This rice tastes great even at room temperature, so it makes excellent picnic food.
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 medium green serrano chiles, sliced in ⅛-inch-thick rounds
- 1 medium red onion, cut into ½-inch dice (about 1½ cups)
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 5 cups cooked white rice, cooled
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ to 2½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup tightly packed cilantro leaves, minced
Make the tadka: Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the mustard seeds, covering the pan with a lid or spatter screen. After the seeds have stopped sputtering, add the chiles. When the chiles are toasted, add the onion and stir- fry until the onion is golden around the edges. Add the turmeric, stir well, and take off the heat.
Add the rice, lemon juice, salt, and sugar to the pan, and toss until all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly and all the rice grains are yellow. If you usually salt your rice while steaming it, you will need the lesser of the 2 amounts of salt while making this fried rice.
Return the wok to low heat, cover, and steam until the flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and serve, or cool to room temperature, cover, and take to a picnic.