Saturday, 17 April 2010

Traditional Tomato Rice

The variety rice I think is a boon to busy parents. I say parents because once you have children, the work load increases so much that we actually get too busy. Sometimes I wonder what I was complaining about before I had my baby as I am doing far more work now. Oh, I say parents because this is such a simple recipe that men of the house can also cook. My husband actually does a good job of this dish. I try to make such rice dish almost everyday of the week as it is quite easy one dish meal pretty much. In my bid to increase vegetable intake and to complement the rice I also try to do raita. I usually make tomato rice in two different ways and this I would say is the shortcut. I do keep raving about tomatoes and their health benefits but I can’t stop thinking how versatile it is. Like in tomato rice, it could be part of the main meal or like in rasam, it could be the flavour of the dish and in gravy it could be the base of the sauce etc. For a while it was a struggle to get hold of the tasty ones when I relocated. In India it was a bit more straight forward as it was usually the ‘banglore thakkali’ or ‘naatu thakkali’ while here there are so many different versions like one for salad another for sandwich. But I have done my trials and now buy loose tomatoes on the vine. They look so beautiful!! Again this recipe is pretty much similar to what my mom would give me in my lunchbox for college. I remember the canteen in the college was awful and she would make variety of rice for my lunch and I would happily share them with my classmates. I even heard one of my childhood friends mentioning a few days back that she still drools thinking of my mom’s tomato rice. Well, I have made my best attempt and here is how it is...
6 big tomatoes, cubed
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
Mustard seeds
Ginger, 1 inch long piece
Garlic 4-5 cloves
3 green chillies
Chilly powder
Cooking oil
1 cup cooked rice (ideally the grains should be separate)
Put about one tablespoon cooking oil in a kadai and temper with mustard seeds. Add the turmeric, asafoetida, green chillies, onion, garlic and ginger. Some may not prefer garlic and it could be left out but I would strongly recommend including ginger. Once the onions turn transparent, add the tomatoes and cook until they come together. Adding a little bit of salt could help speed up the cooking process in this case as it enables the removal of water from tomatoes. Add chilly powder and allow to cook for couple of minutes. Add the rice and mix well and season as required. Garnish with coriander leaves.
I usually serve this with cucumber raita or radish raita.

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