Tomato Rice

Srilatha Main Dish, South Indian Leave a Comment

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Tomato Rice With Cucumber Yogurt Raita
This is a simple, one-pot dish that comes together in about 20 minutes. Add an onion/cucumber raita (grated, finely chopped onions and cucumbers in yogurt, and seasoned simply with salt, pepper) and you get a satisfying meal in under 30 minutes. Rough equivalent of the Mexican rice!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Long grain rice such as Basmati Typically use white rice, if using brown rice, cooking time will increase
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 or 3 medium juicy, fresh, ripe tomatoes substitute with 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger optional, I didn't use it
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cups hot boiling water
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder increase or reduce, per your heat tolerance; optional: 2 green chilies
  • 1/2 tsp kalonji/black onion seeds/nigella Available in most Indian grocery stores, see Recipe Notes
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 5-10 cashew broken, or full I didn't use it this time, but it's a great topping that can be added when sautéing the onions
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
For Cucumber Raita
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 cup yogurt of choice greek yogurt works amazingly well for raita
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1/4 tsp Hing
Course Main Dish
Cuisine South Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Long grain rice such as Basmati Typically use white rice, if using brown rice, cooking time will increase
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 or 3 medium juicy, fresh, ripe tomatoes substitute with 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger optional, I didn't use it
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cups hot boiling water
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder increase or reduce, per your heat tolerance; optional: 2 green chilies
  • 1/2 tsp kalonji/black onion seeds/nigella Available in most Indian grocery stores, see Recipe Notes
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 5-10 cashew broken, or full I didn't use it this time, but it's a great topping that can be added when sautéing the onions
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
For Cucumber Raita
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 cup yogurt of choice greek yogurt works amazingly well for raita
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1/4 tsp Hing
Instructions
  1. Chop onions, ginger,garlic, and tomatoes and keep ready
  2. Wash the rice 3 or 4 times and soak while the gravy gets ready; gather the dry spices ready
  3. Heat oil in a pot wide enough and deep enough to cook one cup of rice
  4. Add the onion seeds/kalonji and stir gently
  5. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic, and cook until the onions turn translucent, adding half a tsp of salt for the onions
  6. Add the tomato pieces, 1/2 tsp of salt, turmeric powder and chili powder
  7. Cook on low heat, until the oil leaves the sides, indicating the tomatoes are well cooked, about 5-7 minutes
  8. Add the washed rice and gently mix
  9. Cook the tomato/rice mix together, stirring to coat the rice with the gravy, for about 30 seconds
  10. Add the hot water, and the remaining salt
  11. Cover and cook on low heat for about 8 minutes. Open and give it a good mix; it typically will need an additional two minutes or so; this check is to make sure there is enough water and it's not sticking to the pot
  12. Cover and cook for two more minutes
  13. Open the lid, and by now all the water should be absorbed, and the rice grains fully cooked, but not mushy
  14. Add the chopped cilantro, and fry cashew nuts separately in a bit of oil and add, if using
  15. For the raita: dice or grate the cucumbers, add yogurt of choice;
  16. Do a simple tempering: heat oil, add mustard seeds, urad dhal, hing in a bit of oil. Pour over raita. Add salt as needed
  17. Serve hot tomato rice with the cool cucumber yogurt raita
Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy my friend Suneetha from a long time ago!

Kalonji is a tiny black seed, with a strong onion flavor. It has an overbearing smell, so go easy on it until you know you love it. Some people don't care for the flavor, and some would love it! It definitely adds a distinct flavor to this tomato rice. My husband loves this with a side of onion raita!
The dish actually tastes great after it sits for a couple of hours, as it absorbs and develops the flavors.

The names of Kalonji in various languages can be found in this table in Rasaala

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