This Tomato bath is a delicious, tangy and spiced rice based dish from the Karnataka cuisine. The recipe is made with a ground paste of tomatoes, coconut, spices and herbs. Addition of this ground masala makes the rice really delicious and flavorful.
1medium sized tej pattaor 2 small tej patta (indian bay leaf)
1medium sized onion,thinly sliced or ½ cup sliced onion
1small to medium capsicum,sliced - optional
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder(ground turmeric)
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
saltadd as required
½ cupwateror add as required
2 tablespoonscoriander leaves (cilantro) for garnishing
fresh coconut for garnishing - optional
Rinse rice very well in water a couple of times. Then soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes drain all the water and keep the rice aside. You can use sona masuri rice, basmati rice or any short grained or medium-grained variety of rice.
Making masala paste for tomato bath
Rinse and roughly chop the tomatoes and add them in a grinder jar or blender. You will need 2 cups roughly chopped tomatoes.
Add ginger, garlic, green chilies, cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon.
Next add grated coconut or desiccated coconut.
Without adding any water grind everything to a fine smooth paste. The juices from the tomato will help in grinding the paste. So no need to add water while grinding or blending.
Now measure the tomato coconut masala paste in a measuring cup. Depending on the water content in the tomatoes, the quantity may vary.
You need to use the proportion of 1:2 for white rice and the masala paste+water respectively. If using 1 cup of white rice, you will actually need 2 cups of the masala paste.
I got 1.5 cups of tomato coconut masala paste - so added ½ cup water later in the pan.
- for 1.5 cups of tomato paste, add 0.5 cups water.- for 1.25 cups, add 0.75 cups water.- for 1 cup of tomato paste, add 1 cup water.
Making tomato bath
In a heavy thick bottomed pan or pot heat ghee or oil.
Keep the heat to a low and add tej patta and cumin seeds. Stir well. Let the cumin seeds crackle.
Then add onion and stirring often sauté the onions till they become golden
Sauté onions on a medium-low to medium flame. If using capsicum, then you can add after the onions have become golden and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then add the soaked rice. Sprinkle turmeric powder and red chili powder. Mix everything.
Now add the measured tomato coconut masala paste. Stir and gently mix everything.
Add water as required and depending on the quantity of masala paste. I added ½ cup water first and later added ½ cup water more as I was using hand pounded sona masuri rice which takes more water to cook.
Season with salt as per taste. Also add sugar.
Mix well. Check the taste of the broth and it should be slightly salty.
Cooking tomato bath
Cover the pan with its lid and simmer on a low heat.
Simmer tomato bath till the rice grains are cooked and fluffy. Do check at intervals and if the rice starts sticking to the pan or water dries up or rice mixture looks dry or rice grains are undercooked, then you can add some more hot water.
Once the rice grains are completely cooked and all the water is absorbed, then switch off the heat. Fluff the tomato bath with a fork.
Serve tomato bath as is or with any sides like raita, pickle or salad of your choice. While serving garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and some grated coconut (optional)
Use the same measuring cup that you have used to measure the rice.
You can also pressure cook the rice. If pressure cooking, then add less water or add water as required. Also use a heavy cooker so that the rice does not stick or get burnt at the bottom.
When the rice is cooking keep an eye on it by checking it with a fork so as to ensure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add more hot water if the water dries up and the rice mixture looks dry or undercooked.
To add more spice increase the quantity of green chillies.
Use tomatoes that are fresh, ripe and juicy.
For the coconut, you can use frozen coconut or unsweetened desiccated coconut.
The recipe can be scaled.
Best to enjoy this dish when it is hot or warm. I would not suggest to refrigerate due to the addition of coconut in the dish.