Wednesday, 17 April 2013

South Indian Tomato rice

After a few days of eating bland food and soups due to being down with the flu, the entire family felt like eating something with a bit more zest (not necessarily spicy). I was also looking for something quick and easy since I still do not have much energy and am still recovering from the flu and an over-reacting immune system. Tomato rice is usually my go to easy to make "mixed rice" variety from the South-India called "chitrannams" literally translates to mini-meals. It truly can be a mini-meal in itself when served with crispy-spicy potatoes, pappadoms/crisps, raita and a salad. These chitrannams are ideal for travels and picnics. For this tomato rice  I prefer to use vine-ripened tomatoes, but you can use any of your favourite variety. But keep in mind that Tomato is the star of this recipe and better the quality tastier the rice.

You will need:
4 cups cooked long-grain rice
1/2 medium onion chopped
3 vine-ripened tomatoes chopped
2-3 fresh chillies chopped (optional)
1 inch ginger+3 cloves of garlic grated/1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sambar powder/red chilli powder/paprika
salt to taste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp split urad dal/black gram
1-2 dried red chillies broken/1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp coriander leaves for garnish (optional)

In a large pan heat oil to medium. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and allow to splutter. Add urad dal and chilli flakes and fry till dal turns golden brown.

Add onion, ginger-garlic and fresh chillies (if using) and fry until well cooked and softened.

Add tomatoes (and a pinch of salt to speed things up), cover and cook until mashed well. Add tomato puree and mix well.

Add the rice, turmeric powder, sambar powder/chilli powder/paprika and salt to taste and mix well to coat the rice evenly.

Cover and cook for another 30 sec to 1 min. Add the garnish and mix well.

Serve warm with raita, pappadoms, pickles and salad.

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