Tomato Rice

Sometimes the heart seeks something simple. My taste buds crave for something ordinary, something different. These are times when I randomly pick a bookmarked recipe & try it out. I also try out all the simple no fuss recipes when R is travelling, especially if he is travelling through the weekend, I keep my meals extra simple. Honestly, I hate to cook for survival. I love cooking for someone else and so when I don't have any adult company during meal times, I customise my recipes for the lil picky eater I have at home. Most times I tweak my existing recipes and make it child friendly, other times I just order food from out! Yup! It's that simple! No slogging over something which doesn't get any approval from the little tyrant.

I think the simplest of all meals in my opinion are those involving rice and especially a dish that you can whip up in no time. I came across this really simple & flavourful rice while I was blog hopping in Nisha's Kitchen and instantly bookmarked it. What's great about these typically South Indian style flavoured rice items is that most of them can be made with leftover rice. A lot like how the Chinese rustle up fried rice for breakfast by using up the previous day's rice.

My brief stint in Bangalore (I can never call it Bengalooru - ugh!) saw me frequenting Sukh Sagar, Koramangala and other such veg restaurants randomly named with a suffix of 'Sagar'. I used to have a lot of these different kinds of flavoured rice - tomato rice, lemon rice, vangi bhath (brinjal rice), puliogre (tamarind rice), khara bhath (spiced rice), bisi bele bhath (hot rice & lentils) & curd rice ~ each of them delicious & different in their own way although I had my personal favourites. But as much as I loved them during those days, I never attempted making them in my kitchen. This was my perfect chance to bring back some old memories. One spoonful of tomato rice and I was transported back to the time when I did my month long project work in Bangalore as part of my post-grad curriculum. I used to stay as a paying guest (P.G) along with my friend Rinku (of Rinku's Kitchen Treats) and we would leave every morning to our particular work places (where we did our project work) and many a time we had our lunch alone at such veg restaurants, with only the menu card for company :-( We would wait to get back in the evenings during that cold month of November and have some delicious meals cooked by the aunty who ran the place. With little money in our pockets, we had to 'kaam chalao' (make do) with simple food picking from the variety mentioned above for a whole month (or as long as the project lasted). These along with many other remain to be my most cherished memories of my college days. I am sure you will agree Rinks!

Tomato Rice
Serves 1-2

You Need:
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and add the mustard, when it splutters, add the hing, methi seeds and urad dal. Stir on a low flame and then add the onions, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves.
2. Cook till the onions turn translucent and then add the turmeric and red chilli powders and cook for a minute.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix well, cover & cook till tomatoes are fully cooked. Add salt to taste, mix well & turn off the flame.
4. Add the cooked rice & mix gently till well incorporated.
5. Serve hot with raitha or plain curds.

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