Gujarati Vagharela Bhaat. An ultimate comfort food and leftover recipe made in every Gujarati household.
Gujarati Vagharela Bhaat aka tempered rice is a versatile dish that can be made with a variety of ingredients depending on taste requirements. I usually make this when I have leftover rice and I don’t want to make any dal or shak to go with it. It makes a great lunchbox filler and can be eaten as part of a main meal, a side or a snack whenever you like. It is especially great it have when you fancy something in the evening after work when you are too tired to cook. Well, that is my excuse anyway!
This dish is made with rice that is one day old and has been in the fridge overnight. Rice that is left in the fridge overnight generally holds in shape better than if it is left out and I find is easier to cook with. I have always been adding the spices to the rice before adding them to the tempering as this ensures the rice does not break or become mushy. The salt is added at the very end when the cooker has been turned off and the rice is still on the stove and hot enough for the salt to melt into the rice. It prevents moisture from the rice being released, which can also contribute to making the dish mushy.
Serve with plain or meethu dahi.
Vagharela Bhaat (Gujarati Fried Rice)
500g cooked organic basmati rice
2 tablespoons organic olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard and fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon asafoetida
Few curry leaves
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon cumin coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Juice of half an organic lemon
Pinch of sugar or to taste
Salt as required
1 small organic red onion
50g organic shelled or frozen peas
50g organic sweetcorn
50g organic carrots
50g organic soya beans
- Take the 500g cooked rice (about a soup bowl’s worth of rice) from the fridge and add all the spices; chilli powder, cumin coriander powder, turmeric powder, sugar and juice of half a lemon.
- GENTLY mix. I cannot emphasise the gently past enough. Mix to coat the rice with the spices. Set aside.
- Heat up a small pan on a low flame and add the olive oil, mustard, fenugreek and cumin seeds with the curry leaves and allow to cook until oil is aromatic. Then add the asafoetida.
- Optional stage: at this stage you add the chopped veg of your choice and allow to soften by covering the lid of the pan.
- Once the veg has softened add the rice and gently mix. If you are not using veg, you can add the rice straight after the tempering.
- Cook the rice for about 5 minutes on a low flame.
- Turn off the flame, add salt and mix gently and allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Serve with plain or meethu dahi.