Tomato Rice

Some Parsi friends came home for dinner last night, bearing a big pot of tomato rice. I love this dish - with some yoghurt on the side it can be a meal in itself. In this case we also had baingain bharta (eggplant); corn with potatoes, seasoned with sambar masala; kachumbar (chopped tomatoes/ onions/ chillies) and apalam (fried dal wafers). And because it's still mango season, we finished with aam ras (mango puree seasoned with ginger powder). {sigh of happy exhaustion} … and here's the recipe, as written down by my friend:
Tomato Rice

Rice - 1 cup
Tomatoes, skinned & finely chopped - 1/2 to 3/4 kg
Onions, chopped - 4 large
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Ginger-garlic, finely chopped - 1 tsp. each
Chillie powder - 1/2 tsp.
cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
turmeric powder - 1 tsp.
Green chillies, chopped fine - 2 to 3
Cloves - 4
Cardamom - 4
Cinnamon - 3 sticks
Sugar - 2 to 3 tsp
Salt to taste
Bay leaf - 2 to 3
Curry leaves - one small sprig
Coriander leaves, chopped - 1/2 cup
Mint leaves, chopped - 1/2 cup
coriander-cumin powder - 1 tsp.
Oil for frying

In a thick pan heat the oil, add mustard and cumin seeds, fry till they pop. Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, chopped onions, ginger & garlic, and fry till light golden brown. Add curry leaves and green chilies. Fry for a minute or two. Add tomatoes, coriander and mint, chillie powder, haldi, sugar, coriander-cumin powder, bay leaf and salt. When all is mixed well, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook till almost dry.

Boil the rice till fluffy, drain. Add the tomato mixture a little at a time till all is absorbed in the rice. Line an ovenproof dish with butter or ghee, add rice. Let the tomato rice stand for 2 to 3 hours, reheat before eating.

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