Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Black Pepper Fried Rice

I visited the peninsular country of Malaysia two months ago, there were several forms of pepper manufactured either as a whole black or white pepper, crushed pepper, fine powdered pepper and famous black pepper sauce which is so versatile in any Asian food preparation. In Sarawak, pepper is cultivated as a mono crop without shade mainly on gentle to steep slopes. Vines are planted on mounds, prepared after land clearing. Pepper vines are normally brought to first crop at the beginning of the wet season in the second year of field planting. Harvesting is done from March to August. Black pepper is produced by direct sun-drying of fresh berries harvested from spikes which show early signs of maturity.This sauce has light sweetness, sharp spiciness from the fresh black pepper and vinegar as a main ingredient. This sauce could turn any ordinary dish into an extraordinary one. Well, if you can't find black pepper sauce then you could always substitute it with 1 tbsp of Chilli sauce plus 2 tsp black pepper powder. Paneer or tofu could be used as a protein in this fried rice or prawn or bite size chicken chunks will be an addition for seafood or meat lovers. The fried rice which I had prepared use good amount of cauliflower, snow peas and green peas. Don't get frightened by the quantity of vegetables used here as a natural sweetness. The vegetables complement the black pepper sauce. Hence, its a healthy and wholesome meal.

Ingredients for making rice :

Basmati rice : 1 1/2 cups
Water : 3 cups
Screw pine leaves or pandan leaves : 3 tied into a knot
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Oil : 1/2 tsp

1. Soak the rice in the water for 15 minutes. Drain off excess water and rewash the rice. Add 3 cups water, salt, oil and screw pine leaves. If screw pine leaf is not available in your area, then it could be replaced by 3 inches of  ginger chopped roughly for fragrance. 

2. Cook in the rice cooker. Fluff off the rice after cooking.
Cooked rice

Ingredients for making black pepper fried rice :

Small onions : 8
Garlic : 5 cloves
Fresh small red chillies : 8 (adjust accordingly)
Small cauliflower florets : 2 cups ( I soaked the cauliflower in hot water plus salt for 5 minutes and blanch it )
Snow peas : 2 cups
Green peas : 1 cup
Salt : as needed
Black pepper sauce : 2 tbsp
Oil : 2tbsp

 1. Heat oil in the pan. Grind small onions, garlic and red chillies into coarse paste. Fry the ground paste till the raw smell dissipates. At this stage, you may also add any kind of seafood except fish and small chunks of chicken.

2.  Then add cauliflower and snow peas and cook for 5 minutes. I do not prefer to over cook the vegetables. 

3. Later, add black pepper sauce and salt. Mix them well.

4. Now add the cooked rice by removing the screw pine leaves knot. Mix and fry till the sauce it well incorporated. After stirring for 10 minutes, switch off the stove and lastly add the green peas and give it a quick stir. The peas will further cook in the piping hot fried rice.

5. Now the black pepper fried rice is ready for serving.

Happy Cooking !


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