Another Kale tale? I won’t write any. Only a recipe.
We are not kale activists. Neither are we kale haters. We have just embraced kale into our lifestyle like any other greens. It was added to our kitchen only couple of years ago. The frenzy of creating continuous kale chips was a phase here, once upon a time, as the daughter kept on making them and we kept on eating. They were good with a squeeze of lemon. But no more. It just was easier to incorporate it in our every day life just like spinach or chard.
The recipe was somewhat accidental, when quite late I night I realized that I forgot to make A’s lunch. I had kale and no other vegetables. I had cooked rice, leftover from our dinner and I had my precious Green Chutney. And it all came together surprisingly well. Having been accepted as “Mmmmm this is actually good” (you can tell they did not expect it to be so from the looks of it…. ), is a success story here: each member having their distinct taste buds and stubborn, non-unified preferences. Love for another Green Rice.
The secret I think was the Green (Mint and Coriander Chutney) Chutney which tends to make everything better and flavorful. The chutney is the only thing that added the bold flavor here, since it contains a considerable amount of garlic and cilantro. I had added some urad dal/white lentils, not as a temper as in South Indian cuisine (but certainly inspired by it) but to make it a more balanced all rounded lunch item – some green, a grain and a bit of protein.
This recipe is just a guideline and I have written what and how much of each ingredient I have used in approximation. Feel free to make it your own.
Stir Fried Rice with Kale
Ingredients: (serves 4 as a side)
- approx. 5 cups of cooked rice ( I have used Basmati. Any rice of your choice can be used)
- 4-5 large stalks and leaves of kale
- 6-8 tablespoons of Coriander (and Mint) Chutney or to taste. (the more you use, the stronger flavor it will impart)*
- 2-3 tablespoon oil
- 1-2 slit hot green chilli peppers (optional)
- 1/4 cup urad dal/white lentils – optional
- 3/4 cups sliced onions
- salt to taste
- fresh lemon/lime juice to finish off
- Crushed red pepper – optional
- nuts like cashews (or any other) for garnish – optional
*Note: If you do not have the Coriander Chutney already done, blend a bunch of cilantro/fresh coriander leaves, along with 5 large cloves of garlic, some fresh green and hot chilli peppers, some lemon juice and salt, to a consistency like pesto. You may add some fresh mint leaves if you have them.
Wash the kale. Ribbon the kale in very thin strips. Slice onions in thin half moons. Cook rice al dente. Each grain should be separate with a slight bite. Spread it out in a large tray after cooking so they are cooled without clumping. This makes the cooking easier when you stir fry. If not, you will have the break up the lumps in the pan when you stir fry.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the green chilli peppers if you are using them. Add the onions and some salt and cook at medium heat until the onions are softened and translucent. Add the lentils if you are using them and cook until they turn a shade darker. Add the ribboned kale and stir and toss for the onions and the oil to coat them. Cook them at high heat for a couple of minutes only and add the Coriander Chutney. Toss well and tightly cover the pan tightly so no steam escapes. The kale will soften and cook in its own steam. After ten minutes open cover and check to see if the kale has softened. If not, cook covered for a little bit longer or until done.
Uncover, and add the cooked rice. Toss well for all the green to coat the rice grains. Cook at low to medium heat, while tossing frequently for about five minutes. Adjust salt. If you feel you would need stronger flavors, you may add more Chutney at this time and cook a bit longer. Finish off with a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Add red crushed pepper and toasted nuts for garnish if you want.
Serve as a side or main meal. We had ours with some sliced raw onions and a raita on the side.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty Level: Very Easy
Serves: 4-5 as side
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