Tomato Rice

I was just wondering how fast time flies. The summer vacations for the kids are almost over. They gear up for their next term at school from Sunday onwards, which means that my routine also goes for a change. Now starts early sleeping, early waking up, racking my head over the snack box and breakfast, uniforms, books, studies, traffic, etc... the 18 hours awake will be a test of patience! With two going to school and with different timings, it gets all the more difficult. Without my usual support of parents around, it is time for me to set up schedules and have time tables for each and every activity from now on for the kids and myself. Both of them are excited about going back to school with their books and to meet their friends, which is such a relief, however the thought that Rasha will be having her exams in a couple of weeks time and that she has not touched any of her books during this vacation gives me a lot of goosebumps. She is just in grade 2 and I really hate to push, unfortunately, marks and grades are all that matters these days and I don't feel like wanting her to feel left out or behind from her classmates. Maybe I just should take a deep breath and take things as it comes...

Making a simple lunch is a challenge in our home, especially since we are so used to umma's routine of matta rice, curry, fish fry and pappadam. Being a working mother, I make such elaborate lunches only during weekends and resort to quick fix meals over the other days. One rice I love to have is tomato rice, as it pairs well with almost everything - a simple vegetable stir fry or the previous day's chicken curry. Off to the way I make it...

Tomato Rice
Serves 4


2 cups basmati rice, cleaned, soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained

For grinding:
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 green chillies

For rest:
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garlic paste
1 sprig curry leaves
4 shallots, sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
3 cups hot water
Salt to taste


Heat oil and splutter cumin seeds. Add the garlic paste and curry leaves and saute briefly. Add the shallots and saute till transparent. Add the ground paste and cook till the raw smell is gone. Add in the powders and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water, allow to boil. Now add the rice and adjust salt. Keep on high flame till the water comes to a boil again. Minimize the flame, close the lid tight and cook till the rice is done.

Give it a gentle mix before serving. Serve warm with a spicy veg or non-veg side dish of your choice!

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