Singaporean rice is a dish that is famous in Karachi. Interestingly, the nomenclature does not represent the origin of the dish since it did not originate in Singapore. Apparently, the name was chosen to make it sound oriental and exotic.

I learned cooking Singaporean rice from the extremely inspirational late Farah Jahanzeb. She shared the recipe on one of her cooking shows. I was a novice at that time, and used to write everything in my dairy. I still have the dairies from ten years ago with me and love to visit them often for inspiration.

Over the weekend, I wanted to make something new and exciting for Ali and decided to make Singaporean rice. I asked Ali if he has ever tasted the dish and to my surprise he said he had. In his nostalgic tone he mentioned that Singaporean rice was on the menu of his university cafeteria.  It was the last year of his degree and he fondly remembers eating it almost daily for lunch. Needless today, I was even more excited to make this dish for him.

This dish is a complete meal. Creamy and aromatic rice platter, each bite makes you crave for more even if your stomach is full. It does require extra hard word in the kitchen as it involves preparation of various ingredients separately, but trust me it is worth the effort. I have explored and tried multiple versions of this dish but this is the best variation I could come up with. It is completely balanced and flavorful.

Ingredients:

Chicken

  • Boneless Chicken – ½ kilo, cut into small cubes
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Corn flour – 3 tablespoons
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Crushed Red Chili Flakes – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – ¾ teaspoon
  • Black pepper – ¾ teaspoon
  • Egg – 1
  • Baking powder – ½ teaspoon

 Stir Fry Vegetables

  • Capsicum – 2, small cubes
  • Carrots – 2, boiled and cut into small dices
  • Onions – 2, small cubes
  • Cabbage – ½ small, cut into cubes
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

Gravy

  • Onion – 1 small, chopped
  • Tomatoes – 2, cut into cubes
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Soya sauce – 2 tablespoons
  • Chili garlic sauce – 3 tablespoons
  • Worcestershire sauce – 2 tablespoons
  • Chinese salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Crushed red chilies flakes – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – as required
  • Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
  • Brown Sugar – 2 teaspoons
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

Rice

  • Rice – 3 cup
  • Water as required
  • Salt – 1 tablespoons
  • Chinese Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Soya sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons

Spaghettis

  • Spaghettis – 1 cup, boiled
  • Water – as required
  • Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Oregano leaves – 1 teaspoon

Mayo Sauce

  • Mayonnaise -6 tablespoons
  • Chili garlic sauce – 4 tablespoons
  • Tomato ketchup – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – ¼ teaspoon
  • Lemon juice – ½ teaspoon

Toppings

  • Green chilies – 8 – 10
  • Garlic – 3 to 5, thinly sliced
  • Preparation time : 1 – 2 Hours
  • Cooking time : 1 Hour
  • Number of servings (yield) : 4 – 6 People

Instructions:

Chicken

  • Marinate the chicken with above all ingredients. Let it rest for an half hour in fridge. Shallow fry the chicken cubes until light crispy golden.

Stir Fry Vegetables

  • In a deep pan, add all the vegetables. Add salt, sugar and oil. Fry them on high flame for 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Gravy

  • Heat the oil in a pan, add the chopped onions till it becomes translucent. Add cubes tomatoes to the onions, along with ginger garlic paste. Let them cook until tender. Add a dash of water to avoid burning.
  • Add in rest all ingredients including soya sauce, chili garlic sauce, crushed red chili, Worcestershire sauce, Chinese salt, lemon juice and sugar. Let it simmer on medium heat. Add water when required to make it smooth. Add salt if required.
  • Cook the sauce until it becomes smooth and oil comes to the surface.

Rice

  • Boil the rice and strain. In a pot heat the oil and add in the rice. Sprinkle salt, Chinese salt and soya sauce and give it a gentle mix. Keep aside.

Spaghettis

  • In an open pot, bring water to boil. Add spaghettis along with salt and oil. Boil them until they are cooked. Strain them through a sieve. Wash them under cold water so they don’t stick together. Sprinkle salt and oregano leaves on top. Toss it well and keep aside.

Mayo Sauce

  • In a bowl add mayonnaise with chili garlic sauce, ketchup, salt and lemon juice. Mix it well and keep aside.

Toppings

  • Fry the green chilies in oil till they have a nice and crispy texture; remove on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
  • Fry the thinly sliced garlic in oil on medium heat till golden; remove on a kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.

Assembly Line

  • In a large deep dish, spread a dash of oil and layer the rice.
  • Cover the rice with the prepared gravy followed by the spaghettis on top.
  • Then make a layer of vegetables and chicken
  • Spread the mayo sauce on top.
  • Lastly, sprinkle the crispy fried garlic flakes and green chilies on top of the mayo sauce.
  • Reheat the whole dish in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Delicious Singaporean rice is ready!!!

Fatima Ali

I am trained to be an IT professional. I served National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for six years after graduating from the same university. As long as I can remember, cooking good food has been my passion and it makes me happy. My cooking lessons were a bit unusual though. Back in the day when digital did not mean much, my father would record cooking shows (knorr ka kitchen, kaukab khuwaja and Zee Khana Khazana – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor) for me to watch endless times later on, before trying the recipes out. I would make brownies and cold cake almost every day while my mother was asleep. This was my way of surprising her every evening. My mother cooks amazing food too and I have tried many of the recipes written in her recipe book. I draw inspiration from a number of chefs from televised cooking shows such as Late Chef Farah, Chef Rahat, Chef Mehboob, BBC Food, Masala TV, Chef Shai, Chef Sharmeen, Master Chef Australia and my ultimate favorite Chef Shireen Anwer. I would not be as good a cook I am now without passive guidance from each one of these.