Mumbai is famous for its street food; Vada Pav, Pani Puri, Bhel Puri, and of course, ‘Thelewala Chinese’. Thela means a hand-cart and the Mumbai street corners are dotted with thelas which make and serve fresh Chinese food.
Well, this thelewala Chinese food is uniquely Bambaiyya (Bambaiyya in Hindi for ‘of Mumbai’). Very few Chinese would recognize the food if it is served to them and would be bemused by the names they read on the menu; Manchurian, Triple Schezwan, Schezwan Fried Rice, Chopsuey,….
So popular is this food that it has made its way to many a mid-level restaurant menu. But Mumbaikars swear by Chinese and sometimes, at it.
In fact, one of the first things that many of my friends who have migrated to other countries want when they land on Mumbai’s shores is “Indian Chinese” food. It’s probably just next on the list after “Maa ke Haath ka Khana” or Mom’s food. 🙂
Vegetable Fried Rice (and its non-vegetarian equivalent Chicken Fried Rice) is a popular accompaniment for many Chinese dishes, especially the ubiquitous Manchurian.
- Cabbage – 150 gms
- Carrot – 1
- French Beans – 100 gms
- Capsicum – 1 small
- Spring Onions with Green Stem – 4
- Rice – 1.5 Cups
- Dark Soy Sauce – 2 tsp
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Salt to Taste
- Soak the rice in 3 cups water for about 30 mins.
- Drain and set aside.
- Boil about 1.5 litres water with 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp oil.
- Add the rice and cook till the rice is almost done.
- Drain immediately and set aside to cool.
- Finely shred the cabbage.
- Julienne the beans, carrot and capsicum.
- Chop the spring onion into quarters.
- Chop the spring onion greens into 1/4″ pieces.
- Shred the cabbage.
- Heat a wok to smoking point.
- Add 2 tbsp oil.
- Add the cabbage, french beans, carrot, spring onions, and capsicum.
- Sir-fry on high heat for about 3 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low.
- Add soy sauce and spring onion greens.
- Toss the vegetables till they are coated with the sauce.
- Turn the heat to high.
- Add the rice and salt.
- Saute with a light-hand till the rice is well mixed.
- Serve hot with Vegetable Manchurian or Cantonese Vegetables.