Tomato rice pilau


It's comfort food time of the year and this tomato rice is as close to comfort food as you can get. I made this to eat with my coconut vegetable stew, according to an old recipe that my Nana used to make, I remember the flavours from when I was very young.

To make rice for four people you will need:

1 cup of good quality basmati rice (it's all about the quality of the rice)

1 tablespoon of oil

1 large tomato, grated or blended till pulpy

1 small stick of cinnamon

1 bay leaf

2-3 cloves

1 teaspoon of black peppercorns

1-2 cardamom pods

1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and when hot, add all the whole spices.  When they start to smell nice, add the tomato and stir fry for a couple of minutes until the mixture is mushy. 

Rinse the rice well and add to the pan.  Top up with a little less than 2 cups of cold water (the normal ratio of rice to water is 1:2 but with tomato adds to the quantity of liquid).  The water should sit an inch above the level of the rice.  Add a teaspoon of salt, and bring the rice to boil, uncovered. 

As soon as it boils, turn the heat down to low, cover the pan at an angle so a little steam still gets out, and cook for 10-12 minutes until the water is fully absorbed.  At this stage place the cover on tightly, and leave on the stove for another 10 minutes or so until the rice is fully steamed.  Fluff up with a fork and serve.