Vegan Fried Rice with Currants is such a wonderful side dish that you can pair it with any meal. This is a simple yet tasty combination of savory and sweet flavors.
The raisin in the picture is one of the most common ingredients that we use in various dishes. We call it kuş üzümü in Turkish. Kuş is for bird, üzüm is for grape. I think it has this name as they are small enough for birds. However, I wasn’t sure how to call them in English. Turkish-English dictionaries say ‘currant’ for it, but when I searched on the net for the visuals of currants, they were totally different from this raisin. Finally Tracey from Tangled Noodle saved me from my confusions and clarified its English translation for me. Thank you Tracey! She says small variety of grapes called ‘champagne grapes‘ are referred to as ‘currants’ when dried. And with the link she suggested, I learnt that “Although it may be confused with common black, red or white currants that grow on bushes, it is similar only in shape and size, but is not the same type of fruit. The dried grape that becomes a currant is often used like raisins as an ingredient when baking cookies and sweets.” So I’ll call them currants from now on.
There are small grapes in a bunch of black grapes and they don’t have seeds as they are not matured enough. These small grapes are picked seperately and dried, then they become currants (kuş üzümü). They give a bit sweet taste to dishes. We use it in cakes, cookies and compotes, but in Turkish cuisine, they are much liked in stuffed vegetables and rice pilaf.
Tip: To clean currants from their straws, coat them with a little flour, put them in a strainer with big holes. When you shake it, the straws will drop with flour.
You see how currants swell in pilaf although they are crinkle before being cooked. They look so cute that I can put them in any dish.
To serve it in the shape you see here, wet a small bowl. Fill it with rice and turn it upside down carefully on a plate.Print
Vegan Fried Rice With Currants
- 1 cup rice
- 2 cups hot water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 and 3/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons currants
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Put rice in a bowl, pour 2 cups hot water into it and add 1 tsp salt. Wait this for about 15 minutes. You’ll see how it turns out whiter within this time. Then rinse it well.
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Add in rice and salt. Fry it for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add in 1 teaspoon lemon. Lemon juice helps rice not to stick each other, which is so important for Turkish rice pilaf.
- Cook it stirring continually for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Pour 1 ¾ cups water and currants, stir once and cover it.
- Bring the heat to the lowest when it starts to boil after about 3 minutes and do not uncover for about 10 minutes until it absorbs all the water.
- When there isn’t any water left in the pan, remove from the heat. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Uncover and give it a gentle stir before serving.
Frying rice in oil is so important when making pilaf. Otherwise, the rice will be boiled and won’t give the desired taste.