Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Cherry Tomato ~ Basmati Pulao

Tomatoes from My Container Garden

The past week before going on a weeklong working vacation to DC with Vijay, one thing I did was picking the cherry tomatoes from my container garden. There were almost two pounds of tomatoes from 4 plants. I picked even the unripe ones, thinking the plants were not going to survive this hot weather without getting water daily. By the time we returned, we were like fried puris all red and puffed up, whereas our plants were all shriveled up and looking tired because of extremely hot weather. I think there is one more crop in them, that’s all.

Cherry tomatoes have thin skin, filled with juice without lot of thick flesh, just like the tomatoes that I would find in India. That’s why I prefer them for planting for my container garden every year. They are perfect for curries, rasams, salads and for rice. And one of the best recipes that truly do justice to the incredible flavor of summer tomatoes is tomato pulao. I often prepare it during this season. Quite easy, a one-pot meal and always a crowd favorite, if you haven’t tried tomato pulao yet, trust me and give it a try. Juicy tomatoes and fragrant basmati rice cooked together is a taste that would make you whistle summer tunes.:)

Summer’s Tomato Bounty


Tomatoes and Veggies:
15 to 20 cherry tomatoes or 1 pound ripe tomatoes of any variety – chopped
1 onion and 6 green chillies – finely chopped lengthwise
½ cup of finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup of frozen fresh chickpeas
(available as ‘Choleye’ in Indian grocery shops-frozen section. Green peas fresh or dried, or roasted cashews – they all taste good with this rice. Your choice.)

Basmati Rice:
1 cup of basmati rice and 2½ cups of water

For Masala:
2 each – cardamom pods and cloves
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon of black peppercorn
Coarsely grind these together.
Salt, bay leaf and ghee or oil to taste

1 In a large saucepan, heat ghee/oil. Add and saute the onions until soft and red.

2 Add the green chillies, masala powder, bay leaf and chickpeas, saute for few minutes.

3 Stir in the cut tomatoes, juice, seeds everything. Increase the heat to high, cook them covered until the tomatoes when pressed with a spatula turn to soft, concentrated mush.

4 Stir in the basmati rice and salt. Add water and mix. On high heat, bring the water to boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Mix only once and resist the temptation to stir frequently (frequent stirring breaks the rice and makes a soggy mess.) Turn off the heat and leave it to rest for about 5 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle fresh cilantro, gently mix taking care not to brake the basmati rice.

Serve with kurma and/or raita (yogurt is mixed with salt, finely chopped onions, green chillies and grated carrot, cucumber).

From Pot to Plate ~ Tomato : Basmati Pulao with Raita ~ For Green Blog Project”

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Basmati Rice,Biyyamu (Rice),Chickpeas-Black,Tomato (Thursday August 3, 2006 at 2:04 pm- permalink)
Comments (36)

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36 comments for Cherry Tomato ~ Basmati Pulao »

  1. wow, beautiful, beautiful is the only word that comes to my mind first! Tomatoes looks very pretty…Pulao looks absolutely yummy!

    Comment by Karthi Kannan — August 3, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

  2. I make this recipe as Tomato rice but using homegrown cherry tomatoes just takes it to a different pedestal altogether.. Wonderful creation !!!

    Comment by revathi — August 3, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

  3. i think that your presentation has reached such a stage that the regular words like nice yummy excellent ….. have no meaning .because u have surpassed these mundane words we have to find out some extraordinary words to describe your site and your work. when i see your work everyday it makes me thing wow people have so much of patience and passion.Your passion make me encouraged to do things which i like and u have opened doors for lot of things. Truly u are unbelievable and i hope that ur web site will be declared as the groundbreaking site for all the food bloggers.

    Comment by madhuri — August 3, 2006 @ 3:01 pm

  4. I agree with madhuri!
    you are the BEST!

    Comment by hema — August 3, 2006 @ 3:06 pm

  5. First photo is my favourite….:-) Fresh from the garden..It must be absolutely delicious,isnt it?

    Comment by Kerala Girl — August 3, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

  6. Ah ! look at the first pic. Fresh tomatoes from your garden. Pulao looks delicious.

    Comment by Krithika — August 3, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

  7. ooohhh,,this I can manage to make! till now have only been salivating, my mom makes them with “chor ke daane” they are those green chickpea type of thing..and I dont know what else they are called! Thanks again, for something I havent eaten in a while

    Comment by disha — August 3, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

  8. Indira i was browsing for pulao recipes for dinner and found this recipe an hour ago. I had some leftover cooked chickpeas so without any hesitaion wrote down the recipe and started cooking. Loved it ! Different from the usual pulao recipes that i know – 1. Doesnt have any giner+ garlic paste. 2. No chilli powder or gren chilli paste. 3. Freshly ground peppercorns.
    Thanx for the recipe Indira, I have posted the pictures in my blog ( Food Pix & treasured recipes page)

    Comment by Priya — August 3, 2006 @ 4:40 pm

  9. Absolutely beautiful pictures. A feast for the yes!

    Comment by sher — August 3, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

  10. I agree with Madhuri.Words r not enough for u and ur blogs.wish I could show u my expression when I read ur blogs!!!!!!but the tomatoes are awesome especially the first pic.and I have guests coming over tomorrow for dinner.Now I know what I am going to serve them!!!

    Comment by madhuli — August 3, 2006 @ 11:12 pm

  11. Hi Indira,

    Mee totalo kachina cherry tomatoes bhale fresh ga unayi,avi pulaga undi unatyi kadaa abba ur so lucky.

    The dish u made with those tomatoes also looks yummy.

    Comment by tanuja — August 4, 2006 @ 1:50 am

  12. I really like how you manage to add some protein to your dishes. I wouldn’t have come up with the idea to add “fresh” beans to this. Shall be trying this one soon. Your baingan-chole has become a staple at our house.


    Comment by Jayashree — August 4, 2006 @ 1:56 am

  13. The first pic is beautiful..the red and the green…totally eye candy.

    Comment by Supriya — August 4, 2006 @ 4:31 am

  14. Hi Indira,
    Ripe tomatoes look wonderful. I tried to grow tomato this summer. As we are in apartment, the plant grows good but before any result it dies. I wish to know what soil you use. I used the shop rite potting soil.

    Comment by mehgana — August 4, 2006 @ 10:20 am

  15. The heat has been really hard on gardens this year, that’s for sure!

    I’m definitely going to grow cherry tomatoes next spring; Alex can scarf down an entire container of them in one sitting!

    Comment by Stephanie — August 4, 2006 @ 10:43 am

  16. Hi Indira,

    Lovely delicous pictures! Your tomatoes look so picture perfect!


    Comment by Latha — August 4, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

  17. Hi Indira,

    I made this pulao last night for dinner. Absolutely yumm-o. The entire family devoured it and I didn’t even have any leftover. Thanks for posting this wonderful recipe.


    Comment by Sangeeta — August 4, 2006 @ 12:19 pm

  18. Thanks Karthi and Revathi.

    Hi Madhuri: That’s incredibly generous of you to say such nice things about “Mahanandi”. I greatly appreciate it and thanks.

    Thanks Hema.

    KG: Yep, they are like tiny ballons (the kind we make with leftover ballon pieces) 🙂 of sweet and tart juice. They are my snack item.:)

    Thanks Krithika.

    Hi Disha: You are most welcome. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.
    Btw, I read your comment and post about spinach-garlic dal. I was quite busy at that time and couldn’t reply you immediately. Thanks Disha and I am happy to hear that you tried and liked that recipe.
    I like your posts. Sweet student life.:)

    Priya: Already?, wow! Picture looks great Priya. I don’t like to add ggc paste for this recipe but I do add green chillies, just slit them lengthwise (I mentioned it in the recipe along with onions). Tomato pulao needs chilli punch. Black peppercorns makes it more delicious.
    Thanks for letting me know. Glad to hear that you liked this recipe.:)

    Thanks Sher and Madhuli.

    Hi Tanuja: Avunu evi konchum pullaga mariyu tiyyaga unnayi. Chaala rasamu vastundi tarigite.

    Thanks for the link about amy’s blog, Jayashree. I read your comment here and at her blog. Thanks!
    I usually add some kind of beans dried or fresh to these types of pulao rices. More than protein, I love how they taste cooked in all that pulao masala.:)
    Baingan chole tastes great, isn’t it? My favorite too.

    Thanks Supriya.

    Hi Mehgana: I fill the containers with miracle-gro soil. I usually don’t add any extra fertilizers etc. One thing I do is keep them in sunlight area.

    Stephanie: Yep, I hope your herbs are doing better. Mine all went almost black. So hot here.
    Alex likes cherri tomatoes, my kind of boy. 🙂

    Thanks Latha.

    Thanks for trying out and letting me know, Sangeeta. I am glad to hear that you all enjoyed this recipe.:)

    Comment by Indira — August 4, 2006 @ 2:50 pm

  19. In order to keep our plants alive while we were in DC, we had neighbors water them for us–otherwise, our tomatoes, herbs and flowers would have expired. In payment, they got all the tomatoes which came ripe while we were gone, all the chiles that ripened and all the herbs they wanted.

    It seemed to work out well.

    Comment by Barbara — August 4, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

  20. Oh WOW! What a picture Indira? Wow! I didnt even read the recipe…was feeling dizzy already seeing that pic.. They look like rubies on a string!!!! Phew! Dont know how many times I stared at it today…..!
    Thanks a lot for the entry!

    Comment by InjiPennu — August 4, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

  21. We made this for lunch today..took less than 10 min to put together and was delicious. Perfect for this summer as less time is needed in the kitchen.

    Comment by Gini — August 4, 2006 @ 8:11 pm

  22. Hello Indira! I have some confession to make here. My day Yesterday was hectic with pooja, preparation of naivedyam and arranging perantam in the evening. I woke up this morning with post varalakshmi vratam fatigue. Need less to say, I was not in a mood to cook the regular meal. Your timely recipe “tomato basmati pulao” came to my rescue. I used the left over sanagalu soaked for the vaayanam. There was no head ache of making ginger garlic paste and cutting various veggies. A steaming, mouth watering and delicious pulao was ready within no time. And what is more, even my 4 year old son liked it very much for its khatta meetha taste! Usually, he would say no to pulao for its spicy taste. Thank you. Please keep posting such easy rice recipes!

    Comment by Anuradha — August 5, 2006 @ 6:08 am

  23. You have nice neighbours, Barbara.
    My neighbour here, the kind Lena, we already kept Kittaya under her care. She works two jobs. We didn’t want to impose on her, thought the plants would survive on rains.:)

    Thanks InjiPennu. They look gorgeous, don’t they? I love that shot too.:)

    Hi Gini: I agree, perfect for summer time.
    Happy to hear that you tried and liked this recipe.

    Anuradha: Varalakshmi vratamu sampradayamuga chesi natlu unnaru kada. Chaala Santhoshamu.
    You described this recipe well – khatta meetha is right.:)

    Comment by Indira — August 5, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  24. Hi Indira.. Same as Anuradha’s comments.. i wanted to shop today as it’s a tax free weekend here in texas, and my hubby wanted something different before we head out and i wanted to make something quick and easy.. as usual I opened your website and here it was.. i had all the ingredients(sanagalu from varalakshmi vratam vayanam as well..) was ready in half hour..and was a tasty brunch.. needless to say..great pictures…what kind of a camera is it? you probably might have mentioned this before..Nikon D50?…

    We’ll be coming into pittsburg next weekend for my son Nikhil’s first hair cut … any thing that we absolutely should not miss while we are over there??

    Comment by Aparna — August 5, 2006 @ 11:41 pm

  25. Hi:

    Your cherry tomatoes looks so good. DO you put any plant food? If so, what is it?


    Comment by Radha — August 6, 2006 @ 5:00 pm

  26. Hi Indira,

    I am a regular visitor to your blog. I learnt a lot from your blogs. Earlier, all I knew of vegetables were cabbage, beans and carrots. Now I am confident enough to cook a few things::))

    I tried your tomato pulao recipe yesterday for dinner, and my husband and sister liked it a lot. I added green peas instead of chick peas, and the pulao tasted superb

    Comment by Anna — August 7, 2006 @ 12:39 am

  27. I tried it today, was totally delicious.

    Comment by Michelle — August 25, 2006 @ 8:24 pm

  28. I made it for a dinner party, but i was a bit afraid, cause i had ever tried pulao before, and it was a HIT… everyone loved the taste, smell and the sight of the dish… Thank u

    Comment by Hira — April 28, 2007 @ 9:42 am

  29. Hi Indira,

    Looks mouth watering!! Great pictures as usual! I want to try it out. Before I attempt, wan to confirm… just wondering, in the basmati tomato pulao recipe, you used 1 cup rice for 15-20 cherry tomatoes. Does that mean the electric rice cooker measuring cup or…..what sort of cup? Please let me know. (sorry for such silly doubt)


    Indira replies:
    Hi Swarna: I’ve used one-cup from regular US style measuring cup set (photo link) for this recipe (same goes for all the other recipes on Mahanand).
    Hope this helps.

    Comment by Swarna — July 24, 2007 @ 1:58 pm

  30. Hi Indira,

    Thanks a lot for your response. My big doubt is clarified….I do have a measuring cup at home. Thanks again!


    Comment by Swarna — July 25, 2007 @ 7:42 am

  31. Excellent! Very easy and quick to make. Very tasty! Thanks!

    Comment by Rev — August 1, 2007 @ 7:39 pm

  32. I am a regular visitor of your blog, today I tried this recipe for lunch, just wanted to let you know it was awesome.

    That’s great to hear Shab. I am happy to read that you tried and liked this recipe.
    – Indira

    Comment by shab — December 13, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

  33. Hello Indira garu,

    I remember reading on your website about your (patio/container)gardening TIPS for tomatoes and other herbs etc…. We just moved into a new apt. which has a patio. I was remembering you, and want to request some information on how to grow tomotoes etc…in containers at home. I spent so much time to find that posting on your website. But could not find it. All I remember is you writing that you use miracle-grow potting soil. I know you are a very busy person. Whenever you have a minute please clarify my doubt, as I want to make use of this spring/summer to grow few things. I appreciate your help! Thanks, Swarna

    Hi Swarna,
    To grow tomatoes at my apartment, I usually follow these tips:
    Pick a big container/planter. Largest size you could accomodate on your balcony-garden setting.
    Fill it with good-quality potting soil.
    Every year, I plant cherry or grape tomato plants (not seeds, but mature seedlings ready to bloom). 4-6 plants. I buy them from local nurseries, or from shops like wal-mart, lowe’s etc
    Plant them atleast leaving 10-15 inches distance between them.
    Place the planter in a sun-light area. Water them daily and during peak summer, twice daily.
    Watch them grow, flower and fruit. Enjoy the homegrown tomato bounty.
    I wish you all the best with your new home and home garden. Do let me know your tomato success.

    Comment by Swarna — March 23, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

  34. Indira garu,

    Chala thanks andi -anta detailed info’ ki! I’ll definetely try and let you know the outcome. Thanks for your time.

    Comment by Swarna — March 25, 2008 @ 8:18 am

  35. Hey Indira,
    Came across your website while searching for dinner ideas….I made this for dinner yesterday and replaced chana with black-eyed peas…it was delicious and tasted more like Biryani than Pulao!Thank you:)
    I also saw a lot more healthy recipes, will try them for sure…
    Best wishes

    Comment by Priya — March 9, 2010 @ 9:51 am

  36. Tomatoes are one of the most common vegetables all over the world. They are quickly growing plants and are favorite among most amateur gardeners so as me.
    I will start to grow tomatoes in my farm and now learning watever i can about them, thanks for information. I also
    found another good site about tomatoes and so many other methods of agriculturing, i recommend you to take a look.

    Comment by caglar keskin — August 21, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

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