Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Recipe - Tamil Nadu Fried Rice, inspired by Cafe La Ola, Puerto del Carmen

Cafe La Ola, Puerto del Carmen

When myself and Nicola were in Lanzarote earlier in the year we made sure that we sampled as much of the local food as possible, as well as trying out some of the more popular restaurants in the resort.

Halfway along the recently refurbished 'Strip', sits one of the most popular venues in Puerto del Carmen. Restaurant La Ola, which is always busy with diners keen to try the extensive meat & fish menu whilst enjoying the stunning panoramic sea views. Downstairs, Cafe La Ola has a much more laid back approach to things with a restaurant, bar and club that attracts the hip and trendy people with a combination of Asian fusion food, fantastic cocktails, and loads of Spanish influenced entertainment.

The menu downstairs had caught our eye earlier in the week, coupled with a free Flamenco show and one of the best collections of rum this side of the Dominican Republic, we booked a table for the Friday night. The interior of Cafe La Ola has a Moroccan feel to it, scattered with red, orange and gold cushions. Look around after dinner and you'll see guests puffing on hookah pipes, the fruity orange scented smoke wafting in the breeze.

Whilst the decor may be Moroccan in style, the menu is exclusively Asian in origin. We chose to share a starter of Mixed Tempura, slices of pepper, courgette, asparagus, chicken and king prawn, deep fried in crisp batter. To follow, Nicola ordered a Korean beef dish that consisted of strips of tender fillet beef, red peppers, in a rich peppery sauce. I had ordered the Tamil Nadu fried rice which is the inspiration behind this post. The dish that was served to me was one of the tastiest rice dishes that I've eaten, a flavoursome combination of fillet beef, bacon, leek, red pepper, asparagus which was stir fried with green curry paste.

Tamil Nadu fried rice

When we arrived home from our holiday I set about trying to recreate the dish from memory. I've since made the Tamil Nadu fried rice a couple of times and each time it takes me back to our night at Cafe La Ola.
Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 100g cooked rice
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 2 small leeks, sliced
  • 1 tbsp green curry paste
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
  • 1 chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 eggs

  1. Put the chicken in a bowl with the soy sauce and rice vinegar. Set aside until needed.
  2. Heat groundnut oil in a wok until it smokes. Add the bacon and stir fry until the bacon begins to crisp up. Remove the bacon and set aside.
  3. Add the chicken to the wok and stir fry until cooked through. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the wok and set aside.
  4. Keep the heat in the wok before adding the peppers, leek, chilli. Stir fry for a few minutes our until the vegetables have begun to soften. At this point, add the the curry paste and continue to stir fry the contents of the wok.
  5. At this point, you can now add the bacon, chicken and rice into the wok. Continue to stir fry until the rice is heated through. If you think the rice is a little dry, you can add a little soy sauce or oyster sauce.
  6. To finish, fry the two eggs in a separate pan until they are cooked to your own preference.
Tamil Nadu fried rice
To serve, spoon the fried rice into two bowls before topping with the fried egg. The Indonesian dish, Nasi Goreng is traditionally served with a fried egg on top, however it is common place in Asian cooking for the meal to be topped with a 'star egg', or 'top egg'.

This fried dish is bursting with flavour, the smokiness from the bacon, mixed with the spices from the green curry paste, work brilliantly together. I used leeks and peppers because those were vegetables used back at Cafe La Ola, but you could use whatever flavours you prefer but the star ingredient in this dish is the green curry paste.
If you're ever in Lanzarote then try to find time to try the food at Cafe La Ola, the atmosphere, setting and entertainment make Cafe La Ola a great place to spend time. Keep up to date with the team on Facebook.


1 comment

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