As history suggests, tomatoes were not indigenous to India and were only available in the country, 16th century onwards, courtesy the Portuguese. They even at that time could not have thought of the culinary evolution which happened after their introduction to Indian cuisine. Not only did they become one of the famous ingredients in the Indian kitchen but so many dishes evolved around them ranging from chutneys, soups and to curries.
Tomato is a perennial plant grown outdoors in temperate climate typically reaching upto 2-10feet in height with weak woody stem that requires support once they start tilting towards one side.
Even though fresh tomatoes are readily available, people often take advantage of their good preserving properties. Some of the forms in which it can be found are fresh both raw green and ripe, sun-dried, pickled, paste and pureed.
Tomato Rice (Also known as tomato bhaat)
2 cups leftover long grain rice
2 tbsp refined oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
1 large red onion, chopped fine
4 large ripe tomatoes, cut into cubes
1″ piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
Heat the oil in a kadhai/ deep sauté pan and add the mustard seeds and green chillies and allow them to crackle. When they stop spluttering add the onion and fry until translucent, about 2-3minutes.
Add the tomato and ginger and continue to stir. Cook until the tomatoes turn pulpy, about 5-7minutes.
Add coriander, cumin and garam masala powders (see the garam masala section in “The Ultimate Indian Curry Manual” ) and cook for another 2minutes. Add leftover rice and stir very gently to mix and heat at the same time. Season with salt. Cook on a low flame for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle the chopped coriander just before serving. Serve with the South Indian chutney or pachdi of your choice.
Tags: lentil, chana, dhokla, chicken, tandoor, kebab, tandoori, palak, naan, handi