One dish that would top my list to make on days that I am lazy to cook would be tomato rice. Pair it with just potato wafers or home-made fryums or a roasted potato dry curry, an inviting meal is ready. I figured that making the tomato puree ahead and storing is making it even easier. You may then put the rice, spices and puree in a rice cooker or the microwave and get it done as quickly as possible.
How to puree tomatoes in the microwave for storing:
Using a fork or a toothpick, prick at points on the surface of the tomato.
In a microwave safe bowl take half a cup of water and place about three large tomatoes thus pricked.
Cover the bowl and cook on the highest micro output for 3 minutes initially.
Check if the peel comes off easily, otherwise, let it cook for a further minute. Allow a few minutes of standing time.
Cool and blend to a puree.
This puree can be used to cook tomato rice.
200ml basmati rice, washed, soaked for 20 minutes and drained
2 medium onion chopped fine
1 cup pureed tomato
2 tablespoons ghee/oil
2 cups water
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
few curry leaves
Grind to a paste:
2 cloves garlic
1/2" stick cinnamon
2 green chillis
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon corriander powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
In a microwave safe bowl heat oil on highest power for 30 seconds. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. (it takes me about 1 minute to get the mustards crackle on 100% power). Add the cumin seed and the curry leaves. Let them cook for 20 seconds on 100% power.
Add 1 tablespoon ghee/oil to the above. Add chopped onions and set to medium power (60%). Cook for 3 minutes until onions are soft. Now add the paste and mix well. Microwave without covering, on 60% power for 4 minutes, stirring at two minute intervals. Thus the raw masala cooks with an aroma.
Remove and reserve this. In the same bowl heat the rest of the ghee uncovered on micro power 100% for 30 seconds.
Add the drained rice, mix well to coat the rice with the fat. Leave the bowl uncovered and heat the rice on 80% power for 2 minutes initially and then stir and heat for a further minute.
If you are cooking in a microwave rice cooker, transfer all of the contents, the reserved masala, tomato puree and the water in the rice cooker.
Leave it uncovered and on microwave 100%, cook for 4 minutes until the liquid starts boiling.
Fix the cover of the rice cooker and cook on 100% power for 12 minutes. Allow a standing time of two minutes and check if the rice is done.
If not, return to the microwave and cook covered on 80% power for 2 more minutes.
Open and stir well and place the cover back. Keep covered for 5 more minutes.
Serve with your favourite raita, chips or crisps.
If you do not want to use the microwave rice cooker, Take all of the contents in a large microwave safe bowl, cook covered on 100% power for 12 minutes. Remove the lid, stir and cook for 4 more minutes, covered on 60% power.
Remove the lid, stir and place the lid covered well for 5 minutes before serving.
Garnish with fresh corriander leaves. Serve with crisps and raita.