How often does it happen that a dish you have just cooked looks exactly like its recipe-book picture? hmmm? I am asking you.
Well in my case, hardly ever. I am too scattered brain to follow a recipe step by step from beginning to end. Easily distracted and generally full of "that seemed like a good idea at the time" type of additions.
But this time, I stuck my little tongue out, and paid attention and look at the result. Credit must be given where credit is due, though, Anjum Anand's recipes work. This is why in the foodie-blogosphere we like her recipe books.
Anjum describes this recipe as: "more rice, less pilaff and normally made with southern rice which is often thicker and shorter whilst no less delicious. However you can use any white rice" so I did, used any old white rice.
I can't remember what was the accompaniment for this tomato rice but I can remember the taste, one word : delicious. One drawback, it took me rather a long time to cook but that is possibly because I was trying to remember which line I had read last.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2.5cm piece of cinnamon stick
1 black cardamon pod
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
3 green chillies, left whole
1/2 tsp tumeric
3/4 tsp garam masala
1tbsp fennel seeds, poedered
salt, to taste
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
200g rice, washed until the water runs clear and soaked while you cook the masala
3 tbsp fresh or frozen grated coconut.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan.
Add the whole spices and, once the mustard seeds splutter, add the onion and cook over a moderate heat until golden>
Stir in the garlic, and chillies, and cook over a low heat for 1 minute or until the garlic smells cooked.
Add the powdered spices and salt; cook for another 20 seconds, stirring
Add the tomatoes and turn the heat up.
Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.
Taste- there should be nor harsh elements.
Add the drained rice and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Pour in 430 ml water and the coconut, give it a good stir and taste.
Adjust the salt at this stage.
Bring to boil, then cover with a tight lid, turn the heat to its lowest setting and cook for 8 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Turn off the heat, remove the cover and let any excess moisture evaporate.
Serve hot or warm.