Growing up,in North-East of India,we ate rice once a day .Precisely for ‘lunch‘ time.Eating rice for breakfast or dinner was out of norm for me,‘Roti'(‘Tortilla’) was meant for supper or breakfast.This is not true for Western,up north of India,rice does not grow in abundance in those part and is expensive to grow but wheat and oat does.So rice intake is not much in that part of India,’Roti’ is.
When I moved to South India,it was whole another experince.Rice grows in abundance in south.People eat rice based products for breakfast,lunch and dinner.Imagine the adjustment I had to make and how much I craved for ‘Roti'(Tortilla).
When I started working,I was living in women’s hostel,kind of rented room in somebody’s house.Only difference is,many others were renting/sharing rooms at the same time in same place,so it was no longer a ‘private rented’ house but has become a ‘hostel’,the word we use here for ‘dorm’.By 7:30 in the morning,meals were done for entire body living there,since everyone had to leave for work by 8-8:30 and took lunch with them.Most of the time,there was no separate breakfast item,what you ate for breakfast was what you will pack for lunch.I think I was ‘mentally’ not ready to eat rice for breakfast despite of living in South for couple of years by that time.I mostly breakfasted at work cafeteria and was not disappointed.At times,too hungry,I did eat rice for breakfast and I guess adjusted to the idea slowly.It might sound bizarre to some of you but it is very normal in South India,particularly for those who stay in working men/women hostels and commute for work starting early.I got acquainted with multitude ways of rice.And I LIKE EVERY ONE OF THEM :-).Here is my take on ‘Tomato Rice’.
- 2 cups of rice
- 4 cups homemade Chicken Broth
- 1 can diced tomato
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 onions chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tbl pigeon peas(‘Toor’ lentil)
- 1 Tbl Urad Lentil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- chili flakes
- 1 Tbl Coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- In a pan add oil,about a tablespoon.Once hot,add seasoning.
- Once seasonings are blooming,add onion and saute until translucent.
- Meanwhile,in a blender puree tomatoes and garlic.
- Once onion is translucent,add the tomato puree and ground spices.Stir it for 1 min.
- Add rice to it.Season it with salt.Add water.
- Cook it for 20 mins.
- Enjoy with yogurt or raita or dish of your choice.I served it with Kebab.
- You can of course use water,stock,water mixed with bouillon cube.Mine comes from the cheapest means.I tend to buy bone-in chicken breast to save couple of bucks(i know i know what you are thinking).I fillet the breast meat myself and take the leftover bone and boil it in the water.Once done,i take the bones out and cook the rice in that water.
- Fenugreek seeds are must.It is bitter,if you chew on it.It is very good for you.It adds slight kick and aroma to the rice ,which is so prevalent in south Indian dishes.
- Again,if I have curry leaves,i would absolutely use it.
- I didn’t add peppers as usual to cater me and my family’s taste.
- Recipe makes enough leftover for us,which I totally desire.