Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tomato rice (with variant Tomato Thokku)

- 4-6 large ripe tomatoes chopped small
- 1 Onion cut small
- 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- salt to taste
- finely chopped coriander leaves

For Tadka(Saute) and seasoning
- 1 - 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 green chilli pepper diced fine (optional)
- 6-8 curry leaves

Rice for mixing
- 4-5 cups of cooked rice(any variety)
With a fork, separate the rice to avoid chunky portions

  1. Take oil in a deep wok/pan with a lid, add cumin seeds, use medium heat until it splutters.
  2. Add the curry leaves and cover for a minute.
  3. Add the chopped chilli pepper and stir well.
  4. Add the onion, cook, stirring occasionally until translucent(3-4 minutes).
  5. Add the diced tomato and stir well
  6. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste.
  7. Stir well and let cook in medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Be careful, tomato splutters while cooking.
  9. Also as it cooks, you will see it lets out all the juice, as it cooks, the juice is reabsorbed and it will thicken, soon you will see the oil glisten on top. 
  10. Don't wait for the oil to separate, otherwise the tomato rice will become very dry instead staying moist.
  11. In a bowl, remove a few spoonful's of the cooked paste.  I like to keep some on the side as it tastes great with yogurt rice.  Also helps if you have less rice to tomato base ratio.
  12. Add the rice to the tomato base and mix it well.  You could add a tbsp of ghee to make it tastier.. :).  Adjust the ratio of cooked rice to tomato base according to taste.  Add salt if needed.
  13. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with yogurt and chips.
Tomato rice will go well with any kind of raita(a yogurt based side dish).  Check Brinjal (eggplant) rice with tomato-onion-potato raita and veggie chips for the recipe.
The above is my dysfunctional style of cooking tomato rice.  A variant is the tomato thokku, the tomato base made spicier and to be eaten as a side dish.  Spread it on bread to make a sandwich or with yogurt rice. 

To make tomato thokku, skip the onion and add 1/4 tsp mustard seeds along with with the cumin seeds.  Increase the amount of red chilli powder used.  Continue to cook on medium flame until the oil separates almost completely from the tomato base an additional 10 minutes or less.  Let it cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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