Tomato Rice (Tamatar Ka Pulao)
1 cup basmati rice
2 medium tomatoes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and julienned
1½ teaspoons Warm Spice Mix (see recipe on page 12)
2 cups water
Table salt, to taste
Minced cilantro, for garnish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30–35 minutes
This lovely red-hued rice has a mild, delicious flavor. Serve with Fried Okra in Yogurt Sauce (page 58).
1. Rinse the rice at least 3 to 4 times with water. Drain and set aside.
2. Boil water and plunge the tomatoes into the pot for 30 seconds, then pull them out and run them under cold water. Peel off the tomato skins. In a bowl, roughly mash the blanched tomatoes. Set aside.
3. In a deep pan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the gingerroot and the spice mix; mix well. Add the rice and salt; sauté for 1 minute.
4. Add the water and stir for 1 minute to remove any rice lumps. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat. Loosely cover with a lid and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated. You will see small craters forming on top of the rice.
5. Cover tightly and reduce the heat to the lowest setting; simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and garnish with the minced cilantro. Serve hot.
To reduce the cooking time, soak rice in cold water for about 30 minutes before cooking. Keep in mind that you should use less water to cook soaked rice than you would for dry rice. The water-to-rice ratio for soaked rice is 1½ cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Soaking helps the rice absorb water and expand well during the actual cooking process. Many people like to save the soaking water and use it for cooking later.