Recipes: Tomato Rice

Last week when we were bored of eating the same combinations of food daily, I decided to make this tomato rice. It’s a fairly easy recipe and does not take long to make. This is also a good one pot meal as well as something you can rustle up for a packed lunch.

Tomato Rice


  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes, washed, drained and kept aside
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4-5 fresh red chillies (if you can’t get fresh red chillies, substitute with 2-3 dried red chillies)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste


  • Grind the ginger, garlic and chilli to a fine paste and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and when warm, add in the cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  • Then add the chopped onions and let them fry for a few seconds.
  • Now add the ground ginger-garlic-chilli paste and let it cook for a couple of minutes
  • When the onions become translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and spices and cook till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  • Now add the rice and cook for a few minutes.
  • If you are using a rice cooker, transfer the rice and tomato mixture to it and add 1.75 cups of water. Check for seasoning and let it cook.
  • If you plan to cook it on the stovetop, then add the water and check for seasoning and cover and cook it it is done. You may need to check it while it is cooking to ensure the rice does not over cook.
  • Serve hot with a raita of your choice.


Recipes: Suran Matar

So after we made the Eriseri, we still had around half a yam and was wondering what to do with it when R suggested a dish they make in their village. R comes from a village in the northern part of India and this recipe is an earthy, rustic one.

Suran Matar


  • 1 cup elephants foot or yam, peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces and kept aside
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp oil + oil to deep fry
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat the oil to deep fry in a deep bottomed pan and when hot, fry the cubed yam pieces until they are crisp. Keep aside on kitchen paper.
  • In another pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and fry the cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, onions and tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes soften and turn mushy. Keep aside to cool and then blend to a fine paste.
  • In the same pan, heat the balance oil and pour the onion tomato paste and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add all the dry spices – red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the peas and cook till the peas are almost cooked.
  • Now add the fried yam and season with salt. Add any other seasoning if you need it.
  • Let it cook for another 5 minutes. You can add water at this point to thin it to the consistency you want.
  • Remove from the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with any Indian flatbread of your choice.

Recipes: Eriserri

Eriseri 7Since my mum is with me, I got her to make this dish which comes to Tamil Nadu via Kerala. This is made of Elephant’s Foot or Yam which looks like a stone but when cooked is a yummy dish which can replace potatoes in a dish.

Eriseri 3.1Eriseri


  • 2 cups yam, peeled and cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup raw bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp grated coconut
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • Salt to taste


  • In a pan or pressure cooker, cook the cubed yam and raw banana with the turmeric powder till they are completely cooked and soft. Keep  aside
  • In a small pan, heat 1 tsp oil and fry the cumin seeds, peppercorns and red chillies till they are brown and keep aside. When cool, grind it to a smooth paste with 1/4 cup grated coconut and keep aside.
  • Now add this paste to the cooked vegetables and season it with salt and let it come to a rolling boil. When the gravy is as thick as you like it, remove from the flame and keep aside.
  • In the same smaller pan, heat the remaining oil and add the mustard seeds and when it splutters, add the curry leaves and the balance coconut and fry until the coconut becomes golden and crisp.
  • Pour this over the cooked vegetable, adjust seasoning and serve hot with plain rice. This also goes well with any Indian flatbread.

Eriseri 6.1

Eriseri 5

Eriseri 2

Eriseri 1.1

Recipe: Lemon Semiya or Vermicelli

Lemon Vermicelli 2Usually, when I prepare vermicelli for dinner, it’s always both this lemon vermicelli and the coconut vermicelli I shared a couple of weeks back. So this was made the same time we made the coconut vermicelli. This is also super easy to make and will appeal to those who like a sharp tangy taste!

Lemon Vermicelli 4Lemon Semiya or Vermicelli


  • 1 packet instant rice vermicelli
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp broken urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • Lemon juice as per taste (around 3-4 tbsps)
  • Salt to taste


  • Prepare the instant rice vermicelli as per the instructions in the packet. Drain well and keep aside.
  • In a separate pan, heat the oil and when warm, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, green chillies, turmeric powder, curry leaves and salt and stir for a few seconds till the urad dal becomes red.
  • When the urad dal becomes red, switch off the flame and then add the lemon juice. Adding it while the flame is on will result in the lemon juice becoming bitter.
  • Now add the drained vermicelli and stir well to mix together.
  • Remove from the flame and serve hot.


  • You can make the same dish with rice. Just substitute the vermicelli with precooked rice and you have lemon rice!
  • You can also add cashew nuts and fry them in the oil to add an extra zing to the dish!

Lemon Vermicelli 5Lemon Vermicelli 1

Recipe: Ginger Pepper Rasam

Ginger Pepper Rasam 3

Last week GG caught a bad cold from school and since the children are in the midst of exams, I decided to make this rasam, which can also be eaten as a soup which is filled with the goodness of peppercorns and ginger, both which are very good for getting rid of a cold. I made another version earlier, this version omits tamarind and also slightly different.

This is a fairly easy recipe to make and can finish in under 20 minutes when you have the ingredients ready.

Ginger Pepper Rasam 1Ginger Pepper Rasam


  • 1/2 cup cooked tuvar dal
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 red chilli (omit this if you don’t want it too spicy or if you intend to increase the number of peppercorns)
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper powder (optional)
  • Lemon juice as per taste


  • In a pan, take 1 tsp ghee and fry the cumin seeds, chana dal, peppercorns, red chilli, ginger and 4-5 curry leaves and fry until the dal changes colour. Remove from the flame and cool down
  • When cool, grind to a smooth paste with the chopped tomatoes and a bit of water.
  • In a pan, heat the water and add to this the cooked tuvar dal, asafoetida, jaggery and salt and bring to a boil.
  • When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the cooked tomato and spice paste and let it cook well. This should take between five to ten minutes.
  • When it starts boiling, the water will reduce. At this point, top up the water and once it starts boiling again, remove from the flame.
  • Add the lemon juice after the rasam has been removed from the flame.
  • In another smaller pan, heat the remaining ghee. When warm, add the mustard seeds and the balance curry leaves and let them pop. Now add the pepper powder (if you are using) and pour this over the rasam.

Drink hot as a soup for a soothing concoction for your throat. This is yum over rice and a dollop of ghee or even as a pick-me-up during cold and rainy days!

Ginger Pepper Rasam 4

Ginger Pepper Rasam 2