Tomato Rice

It was a Sunday in the year 1995, and we were returning from a great weekend trip we had had. All of us had this satisfied smile on our faces…like we had accomplished something great…..except my mom..She had this expression on her face…like she was thinking reallly hard..When I asked her what, she seriously answered me, ‘I’m wondering what to pack for lunch tomorrow’. I laughed at her and said, ‘Do you have to worry about things like these…’.

Fast forward 15 years, and here I am, wondering about the same things…Now I understand how my mom used to feel. My lunchbox favorites both to eat and to make have been one pot dishes, variety rice types. Yesterday, as an answer to my million dollar question, I made ‘Tomato Rice’.

2 cups basmati rice
3 large tomatoes
2 medium onions chopped
6 green chillies slit
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro stems(optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2 cardamom
2 bay leaves
salt to taste

Heat oil in a pressure cooker over medium high heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves. When the spices are fried and plump up, add the slit green chillies and onions. Fry until the onions turn soft and translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a cople of minutes. Then, add the tomatoes and fry until soft and pulpy. Add the tomato paste. This is entirely optional, because the tomato paste adds a nice tang and a lovely red color.

Add the turmeric powder, salt and the chopped cilantro stems. Add 3 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Check for seasoning. Add the washed basmati rice and cook until almost all the water is absorbed. Reduce the heat to a simmer and place the lid on the pressure cooker. Place the weight. Let it cook on low heat for about 8 minutes. Switch off stove, Let the pressure release. Serve hot with raitha.

Verdict: Spicy, tangy and wonderful rice, one pot dish. Easy to cook and easy to pack for lunch too.

Sending this to ‘Healing foods – Tomatoes’ event, originally started by Siri and also to ‘Color your Palate – A visual treat’.

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