I am a big rice-eater, I’ve always been one. I can eat pasta, bread, noodles, soup etc. and still feel like I haven’t really eaten. That meal is not really a meal! That’s how much I love rice. I will cook it 7 times a week! OK, maybe not 7 times but at least 5 times! And more often than not, I have left over rice that I ‘spice up’, ‘jazz up’ or whatever you call it and turn it into ‘left over special rice’!
This recipe totally falls into the ‘special rice’ category. I love it. This Tomato and Cashew rice is a simplified and ‘different’ version of the amazing ‘South Indian Style Tomato Rice’. Simplified in terms of using lesser ingredients and different because the flavour profile is very, very different.
I made the tomato and cashew rice in ghee (clarified butter) but you can use any fat/oil of choice. I like each grain of rice to be separate in my ‘rice dishes’ and so when I use left over rice, I prefer it cold from the fridge. In my opinion, if you try to use hot steaming rice or even warm rice, you run a risk of the dish ending up a bit mushy. Believe me, you don’t want clumpy, sticky rice, there is nothing worse! Additionally, the rationale for using cold rice, is that, the rice from the fridge will have lesser moisture (they tend to dry up a bit in the fridge) and it’s easy to crumble in the pan while frying or tossing into the masala!
Orange Curry Syndrome
Besides these two things, I avoid adding everything to everything, cause then everything tastes and looks like everything else! LOL. I used to be (still am, sometimes) notorious for making all my curries orange!
Now, to make this curry, you will need:
- Tomatoes- 2 medium sized, chopped finely
- Rice- 2-3 cups, as per preference (I used 3 cups)
- Onion- ½ a big onion, sliced
- Cashews- ½ cup, halved
- mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
- Fresh coriander-a good bunch, chopped
- Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
- Red chilli powder- 1-1 ½ tsp (again, depending on desired spice level. I used 1 ½ tsp)
- Ghee- 2 tbsp
- Salt-as per taste
- Place a medium sized pan on medium heat and add 1 tbsp ghee. Add the cashews and fry for 1 minute or until the cashews turn golden brown. Once golden-brown, remove cashews from heat and set aside on a plate.
- To the same pan, add the remaining ghee, splutter the mustard seeds and fry the sliced onions. Once fried to gold brown, add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and a pinch of salt. Sauté till the mixture is well combined and the spices are cooked, you will see a bit of the fat leaving the sides.
- Crumble in the rice and mix well. Check for desired seasoning and spice level. Toss in the fried cashews and some of the chopped fresh coriander. Mix well again. Your special tomato and cashew rice is done!
A good thing to keep in mind, is to not add all the salt at once. Add pinches of salt at every stage until you reach the ‘just the right amount’ taste! As you can see, there is no ginger, garlic, curry leaves and other lovely ingredients here. This is tomato-cashew rice and you can taste them!
I hope you like this recipe and give it a try!