You know how when you order Indian food they always give you enough rice to feed approximately a dozen people? I hate to compost perfectly edible food, so I thought maybe I should treat spiced basmati rice the same way I’d treat any leftover rice, and make fried rice with it.
Well, it worked! With some leftover vegetables, an onion, a can of chickpeas, and some spices, you can transform leftover Indian rice into a brand new meal. This dish is like a mix between fried rice and dry curry, so how could it be bad? It’s spicy, extremely flavorful, and full of interesting textures from the roasted vegetables, crispy chickpeas, and soft onions. It also happens to be naturally vegan and gluten free, but go ahead and add meat or naan bread on the side if you’re feeling extra not-hippie.
It feels weird to provide an exact recipe for this because that’s like saying “do exactly what I did for this… pantry meal?” I just used what I happened to have on hand and I hope you do the same. If you have curry powder, I highly recommend using it. Same goes for golden raisins or chopped dates. If you don’t want meat in this meal, you can leave it out or swap it for tofu. You can also switch up the spices if you prefer more or less heat, or if you hate turmeric for some reason. In other words, follow the spirit of the recipe, not the letter.
Indian-Inspired Curry Fried Rice
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ~1 tbsp avocado oil
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 small heads broccoli
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Avocado oil
- Plenty of avocado oil
- 2 cups pre-cooked basmati rice preferably leftover
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- ½ – ¾ inch fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper optional, for extra spice
- ¼ cup golden raisins or chopped dates optional
- Preheat the oven to 425º F. Line a plate with towels and put the drained and rinsed chickpeas on top. Top with another towel and thoroughly dry the chickpeas. The drier they are, the crispier they’ll get. If you have time, leave them uncovered on the towel for a few minutes to let them dry even more.
- Add the chickpeas to a baking sheet and toss with avocado oil and salt. Roast for 30-40 minutes, shaking the tray every 10 minutes, until the chickpeas are very crispy.
- Meanwhile, roast the veggies. If you already have leftover roasted veggies, skip to the next step. Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and toss with the avocado oil and spices. Roast at 425º for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. It might be helpful to set separate timers for the veggies and the chickpeas.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a splash of oil and the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté an additional 5 minutes. Add the rice, spices, and another glug of oil, then stir-fry for a few minutes until very aromatic. Stir in about 4 cups of the roasted vegetables and continue to fry until completely heated through.
- Remove from heat and stir in the crispy chickpeas and dried fruit, if using. Serve hot with your choice of protein.