Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tomato rice

One of the most dismaying things that can happen to a food blogger is to find that somehow the bandwagon has been missed; that by some freak mischance, a recipe featured possibly in 99.99% of all food blogs – Indian food blogs, I hasten to add – has somehow been omitted from your own blog! Oh, that feeling of being left out in the cold, alone and separate from the buzzing masses of bloggers-with-recipes-in-common is too terrible to describe on a family-friendly blog like this one... so I will, in the interests of preventing readers from weeping all over their keyboards while reading, not describe the pathos of the situation any more.

Seriously, though, I was rather taken aback, while idly flipping down the “Rice” category on my blog, to find that I didn’t seem to have a recipe for tomato rice. It’s not that I haven’t made tomato chutney or thokku – I do have a couple of recipes for those, and one of the ways to make tomato rice is to mix that thokku with cooked rice. It’s the most basic of ways to make this savoury flavoured rice, so it doesn’t require any more instruction than “Mix the tomato thokku with cooked rice in a proportion that is pleasing to your palate”. (In fact, stopping that instruction at “rice” is probably enough!)


Still, to not have a recipe for tomato rice from scratch, on a blog like mine which purports to list simple basic recipes – well, that was so not on! So I rummaged in my fridge and came up with two ripe plum tomatoes, a few cherry tomatoes and a regular tomato, along with a salad onion – and some further rooting about revealed the existence of a lone red onion as well.

That was plenty for tomato rice for two... and so, my blog now has my version of tomato rice, and I am no longer in the cold. What a warm, fuzzy feeling of acceptance and belonging it is, to be sure… even if it’s only in my mind!

Recipe for:
Tomato rice


1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes
2 cups chopped tomatoes (the better the quality, the better the final taste)
1 large red onion, chopped
1 salad onion with the green bits, chopped (optional)


1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp garam masala
3-4 fresh green chillies, sliced into thin rings (or to taste)
1/3 tsp asafetida powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1-1/2 cups water
2 tsp oil
1 tsp butter
Coriander leaves for garnish


1. Heat the oil in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the cumin seeds, sliced green chillies, turmeric and asafoetida powders and fry them for 40 seconds on high heat, stirring.


2. Add the chopped onions and mix well, frying till the onions become soft and translucent.


3. Now add the grated ginger and stir it in.


4. Next, toss in the chopped tomatoes


and fry till they begin to turn soft.


5. Now add the drained basmati rice and stir it in.


Fry this mixture on high heat, stirring all the time, till it starts to become somewhat dry and tries to clump together.

6. At this point, pour in the 1-1/2 cups water, add the salt and stir it in well. Bring the mixture to a boil.


7. Stir in the butter, if using.


8. Put the lid on the pan once the water is boiling, then turn down the heat and let it cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the rice sit covered for up to 30 minutes, but a minimum of 15. Now take off the lid, sprinkle the coriander leaves and gently mix with a fork.


9. Serve warm with a chilled raita and potato chips. This rice tastes even better after a few hours, so it can be made in advance and reheated just before serving.


Unknown said...

wow.. looks really delicious.. nice clicks..

Linda said...

You're making me long for garden tomaotes on this rainy spring evening, Shammi! As usual I love your step by step photo-instructions -- the finished dish looks delicious! :)

Unknown said...

TOmato rice is comfort food for me. This sounds like a diff version. Nice recipe.

Akansha's Recipe said...

Nice elaboration

Anonymous said...

Love the new look :) maya

Sree vidya said...

Hi Shyamala!
You have a wonderful blog. I'm a regular reader here but have not posted any comment till date. All ur recipes luk nice,the way you write is simply gr8 and u r an inspiration to me. I have my own food blog right now and check it out when u r free.
I was actually checking your blog frequently in the last couple of months for updates and nice to see u back in form.


Shammi said...

Sri: Thanks :)

Linda: Thank you! It's such a pleasure to read your kind comments :)

Divya: Everybody has their own version. I love tomato rice, so I plan to try everybody's! :)

Vidya: Thank you for your very nice remarks :) Congrats on starting your own food blog!

30in2005 said...

That's dinner tonight!

Love the lighter blog background.

s. stockwell said...

So tomato rice it is...we always like your ideas. best from Santa Barbara. Namaste, s

Unknown said...

what a fantastic recipe! i had some friends over and had made this, and they all LOVED it. thank you! :) looking forward to trying your other recipes.