisp. Avoid the temptation to move the tofu around!
- Watch the tofu getting brown for about 3-4 minutes and then with a flat spatula, slowly transfer them to a plate and keep aside.
- In the same pan, heat up 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.
- Add 3/4 cup of broccoli florets. Arrange them in a single layer at the bottom, let them roast for 4-5 minutes till they get slightly charred. Then transfer them to a bowl and keep aside.
- Wash 1/2 cup of basmati rice* thoroughly to get rid of all the starch.
- Drain 6 green chilies of the vinegar and slit them vertically.
- Heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil to a smoking point.
- Add 3 tbsp of the garlic pickle** (or 3 tbsp of minced fresh garlic). Wait till the aromas fill your kitchen.
- Add the washed rice and the green chilies.
- Saute till the rice is nice and toasty.
- Add 1 cup of water, cover and cook for about 8 minutes till the rice is cooked.
- Fluff up the rice with a fork.
- Add the crisp tofu and the broccoli.
- Add 4 tbsp of toasted pumpkin seeds***.
- Gently mix everything with a flat spatula.
Toss some fresh salad leaves with a bit of salt and olive oil. Create a bed of salad on a plate. Serve yourself some carrots. Drizzle 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice over the carrots. Spoon some fried rice on the side. Dig in!!
Notes to the chef:
*Substitute quinoa/millet for a healthier version.
** I used store-bought Indian-style garlic pickle. If you don’t like/have them, using fresh garlic is never a bad option! 🙂 Since I used the pickle, I did not add any additional salt to my fried rice. But if you are not using pickle, you will need to add salt to the rice according to taste.
***I added pumpkin seeds, but you can use another nut of your choice or eliminate them altogether!