Tomato Pulao - Tomato Rice Recipe | Lunch Box Series : LBS#23

Tomato Rice or Tomato Pulao brings back fond memories of many occasions. It has always a part of the standard menu that I make for my sister in laws when they visit us. Since they don't make this variety of rice, they always look forward to me making this during their visit. Though I have shared the recipe with them many times, they always feel they never get it the way I make.

Tomato Pulav is again a dish I learnt from Amma. I always say if mine turns out good, her version turns out out of the world. I have in due course changed few things to my taste. But essentially it's the old dear tomato rice of Mom's special. Since cooking at parents place is always for a huge crowd, I am very comfortable cooking in large quantity. The first time I cooked for just two of us, it was a big flop. I still remember that day in office, when I eagerly opened the box to dig in and to my utter dismay, realized it was so salty! God I was scared to call up hubby dear! He knew I can cook and he always loved whatever was prepared. But that look always appeared as if to ask did you cook it all by yourself or did amma help you. Now it looks like he got proof! I didn't say anything for fear that I might put myself in soap. So when I called up, I was asking about everything but the lunch. He simply asked, "What, you added salt twice is it to the Rice? It was quite salty but the colour looked lovely red!"

Boy, since then I never fail to look at the salt spoon twice before adding to this rice! That was five years ago. Feels ancient though, thinking about it. The naive feeling when we do something on our own and look forward to be appreciated is something so universal I guess. Even now, when I make a new preparation and serve to hubby. I keep looking at him like a hawk, ready to pounce the question "how does it taste!" At times, I will pop the question before he can even take a bite.

My inlaws got introduced this dish when we were living with parents. They always loved the Tomato Rice that Amma makes. When we moved on our own, it was only natural that , I included this to their standard menu and yes, it always comes out well. Another incident that comes to mind was, during one of their visits, we had unexpected guests. We asked them to stay back for lunch. The lunch was tomato rice, I already had two cookers with this rice, I had to hunt for another one to prepare! I was in a real fix, hoping I had all the ingredients for making more. Since we were ourselves numbering to 20, I made enough for everybody, but wasn't sure if it will be enough for four more. I was really very happy in the end to see that it was enough for all and they were surprised at the quantity I prepared. We always pair the Tomato Rice with Cauliflower Sabji, but on that day I couldn't prepare for that huge crowd and made do with Onion Raitha.

I regularly make both Tomato Pulao and Cauliflower Subji for office lunch, but when I had looked up the index, I saw this was missing. So how can there be an Index without Tomato rice with cauliflower Sabji. So here is the post to address that!

Today's Lunch Box had

Tomato Rice/ Pulao
Cauliflower Sabji
Pepper cumin Rasam
Curd Rice

Tomato Rice / Pulao

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Tomatoes ripe and juicy - 2 -3 medium
Onion - 1 big
Green chillies - 4 nos
Bay leaf - 1
Whole Pepper - about 3/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Ghee - 1 tsp

To be ground

Garlic - 5 pods
Ginger - 2"
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon - 2 "
- Make about 1 & 1/2 tsp of paste. The same needs to be added to the Cauliflower sabji



Method to prepare

Soak basmati for 15 mins. Drain and keep aside

Make a coarse paste of the spices. Blanch the tomatoes and make a puree. Make sure to remove the seeds.

Chop onions as julienne and slit the green chillies.

Heat a pressure cooker with 1 tsp of ghee. Add the pepper corns and cumin. Once they start spluttering, add the bay leaf, onions and green chilies. Fry till they are light brown. At this stage, add the coarse paste. Sauté well.

Add the rice and mix well. Cook on high flame for 1 min, then add the tomato puree. Measurement is, for each cup of rice about 1 glass of tomato puree is required. You can always check the sour and add more. Extra tomato puree can be used for Cauliflower sabji

Add salt and adjust the taste. Add turmeric powder and mix well.

Add about 1 & 1/2 cup of water and put the lid and cook for 2 whistles.

Once the stream is out, remove the green chilies and serve hot with Cauliflower sabji.

Cauliflower Sabji.

Cauliflower florets - about 150 gms
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato puree - 1/2 cup or two tomatoes. (depends on the taste and cauliflower)
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 3/4 tsp
Salt to taste
turmeric powder a pinch
Spice paste - 1/2 to 3/4 tsp

Method to prepare

Clean Cauliflower and soak in hot water with salt for about 5 to 10 mins.

Chop onions and heat a cooker with 1 tsp oil. Sauté onions till they are brown. Add the spice paste. Fry well and then add the tomato puree. let it get cooked on high flame on 1 min.

Then add chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric pw. Drain the cauliflower from water and add to this. Cook on high flame so that cauliflowers get crispy.

Add water just enough for it to get cooked. Cover with lid and cook for 2 whistles or till its well cooked. If water is excess, cook on direct so that excess water gets evaporated.

Garnish with Chopped coriander on both Tomato Rice and Cauliflower sabji.

I especially liked the close up rice shot. So got into capturing something to look decent after seeing all those wonderful and sinful pictures. I know I could've taken better ones, but unfortunately I can't do yoga unlike them!

I will be back with the Microwave Easy Cooking with Tiffins round up and another episode of Tom & Jenny!

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