This quick and simple Tomato Rice is a delicious one-pot meal you can make for your toddlers. Since it’s so easy to make, this also works well lunch boxes.
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 every day. 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 many 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 the right texture and a dish that got their liking.
Quick Tomato Rice for Kids
Disclaimer: This is no way suitable for adults, this is most 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. Kids don’t like “thol” referring to the onions or tomatoes used in the in the dish. When I have to feed three hungry kids, I can’t afford to sit and sort.
So I do the next best thing in using either big pieces or as puree.
I finally decided when I am going to struggle to remove out those onions, I might as well not add. Even if I add, I dice them into big chunks and add, so that it’s 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 it’s going to be spicy! They just snacked for their dinner.
In the end, this was the recipe that worked fine for them. I just stuck 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 pulao, you can check this out.
Quick and Simple Tomato Rice!
For the Rice
1 cup Basmati Rice
1.5 cup Water
3/4 cup Tomatoes
1/4 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
3/4 tsp Red Chili Powder Or you can use 1 green Chili if you want
Salt to Taste
2 to 3 tsp Ghee
1 Bay leaf
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
1 inch Cinnamon
How to make this quick and simple tomato rice for kids:
Wash and soak rice for 15 – 20 mins.
Heat a nonstick 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 chili powder add at this stage, along with salt. Simmer and cover with a 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 water. Adjust salt, cover with the lid and cook on high flame, until the water starts boiling.
Then simmer and cook it covered with a 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 and let the rice rest for a while over the stove.
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 of using Red chili powder works out best.
The rice gets its red colour from the well mashed tomatoes. This lends the rice a nice red colour without being very spicy. If your kids are like mine, remember not to add turmeric.
When I am not using Basmati, I use Sona Masuri, for which I add about 2 + 1/4 cups of water.
If your kids like to eat onions, please do add them along with whatever other veggies can be included. As per the doctor’s guidance, we can include 2 tbsp of ghee to the kids’ diet if you haven’t served them that quantity, you can add it to this rice.