-Submitted by Dahlia
(Takkali Sadam, Tomato Bath, Tamatar Pulao, Tomato Biriyani, Chitraanna)
That was the last day of school for all our apartment kids. They were all behind us for a picnic plan. We didn’t have a second thought as the summer holidays is not only for the kids but for us also. No alarm, no cooker whistle, no screaming from the kitchen, running to the bedroom and bathroom. No school van annas, no packing and no for everything for next two months.
After the kids managed to convince us, they went to the park for discussing about play items to be taken for the picnic spot. One screamed googles,the other tennis bat, the other said no cricket bat and so on. We ladies gathered together and to decide the menu.
I was wondering what to cook (OMG! …even in summer vacation this thought haunts us…hmm…). More than cooking time and tension, what to cook is the main thought that runs like a marathon daily in a women’s life. Yes we do run marathon on a daily basis, behind the kitchen chores, kids and best half. I just opened my fridge to check out for some ideas to bloom. Bright red tangy tomatoes smiled infront of my eyes and said “Here I am, Highess…”. I instantly got an idea. Tomato Rice is going to be my receipe for picnic.
The next day morning, kids themselves kept the alarm (never happens in school days), woke up in the first ring of the alarm and dressed up in their comfortable attires. They assembled even before us near the picnic van. Different dishes with different aromas were boarded in the van, along with my spicy tomato rice. It was quite a memorable trip for both the kids and for us.
Tomatoes an easily available vegetable. No it is actually a fruit, often used as a vegetable. It is very rich in Vitamin C.There is no fat or cholesterol. It has also got Vitamin E, niacin and Vitamin B6. I still remember one of my friend grinding tomato and applying it as a face pack. It works wonders, removes sun tan and makes the skin glow. She is also keen in drinking tomato juice regularly.
For any dish using tomatoes, be in chutney or gravy, use a iron pan (tawa) to saute and use gingelly oil. This will give awesome results. So here is the recipe for making tomato rice, also known as thakkali sadam in tamil.
Recipe for Tomato Rice
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4
- Cooked Rice - 2 cups
- Onion - 1/2 (chopped)
- Ginger garlic Paste - 1 tsp
- Tomatoes - 1 (chopped) + 2 (pureed)
- Green Chilies - 2 (chopped)
- Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp
- Garam Masala - a pinch
- Cilantro - for garnish
- Salt - as needed
- Oil/Ghee - 2 tbsp
- Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
- Fennel/Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
- Channa Dal - 1 tsp (optional)
- Urad dal - 1 tsp
- Cashews - 1 tbsp
- Curry Leaves - 1 spring
- You can cook the rice or use leftover rice to make tomato rice.
- Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds.
- Add channa dal, urad dal and fennel seeds and fry till it turns reddish brown in colour.
- Add cashews, green chilies and curry leaves.
- Add the onions and fry till it turns translucent.
- Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds.
- Next add the pureed tomatoes and cook till the raw smell vanishes.
- Add the chopped tomato, salt, garam masala and chili powder. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Now toss the cooked rice with this masala. Check for salt and other seasonings and adjust according to your taste.
- Finally sprinkle with some chopped cilantro and switch off.
Serving Tomato Rice
- Tomato Rice tastes excellent with some potato chips and raita.
- It can also be served with some chicken or potato side dishes for parties.
- It is a very good dish for lunch box, for train travel and for picnics.
- The tempering is absolutely optional. It adds a nice crunch to the rice dish. I personally like to add tempering when I have tomato rice as a simple meal with some papad, boiled egg or raita. But when I make tomato rice with some rich side dish like chicken curry or potato kurma, I like to make it plain without tempering. You can name this variation as 'Tomato Biriyani'.
- Another variation is to make it a one pot meal. Make the masala as above and cook the rice along with the masala. This is a good option when you are in a hurry.
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