The Quintessential “Tomato Rice”

Seems like more than ever I am blogging on Rice nowadays..my past few posts have been about rice…so does that mean I am cooking rice in my kitchen every other day?? Quite the contrary actually, I’ve been on a fitness program that limits the amount of carbs I can consume and so it has been a lot of things cooking in my kitchen from salads to barbeque to quinoa in various forms etc.. I’ll let you out on a secret though, I’ve been dishing out pictures from my old picture folders stored somewhere on a long forgotten hard drive…I have yet to come around to taking new pictures with my swanky new camera !!! yay for that..I’m still trying to figure how that new gizmo works..reading up tons on aperture and exposure and shutter priority!!! Its mind boggling actually…so stay tuned for new pictures. But for now we will use what I already have 🙂

Every South Indian cook worth his/her salt would have a recipe for this rice dish…the quintessential “Tomato Rice” has gone through multiple changes in my kitchen also..after much experimenting I still have not been able to stick one specific recipe, just because no matter how you make this rice dish – you can add just that one extra ingredient to give it a zas and make it taste ever so different each time!
So a little story behind this recipe and why its coming up on my blog (It’s been on my blog before but as you all know it, all recipes are long since gone – every 175 of them and there’s not a day I regret the impulsiveness that is so characteristic to me…sigh)
During my stint in India, Me and a group of friends typically hadlunch at our office cafetaria. Now, the food they serve in the cafetaria is by god the worst I had tasted!! But let’s not get into that story yet here..So, all of us to salvage us from the cafetaria food brought our own lunch from home in part to  show off our culinary skills and also to have a potluck of sorts every day. Sharingg food and sharing recipes in between tidbits of juicy office gossip 🙂
Well, this one had always been top on the list. I had to share this recipe with my colleagues and I even had one of my male colleagues try it and not bad –  it actually turned out pretty much the way I make it and maybe even better 🙂 The only funny part is, he asked me “So how long does it take you to make this – excluding cooking the rice part?” And I said “About 10 to 15 minutes” and he looked puzzled..and I said “What? Too long??” And he said “It took me an hour and a half this morning to make it??? ” 🙂 So my question to him back was “Did you actually start with growing the tomatoes? ” LOL

Here’s the recipe…enjoy 🙂

Zesty Tomato Rice
Zesty Tomato Rice











You will need:

Rice – 2 cups (I used short grain Sona Masoori Rice, alternatively you can even use Basmati Rice). Cook the rice with 1 Cup rice to 2 cups water ratio in an electric rice cooker. Spread on a large platter or mixing bowl to cool

Onion – 1 Medium – Wash, Chopped lengthwise or fine
Tomatoes – 2 Medium – Washed and chopped fine
Fresh Mint Leaves – a handful – Wash and chop fine
3 green chillies – Wash and slit lengthwise
Cinnamon – 2 small pieces
Cloves – 3
Garlic – 2 small pods, Peel and chop fine
Sambar Powder – 2 tsp (Or any powder that you use as base for the spice; i prefer using sambar powder as compared to chilli powder)
Dhaniya powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 3 tbsp
Cilantro – Washed and chopped fine for garnishing

1. Cool the cooked rice in a large mixing bowl/platter.
2. In a pan, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds.
3. Add the chopped onions, green chillies and mint leaves. Saute for a few minutes until onions are golden brown.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes are all squishy 🙂
5. Add all the dry powders except the salt and saute until well blended and all water is evaporated. The mixture should look oily.
6. Add this mixture to the cooled rice with the salt. Mix gently until well mixed.
7. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Alternatively you can cook the rice in coconut milk, that would give you a richer texture but high cal one at that 🙂

I’ve tried to calculate the Calories for 1 serving of this Tomato Rice is about 250 Calories. (If you add coconut milk, that will increase the number of cals) This recipe makes 4 servings… Happy cooking!!

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