Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Rice is nice

Rice doesn't always have to be plain. These tasty rice dishes are tasty and easy to prepare.

Tomato rice


2 cups rice
2 cups water
4 tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp salt
3 pandan (screw pine) leaves, cut into three


Boil the tomatoes in two cups of water until skins burst, remove tomatoes and reserve liquid. Skin and chop tomatoes.

Rinse rice and place in rice cooker with all other ingredients.

Stir well before serving.

Tomato rice ala India


2 cups rice
2 1/2 cups water
4 tomatoes
1 tsp salt
I tbsp ghee or butter
Small bunch cilantro (coriander)

Spice mixture

2 green chilies, chopped and seeds discarded
3 tbsp grated coconut (fresh or dried)
2 tbsp channa dhal or any other dhal
1 tsp coriander seeds
* 1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp oil


Saut‚ dhal on a low flame for a couple of minutes. Add other spice ingredients and saut‚ until fragrant, taking care not to burn.

Allow to cool and grind coarsely. Set aside.

Boil the tomatoes in water until skins burst, remove tomatoes and reserve liquid. Skin and chop tomatoes.

Rinse rice and saut‚ in ghee or oil for a few minutes.

Place in rice cooker with chopped tomatoes and reserved liquid and salt.

When rice is cooked stir in the spice mixture.

Serve with chopped fresh coriander.


For a healthier version do not saut‚ the rice in oil, only the spice mixture. * Asafoetida or hing is found in Indian grocery stores and in some supermarkets.

If you cannot find coriander seeds and hing then just replace this with a teaspoon of good quality curry powder.

Carrot rice


2 cups rice
1 large carrot coarsely grated
2 green chilies chopped finely
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
2 1/2 cups hot water

Fast method

Pan-roast cashews and set aside.

Put rice, oil and spices in rice cooker and turn on.

Add grated carrots, peas and raisins and cashews 10 minutes before rice is cooked

Traditional method

Saut‚ chili and ginger in oil until fragrant.

Add turmeric, saut‚ for one minute then add rinsed rice and saut‚ for a few minutes.

Transfer rice to rice cooker, add hot water and turn on rice cooker.

When rice is cooked stir thoroughly before serving and garnish with roasted cashews.


Water can be adjusted in all these recipes to give the rice either a softer texture or drier, harder texture.

Hot water only makes the process faster, using water at room temperature works just as well.

More ginger and chili can be used if preferred.

Serve with cucumber raita.

--Melinda Hewitt/Contributor


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