Friday, March 13, 2009

Tomato rice

How many of you have been to boarding school? ( Right now, I've put my hand up.....Anyone else?) I loved hostel life.

If you have not been a boarder, I think, that you have truly missed out on one of the most exciting experiences. Being surrounded by friends, fun and frolic. There may be many of you who disagree with me. Anyway....your entitled to your own opinions:)

While I was studying for my graduation and was in hostel, I had a big, big gang of friends and we did everything from bunking classes , to pretending to be sick and scooting for movies, sitting late into the night playing cards and chatting away non-stop and much much more...... But, mind you, we did sober stuff which were harmless. No harm to anyone, including ourselves. None of us, ever flunked a paper nor did we do anything our parents didn't approve of. We were serious where we had to be and had fun whenever we had a chance. They were good days....

Well, hostel life was great, except when it came to the food part. We were served cold, horrible meals and our lunches included no other veggie other than yams and potatoes on a regular basis. Coming to the idlys......they were stone-hard, and we often joked that it could kill someone if it rolled off the table. It could have been for a fact, but, never tried to prove it :)

But, there was one dish which was unanimously loved..... tomato rice. Served with potato chips (not surprising, potato again), the combination was utterly enjoyable. It rice was tangy and spicy. This is my take on that tomato rice, but I've included a veggie as well. No not potato this time:) It's peas. And I'm avoiding the chips too( for everyones sake).

Enjoy the weekend everyone. And beware! Today is FRIDAY THE 13TH. Spooky...

Ingredients:( serves 3-4)
  • Basmati rice - 1 cup ( or 4 cups cooked basmati rice )
  • Vegatable oil - 2 tbspns
  • Onion - 1 medium( chopped)
  • Garlic - 2 cloves( finely chopped)
  • Green chilli - 1
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tspn
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cinnamon stick - 1
  • Chilli powder - 1/2 tspn ( or to taste)
  • Garam masala - 1/2 tspn
  • Frozen peas - 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Tomatoes (roma tomatoes) - 5
  • Tomato paste( puree) - 2 tbspns
  • Boiling water - 1-1/2 cups( if using cooked rice, no need for water)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Fresh cilantro- 3 tbspns
  • Wash the rice nad soak in cold water for 10 mins.Drain and set aside
  • In a large sauce pan, heat oil and add the cloves and cinnamon.
  • Then add cumin seeds, green chilli and garlic and saute for 30 secs.
  • Add onions and saute till light golden.( about 3 mins)
  • Add garam masala and chilli powder. Stir well.
  • Now add the tomatoes and tomato puree and mix well. Reduce heat to medium-low. Let it simmer and reduce till most of the liquid is evaporated and you are left with a thick tomato masala. (takes about 1o mins).
  • Add peas a cook for another 5 mins.
  • If using cooked rice, just stir in the rice. Mix well so that all the rice grains are coated with masala. Stir in coriander leaves. Serve hot with raita.
  • If using uncooked rice, stir in rice and add the boiling water.
  • Cover the pan and set heat to medium and let the rice cook.( abt 13-14 mins)
  • Stir occasionally.
  • When the rice is cooked, remove from heat and stir in cilantro leaves with a fork.
  • Serve hot with raita

You might like to check out these recipes:

Luv 'n' luc'


  1. I have been in boarding school but not hostel as in college. Loved the boarding school although I was there just for year, most nuns are so nice and some you want to kick in the backside! ;D

    Tomato rice looks great, my fave when I have bounty of Tomatoes in Summer! :)

  2. I agree hostel life is total fun but I had experienced that only for 3months n tat to only during my PG graduation....Apart from missing home it was great!!! Tomato rice looks delicious...Happy Weekend!!

  3. I have never lived in a hostel but must be real fun .. I love tomato rice .. nice click ..

  4. We had a fun time during Btech in hostels..all sorts of pranks n fun n all.. ;)But we hated the food there like anything..!!
    Tomato rice is sure delicious..the pic looks yum too..Gal..13 fridy huh..u really had to remind that?? :-S

  5. ohh yeah..tell me about hostel life!! there never was a day when we slept before 3 am and got up 10 mins to the first class and fight for the bathrooms!! gosh, it was sooo much fun!!! the tomato rice looks fabulous!

  6. reviving my hostel days..i was in hostel for my mtech in REC..but that was ok ,sometimes the food was bad ..anyway college days were fun..i am missing alot all my frds n joy now :)
    Tomoto rice looks colorful n lovely smitha!!nice pic too..

  7. Hi Smitha, first time here..Love tomato rice..It is one of my fav..lovely color..

  8. me too.. love tomato rice. i make it often. ur pic tempts me to make now :)

  9. wow ! nice click ..looking good..:)Thanks for the recipe

  10. Hi Smitha,
    Reading abt ur hostel days was fun :)I've never lived in hostel ever. But I've had such wonderful friends during college. We too would bunk classes for ice-creams,coffees n movies and chatting ofcourse :) It was really fun!
    Tomato rice looks superb in the snap.
    Have a great weekend.

  11. First time here.Your blog is so nice...I have been in hostel for 2 yrs.Nice experince..Recipe looks great!!

  12. Smitha, this looks like a wonderful dish and I bet it's just full of flavor. Can't wait to give it a try!

  13. wow ! smita welcome to my blog ..Thanks for your wishes :)

  14. plz come n pick up your awards dear :))

  15. i too never got the chance to stay in hostel..but had fun in college time..miss everything now..rice looks super delicious

  16. I have had the same experience!!! hated the food except for a masala bath we used to get every tues! Nice pics!

  17. Hi Smitha,

    Reached here through foodbuzz and I could relate to everything you have written abt hostel life...friends and lot of fun! and also the horrible meals.
    your tomato rice looks yummy.
    we used to have Kadi pakora that was loved by everyone.



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