As the week ambles along , the kitchen rolls out a series of rice varieties for the school and office lunch boxes.
A most preferred dish is the simple but tangy tasty , mildly spiced Tomato rice with spring onions and green peas.This particular combination follows no specific recipe as such and I use all the simple ingredients within easy reach. Perhaps you could try out your own favorite combinations.
Although the key ingredient is the tomato, I just toss the greens of the spring onions and some cooked green peas for the appealing visual quotient.
The beauty of the quick dish is the simplicity and yet high on taste , giving a satisfying feel of a good lunch. As it is not so spicy with the whole aromatic spices except a tad of the spice powder and some red chilli powder , this is very mild and doesn't harm your tummy too.Neither is it too greasy or high in sodium. All in all a simple dish and a cinch when it comes to packing the fussy toddlers lunch box.
Embellishments like toasted cashew or peanuts only give a visual treat , it is not really necessary. Stick it simple.
For those who have run out of tomatoes, not to worry, this dish can be prepared very well with ready made store bought tomato puree too and much quicker to churn out. It is always better to keep some packs of tomato puree ready in the kitchen pantry for such times.
To make the tomato paste:
4 medium sized tomatoes+ 1 small onion +2 cloves of garlic to be pureed ( For those who like more garlic taste, can add more, as we dont prefer too much garlic, only a hint , I added 2 small cloves) You can also add one green chilli with onion, tomatoes, garlic while pureeing if you need a spicy dish.
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
2 tbsp chopped spring onion greens. Only the green parts have been used.
1/4 cup cooked green peas.
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice or any plain long grain will do.
1/2 tsp garam masala (I used Everest Kitchen King masala )
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp udad dal seeds
1/2 tsp chana dal seeds
1 long red chili
pinch of asafoetida
pinch of turmeric powder.( Roasted cashews, or peanuts if you like) may also be added at tempering stage.
Sprigs of curry leaves
Some finely chopped spring onion greens for topping.
Cook the Basmati rice with sufficient water , 1 1/2 cups of rice may need around 2 cups water as you need the long grains and not a mushy rice, so reduce water .
When cooked, keep aside to cool and fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains.
Make a puree of the tomatoes,garlic, and onion and keep aside.
In a a pan , with 2 tbsp oil, splutter the mustard seeds, add udad dal seeds, chana dal seeds, dry red chilli,sprigs of curry leaves.Add the cooked green peas.
Add the tomato puree , kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, garam masala , salt and stir well, let the tomato paste cook for few minutes, till thickened and a fine aroma wafts .
When the thick tomato paste reduces and appears smooth and glistening, you can add the cooled rice , or keep some of the paste aside and use only the quantity you need immediately.
Garnish with spring onion greens. After adding rice, make sure the grains are coated well and the rice absorbs the flavours of the tomato paste.Cover and keep on a low flame for a few minutes for all the flavors to be absorbed well.
When the rice appears to be aromatic, remove and garnish with spring onions greens.Cashews /peanuts may be used.I kept the dish simple without any of the nuts etc.
serve hot with papad or Chilled cucumber Raita.
You can add finely minced onions too to the above recipe. Have excluded it in mine.
while tempering itself, you can add finely chopped onions and saute till translucent and then add the pureed tomato paste. As my daughter doesn't eat onions, I avoided it in my recipe.
In place fresh tomatoes , you can use tomato puree in tetrapak , which also works very well, and has a great colour too. Same procedure except instead of pureeing you can straightaway use the tomato ready made puree , after tempering, add the puree, garlic and onion paste and rest same method.
saves time also.
I used the spring onion greens only for the final touch and flavour. You can choose your own way of presenting..
Any good brand of garam masala will do , I keep the Kitchen king sabzi masala for a variety of uses and so used the same .