Wish you all a very very happy New Year 2011. Here I am with all the strength and vigor to start blogging actively. Hope this enthusiasm stays with me. To start with, I have a delicious Tomato Pulao that is spicy and aromatic. With respect to taste, there is a vast difference between cooked rice mixed with tomato and the rice itself cooked in tomato. The dish is cooked in Dum in a non stick heavy bottomed kadai with lid. I have not used any rice cooker or pressure cooker to prepare this dish. Just this one dish with some raitha is enough for a wholesome meal that will be ready in a jiffy to please your taste buds. Here's the recipe.
Basmathi rice - 2 cups
Diced tomato Can - 2
(Note: I used Organics brand diced tomato in tomato juice. Use 4 to 5 red ripe roma tomatoes, if you don't have 'diced tomato' cans - If you grind the tomato, the yield should be 2 or 2 and half cups)
Water - 2 cups
Oil for seasoning
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Star anise seeds - 2 or 3 stars
Dhania powder - 2 teaspoons
Garlic - 4 cloves
Ginger - half inch - finely diced
Green chillis - 3
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Cloves - 5 to 6
Bay leaf - 2
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt as required
Roasted cashews and coriander leaves for garnish
Ghee (optional) - for flavor
Soak the rice in 2 cups water. Keep it aside.
Chop the onions.
Grind the tomato.
Dry grind the cloves and add ginger, garlic and green chillis. Sprinkle water and grind to a paste.
Take a heavy bottomed wide non stick kadai that has a lid. Heat a table spoon oil and add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and star anise seeds.
Add the chopped onions and fry until the onions are soft.
Add the Ground paste (ginger,garlic,cloves,green chillis paste).
Fry for a minute and add 2 cups tomato juice (the pulpy juice) and 2 cups water.
When the content comes to a boil, add the salt, turmeric powder and dhania powder.
Add the soaked rice with the water. Allow the content to boil. Close the kadai with a lid. Preferably with a glass lid. Bring the heat to medium (number 5 from the scale of 1 to 10 if cooking in electric coil).
Give a stir after 10 or 15 minutes and cook closed. Keep an eye on the pulao. Turn off heat if all the water is absorbed.
Toss in the roasted cashews and flavor the rice with ghee (clarified butter). The rich and spicy aroma of the pulao will fill the room. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and enjoy with raita of your choice.