Tomato Pulao with Fried Bread is one of those dishes from childhood. While I have so many versions of Tomato Pulao, this one is special as I remember Amma making it this way with fried bread pieces garnished on top. Some of the pieces would have steeped inside and you have that soggy deep fried bread, mixed with the masala and still having its distinct flavour.
I know this is just an additional step where one has to add the fried bread, however, Amma used to alter the rice and bread, so you have layers of bread in between and stored in the hot box. Those were the days when Milton Hotcases were famous. She used to have an array of Hotcase in different sizes. The moment the rice was cooked, it gets transferred to a bowl and it used to stay hot until lunch time. While she still continues to use them even now, I no longer use it. I have two huge boxes that I remove when my SILs visit us. Otherwise, it's usually the microwavable bowls that get used.
As I said the fried bread pieces are added in two or three stages to ensure everybody gets to have this. So while transferring, Amma will add them as a layer, top it with another layer of rice, continued by two more layers like this and finally garnish again on top. The bread is fried in ghee, so it stays stiff or rather sticky.
After a long time, we made this again as Amma said she suddenly remembered those fried bread pulao. So our meal was this simple Tomato Pulao, Roti with Tomato Thokku, Curd Rice.
Tomato Pulao with Fried Bread
For the Rice
- 2 cups Basmati Rice
- 4 medium Tomatoes approx 1.5 cup of puree
- 1 big Onion
- 4 nos Green Chillies
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 2 Mace /Javathri / Javatri
- A pinch Turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Oil
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup Coconut Milk thick
Spices to be ground
- 7 Garlic cloves
- 2 inch Ginger
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 3 Cloves
- 2 inch Cinnamon
- Soak basmati rice for 15 mins. Drain and keep aside
- Make a coarse paste of the spices to be ground. It comes to around 1.5 tsp.
- Puree the tomatoes and keep it aside.
- Heat a pressure cooker with ghee and oil. Add cumin seeds, mace, bay leaf. Saute for 2 mins.
- Then add onions julienne and slit the green chillies. Saute till the onions turn colour. Next add the ground spice paste and saute.
- Drain the rice and add to the cooker. Combine everything ell. Add the tomato puree to the coconut milk. Measure about 3 cups of liquid if you are using basmati rice. So add water accordinly.
- Add chili powder and turmeric. Adjust the spices and add more red chili powder if required.
- When the water comes to boil, cover with lid and cook for 3 whistles.
- Meanwile chop bread slices into pieces. Deep fry and keep it aside.
- When the pressure falls down, fluff with fork, transfer to the serving bowl, alternating with the fried bread.
- Serve with raitha.