When life gives you tomatoes, make tomato rice.
With tomatoes being a year round produce in India, it’s common to find regional versions of tomato rice.
For this recipe, I’ve used touches from the south and western cuisines of India to create a simple time-tested recipe for gluten-free and vegan minty tomato rice.
The result: aromatic and moist tomato rice with the taste of fresh mint which will fill your senses with mouthwatering joy.
Mint and Tomato Basmati Rice served steaming hot makes a wholesome entree or a versatile side to your favorite chicken tikka or vegetable.
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice, white or brown
- 1½ cup (about ¾ lb. or 3-4 medium sized) blended or puréed fresh tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 3-4 whole cardamom, in shell
- 1 cinnamon stick, 2 inches
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 whole Thai green chili or Serrano pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- Wash and drain the basmati rice. Purée or blend the fresh tomatoes in a mini food prep or with a hand blender.
- Heat canola oil in a large sauté pan. Add whole cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, chopped garlic and uncut green chili to the oil. Watch out for splattering when adding whole spices to hot oil.
- Add the washed and drained uncooked Basmati rice to the spiced oil. Sprinkle ground red chili and coriander along with salt and black pepper over the rice. Stir to toast the rice grain for a minute or two.
- Add the blended fresh tomatoes and ½ cup of water to the rice. (Make sure you add a total of 2 cups of liquid to the rice.) Once the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the flame to low; cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 10-13 minutes. There should be no visible liquid on the rice.
- Leave covered and undisturbed for 10 minutes, so the rice grain can finish cooking in steam.
- Sprinkle chopped fresh mint and cilantro leaves over the rice, fluff with a fork to stir. Keep covered till ready to serve.
- Serve hot Mint and Tomato Basmati Rice with a side of Potato Raita and simple Chutney. Alternately, tomato rice makes a great side with meat preparations like Grilled Lamb Chops.