Quick n Simple Tomato Rice ~ Kids Favorite!

>>  Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Necessity they say is the mother of all new inventions. Right, I am not about to dispute that. Just confirming that this has indeed been the case in me coming up with new versions of the old dishes. Kids, I tell you, can bring out the best and worst depending on your mood. My daughter as I have said is a very picky eater and I was scared the boys would turn out to be the same. Luckily there are certain dishes they don't mind eating.

Like after we introduced chicken to them, they only say they want Chikki buva. Though they hardly eat the chicken. I realized they like the masala part of it. So I ended up making Kurmas and mix it with rice and send to school. Though the box used to come back clean, I always know it used to get dried up. So have struck to the dal and rasam rice everyday. I know I am doomed the moment they stop eating it.

Over a period, I have evolved the basic ghee rice into Jeera rice and into so many other varieties. One fine day we took them to a restaurant, where they liked the biryani, though they hardly eat the chicken as usual. That prompted me to research more towards finding the right texture and I finally landed in the perfect dish that got their liking.


Quick Tomato Rice for Kids

Disclaimer: This is no way suitable for adults, this is mostly suitable for a toddler of 2 - 3 old. If you still persist in making it for your older kids, then you are most welcome but do warn them that they could get hooked to this!

The evolution of this rice dish is truly remarkable, that I feel I should record it. Basic thing in any dish for my kids, they would want most things to be discarded saying its "Thol" meaning skin, they refer everything by this name. Which I will have to understand that the moment any of these thol goes in my mistake, their young tongue is tuned to parser it and the entire mouthful is rejected. Now imagine feeding three hungry kids and you can't afford to spend time sorting out the unwanted stuff. Mind you, unwanted means Onions, veggies etc!

I finally decided when I am going to struggle throwing out those onions, I might as well not add. Even if I add, I dice them into big chunks and add, so that its easy to remove. You really can't expect a 2+ yr to eat onions! Then once I added turmeric as its a norm to add it to everything! Kids refused to eat by seeing it all red. They said its going to be spicy! One day down the drain. They just snacked for their dinner.

In the end this was the recipe that worked fine with their taste. And I just struck to it without changing anything. When this is served for adults in the home, I add some spicy side dish to take care of the bland rice. This time I served it with Baby Potato Curry. For a spicy version of this tomato puloa, you can check this out.

Aloo Masala with Quick Tomato Rice

Quick n simple Tomato Rice!

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Tomatoes - 1 big
Ginger garlic paste - 1/4 tsp
Chili powder - 3/4 tsp (as per taste) or Green chilies - 1 long, slit in the end
Salt to taste
Ghee - 2 -3 tsp

Whole spices:

Bay leaf - 1
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1"
Cardamom - 1

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak rice for 15 - 20 mins.

Heat a non stick pan with ghee, add in the whole spices, sauté well for 2 mins. When the cumin starts spluttering, add in the ginger garlic paste and green chilies if using.. Sauté well.

Then add the chopped tomatoes, if you are using red chilies, add at this stage, along with salt. Simmer and cover with lid and cook till the tomatoes get really soft.It takes about 5 mins, when you cook on high and keep stirring it.

Add the drained rice and sauté well so that the rice is well coated. Then add 1 cup of water. Adjust salt, cover with lid and cook on high flame, until the water starts boiling. Then simmer and cook it covered with lid for 10 mins. In between, stir it once but take care not to break the rice.

Normally after the first boil, it takes about 5 mins to get cooked. But to get the right texture, you can switch off the stove and still let it get settled in the pan.

Notes: If you are adding green chilies, make sure you don't slit open the entire chili as seeds will come out and can be spicy for the little ones. I have found that instead using Red chili powder works out best.

The rice gets its red colour from the well mashed tomatoes, so it looks good but at the same time not very spicy look. So remember not to add turmeric.

When I am not using Basmati, I use Sona Masuri, for which I add about 3 + 3/4 cups of water. You can add about 4 cups of water to get that grainy yet well cooked rice.

If your kids like to eat onions, please do add them along with whatever other veggies can be included. But do be liberal with ghee if you haven't added the kids quote otherwise for the day.

Hope you enjoyed reading my kids' favorite rice. do share your kid's favorite dish! Would love to read about them!


Raaga August 18, 2009 at 10:31 PM  

yummy... I could get addicted to such stuff! Why only kids?

S August 18, 2009 at 10:51 PM  


I feel even adults will love tomato rice this way. Looks so tempting. :)

Sudeshna August 18, 2009 at 10:52 PM  


I feel even adults will love this recipe. The pics look so tempting :).

Mriganayani August 19, 2009 at 4:28 AM  

First - I have to congratulate you - you have 3 kids and you still can cook and blog about it! I bow down to you - O Supreme One!

This kind of a tomato rice is comfort food for even adults like me.

Looks great!

Rekha shoban August 19, 2009 at 3:57 PM  

nice combination tomato rice and aloo...

Parita August 19, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

why kids only, i love it too :)

Priya Narasimhan August 19, 2009 at 5:40 PM  

this is a perfect dish for my 2 yesr old son..i think i too will like it. :-) bookmarking it..

Pavithra August 19, 2009 at 6:28 PM  

Oh i love tomato rice... yummy ... Looks tempting recently me too posted this. Hey u have 3 kids wow ur managing everything ur really great yah..hat off to u.

Minu August 19, 2009 at 9:12 PM  

I too love tomato rice.

pl send me a copy of your menu planner and also pl include me in your cooking challenge.

Jhanani August 20, 2009 at 3:16 AM  

Hi Valli,

You have a company, that is, my daughter. She is also picky eater.
She says all those things which u have mentioned.

I usually add onions, but now I think I should follow your recipe exactly. Will post my results soon.
Thanks a lot.

Divya Vikram August 20, 2009 at 11:53 PM  

Rice looks pretty and delicious Valli!.

Nirmala August 25, 2009 at 5:10 PM  

Yeah Valli. I can undersatnd every letter of your rant. My two kids have 2 diff tastes. One loving the masala and th other loving the dal kind. U can imagine the chaos. One tip I would give to make thm eat onions. When making kurma I would saue the onions till soft and translucent and would grind it as a paste and add to the kurma. Not only it gives good flavour but also they eat them :) Else I would finely dice it and add. They can't identify its onion ;) But am sure these are time taking.

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