Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tomato Rice

I usually love to eat mixed rice of any kind and this tomato rice is one of them. Mom usually used to make this on Saturday lunch, as because she used to have either a half a day at work or holiday on the second Saturday's. So this lunch was special for us, because Mom will be there to eat with us. She always used to make either chicken, shrimp or potato fry to with this recipe as a side. I know it's a simple recipe but with Mom it used be always special. So I will dedicate this recipe to her. I made some small changes to my Mom's original recipe.
The tomato is native to South America. Genetic evidence shows the progenitors of tomatoes were herbaceous green plants with small green fruit and a center of diversity in the highlands of Peru.
Tomatoes are now eaten freely throughout the world, and their consumption is believed to benefit the heart among other organs. They containlycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. In some studies lycopene, especially in cooked tomatoes, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer but other research contradicts this claim. Lycopene has also been shown to improve the skin's ability to protect against harmful UV rays. Natural genetic variation in tomatoes and their wild relatives has given a genetic treasure trove of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants. Tomato varieties are available with double the normal vitamin C (Doublerich), 40 times normal vitamin A (97L97), high levels of anthocyanin (resulting in blue tomatoes), and two to four times the normal amount oflycopene (numerous available cultivars with the high crimson gene).
Tomato consumption has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer, head and neck cancers and might be strongly protective against neurodegenerative diseases.

5 ripe Tomatoes cubed
2-3 dry Red Chilies
1 sprig Curry leaves
2-3 green Chilies slit
3-4 Garlic pods sliced
1 green Cardamom
1/4 inch Cinnamon stick
2 Cloves
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Oil
1 pinch of Asafoetida
Salt to taste
1 tsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
2 Cups Cooked Rice (I used Basmati Rice)
1/4 cup Cilantro chopped

1. In a mixer add the cubed tomatoes and puree until it's thick and smooth without any chunks of tomato.
2. In a heavy bottom pan, add oil and when it's hot add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and when you smell the aroma add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, when they start to sputter add asafoetida and dry red chili.
3. Add the Curry leaves, garlic and green chilies, now add turmeric powder, salt and the tomato puree and mix well, cover and cook in medium heat for about 15-20 mins or until the tomatoes are cooked well and there when the oil floats on top.
5. Now off the flame and add the cooked rice, ghee and mix well and garnish with chopped cilantro and serve this rice hot or warm with any fry recipe.