Tomatoes, whether you believe them to be a fruit or a vegetable are such a happy ingredient. They are bright, come in different sizes, can be very sweet and small or large and juicy. The other reason why we embrace the tomato in our cooking is that it is so versatile in worldly cuisines. You associate the tomato with Mexican dishes, Italian, Spanish and Indian. Even when you make a burger, a slice of tomato is essential, along with the obligatory tomato ketchup with your fries.
Tomatoes are predominantly a carbohydrate packed with vitamins C and E, some B vitamins and vitamin K. They also contribute some minerals including calcium and magnesium. In the Croatian summer, on Vis Island, our favourite tomato snack is a slice of tomato with some salt, local olive oil and some chopped fresh basil, why complicate something so seasonal?
If you want to share a meal with friends however that evolves from just slicing a tomato, then this one is perfect. Food should make you happy when you eat it and we believe you should also find recipes that make you happy when you make them. This recipe put a huge smile on our face and we have been telling everyone how wonderful it is. Once again we found this recipe from Meera Sodha and her ‘East’ cookbook. This Tomato Pilau dish has become another reason why we celebrate the existence of the tomato. This rice dish can be served on its own and also as a side dish.
Serves 4 as a main.
350g basmati rice
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
12 curry leaves
1 cinnamon Stick
I large diced onion
4 crushed garlic cloves
400g of mixed tomatoes, we use a combination of plum and cherry, cut in half
1 tsp salt
Tin of coconut milk
Rinse the dried rice in cold water and leave to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, adding the cinnamon stick and curry leaves. Then add the diced onion and fry until golden brown, usually around 10 minutes. Add the cashew, chilli and garlic, cooking for a few more minutes. Put in the halved tomatoes, putting a lid on the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are really soft. Drain your rice, add it to the pan and stir into the tomato mix. Finally stir in the water, salt and coconut milk. Turn the heat to its lowest setting, add the lid and leave without stirring for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and without removing the lid for another 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and enjoy!
Another dish that salutes the combination of tomatoes and coconut milk is our Roasted Tomato Soup recipe.
If you loved our recipe but you would like to join us on one of our plant based holidays to enjoy more of our recipes and cooking ideas, then please check out our website for our activity holidays on the Croatian Island of Vis or in the Austrian Alps at MoaAlm Mountain Retreat.
Please tag our recipes with #relaxinglyactive and share with friends if you enjoy cooking this tomato and rice dish as much as we do!