This dish is a childhood classic. Whenever Indian moms have some leftover rice and kids are running around whining and complaining about too much dal bhaat and khichdi kadhi this is the next option! Just take that leftover rice the kids are refusing to eat and transform it into an slightly different dish! And for some reason, even though we knew it was just the exact same rice with the exact same veggies we always eat, it always felt like a treat every time. Almost like Mom’s know if they keep the easiest of meals away from kids long enough, the kids think they’re getting some kind of treat and the added bonus is that mom gets a slight break in the kitchen for that day!
Nowadays, we’re eating vagharelo bhaat even less often. Less Indian fried rice because there’s so many more options available to us now! Chinese fried rice, Indo-Chinese fried rice, Thai basil fried rice! Plus even more meals with no rice at all! Who knew!? So I guess when we do eat it, it still carries some of that nostalgia with it.
Indian fried rice or vagharelo bhaat is really the simplest dish. Start by heating some aromatics, like cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves, in oil. Slowly add the vegetables you plan to use. I like to use onions, carrots, and tomatoes as my vegetables. Add chilli peppers if you want to add some heat! Just a touch of seasoning (salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, lemon juice), give or take according to your preferences.
Once the vegetables are fully cooked, just throw in some day old rice and give a good stir!
I remember mixing some ketchup with my vagharelo bhaat as a kid! I’ve gone away from that but I do like to mix with with raita or chutney if we have it on hand!
Serve it with some freshly made raita (or whatever you like)!
Indian Fried Rice (Vagharelo Bhaat)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 green chilli pepper minced
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 inch of ginger grated
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 cups rice preferably made the day before
- 1 green onion thinly sliced
- 1 juice of a lemon
- Heat oil in a small wok or saute pan. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Allow the seeds to brown and sizzle. Add the curry leaves, making sure to stand back as the leaves hit oil, as they may cause oil to splatter.
- Start adding all of the vegetables you are using. Add the onions, let cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add remaining vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, chili pepper (if using) and salt. Stir to combine and let cook for another minute
- Add spices and seasonings, stir in garlic, ginger, cumin coriander powder, turmeric.
- Stir in the green onions.
- Once the veggies have cooked, add in the rice, try to separate the grains if the rice has clumped together. Stir quickly because the rice will soak up all of the oil and stick to the pan.
- Finish with lemon juice and serve!