August 22, 2012

Bursts of "garlic-ness" - Roasted garlic fried rice

When renowned chef and culinary writer, Louis Diat said “There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic”, he echoed my sentiments quite exactly. I couldn’t possibly deny because in my tiny world it does represent the fifth essential life force. I have always been a “add-some-more-garlic please” person (well, who isn’t?). It’s one magical pod of intense flavor that perks many a dull, somber dish. But the hundredth (or maybe thousandth) dimension of this multi-faceted little pod is its very surprising aspect - mild sweetness. Very surprised right?

I couldn’t ever imagine garlic being sweet AT all, before having been to Gilroy of course. In fact, I was quite apprehensive, when I stopped by Gilroy (The garlic capital of the world) to taste some garlic ice-cream. Just out of sheer curiosity, I tasted it. I must agree that I found the concept of garlic ice cream a little too weird but I must mention that the sweetness and intense flavor was something to commend. That kind of convinced me to believe what many say-“Garlic can be sweet and buttery”.

I have always been intrigued by the mild sweetness and the intensification of flavors in the roasted garlic fried rice at one of the popular restaurants. It always made me wonder - How do they manage that? So one fine day while watching my usual line up of cooking shows of Food network, it struck me. That’s how they do it!! Garlic is roasted over medium temperatures over long time till soft, mushy and lightly browned. It does taste amazingly sweet, buttery and yes intensely garlicky! Been quite a revelation. So while deciding the menu for the Indo-Chinese theme party, I had to make the roasted garlic fried rice. It was the obvious choice which went well with the line-up of dishes – Chili chicken and Vegetable Manchurian.

Roasted Garlic Fried Rice

Garlic is roasted slowly over medium low flame till soft, buttery and golden brown to impart this dish with a subtle hint and a boost to the regular Indo-Chinese fried rice. Paired with crunchy veggies and assorted sauces, this simple dish will give enough reason for your guests to ponder about the whereabouts of the mysterious hidden garlicky goodness.


1 whole garlic + 5-6 pods (Depends on the size of the pods)
1 T oil for roasting

2 C Basmati rice or any long grained rice
½  C Chicken stock or water
¼ tsp salt (Optional)

4 T Sesame chili oil (Use regular oil if unavailable)
½ C Cubed carrots
½ C finely diced green beans
½ C Cubed red bell pepper (I used red bell pepper for its sweetness and color, substitute with any other colored bell pepper if you want)
½ C cubed green bell pepper
1 T finely chopped green chilies
1 T White vinegar (Adjust according to taste)
1 T Tomato sauce
1 T Green Chili sauce
½ C Finely chopped green onions


1. Roasting the garlic – Peel all the garlic pods and mix it in with 1 T oil, pinch of salt and pepper and place it in the oven at 375oC for about 15-20mins (depending on your oven). Stir after 10 mins and take them out when soft and golden brown. Let it cool. Keep 3-5 cloves aside and make a fine paste of the rest.
Note: This can also be done over the stove. Make sure the pan is over medium low heat and will require frequent stirring for over all roasting.

2. Soak basmati rice for ~15-20 mins. Bring 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock to boil and add in the soaked basmati rice. Stir in 1/4 tsp of salt. Cook till water evaporates and let it cool.

3. Heat oil in a wok. Add in the roasted garlic paste. Stir for 5 secs and add in the veggies as written in order, letting the first veggie to cook for 1-2 mins before adding the next one.
Tip: To reduce cooking time of the veggies on the stove, place them in the microwave for 1-2 mins to steam them a bit. Then toss in the wok over medium-high flame to roast them.Do not overcook else they will lose their color and crunchiness.

4. Once the veggies are cooked (2-3 mins max.), toss in the rice along with the sauces and mix well.Adjust the sauce accordingly. Garnish with green onions finely sliced roasted garlic and serve piping hot with Chili chicken or Vegetable Manchurian.
Tip: You could also serve this with strips of egg omelete and call it a whole meal by itself. Great for kids!

This recipe finally satisfied my curiosity about the intense garlic fried rice served in restaurants and made me a very happy girl. One important note though, when making it for more people, prepare everything in advance but just toss it all in right before serving. This ensures that the rice remains soft yet separate and has the freshly roasted garlic flavor. Now I am glad to have found another recipe for the Indo-Chinese spread of dishes.

Have a great rest of the week folks!

I am submitting this recipe to:
- "Show me your hits:Rice" hosted by Sangee and Vardhini.
- Jashn-E-Azaadi hosted by Preeti's Kitchen.
- "30 minute meals" hosted by Srivalli  
"Desi Vidheshi food fest" hosted by Kalyani
- "Bon Vivant-Rice recipes" hosted by Sumee


  1. I love this garlic flavoured fried rice.. I always add garlic to my fried rice.

  2. roasted garlic wuth the rice ! Thats new - have to try...
    looks so yum!

  3. Colorful and flavorful rice. Thx for linking.

  4. Look awesome and colorful... you can participate as Dawat-e- khas as mention in my event:)

  5. Thanks so much Shobha, Somu, Vardhini and Preeti :)

  6. I can almost smell the garlic.! Love those clicks Jagruti. Very pretty.

  7. This recipe looks absolutely delicious :)


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