Ever tried chopping ripe, squishy tomatoes with a regular knife? It is quite the task, doing this deftly, without the knife slipping. I would use a serrated knife for this purpose and also ensure that I chop from the inner pulp side and not the skin side, to get some grip over the tomatoes
After trying the Cartini Tomato Knife, I am quite the convert. This long, curved knife makes quick work of chopping even a kilo of tomatoes at one go. The knife blade holds on to the tomato, even on the skin side, so there is no danger of slippage and injuries while chopping.
This knife also works well with any squishy fruits and vegetables, such as chikoo, papaya etc.
Here’s one of my favourite Indian recipes for tomato – the South Indian tomato rice. Start off with juicy red ripe tomatoes and some short-grained rice, and you end up with a super flavoursome, spicy rice dish that goes with a simple raita and some chips.
If the tomatoes are not sour enough, you can add half a teaspoon of tamarind paste to the tomato mix while it is cooking with the spices. If the tomatoes are too sour, add a pinch of sugar or jaggery to balance out the sourness. You can use sambar powder instead of chilli powder for a slight variation in flavour.
You can also make this as a part of a mixed rice platter, which has mint rice and coconut rice- the red, white and green colours, complementing each other beautifully on the dinner table.
Recipe for Tomato Rice
¾ cup short grain rice
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 tbspgingelly oil or any other cooking oil
1 pinch asafoetida
3 dried red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbspchana dal
1 tbspudad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ cup raw peanuts
1 tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
Cook the rice in a rice cooker or pressure cooker with twice the measure of water. Remove the cooked rice to a large dish, spread it out and allow to cool.
Finely chop the tomatoes.
Heat the oil in a large kadai.
Add the asafoetida, red chillies, curry leaves to the hot oil. Stir for few seconds.
Next add the dals, mustard seeds and peanuts and on medium-high flame, sauté for 3-5 minutes until the dals turn golden and the peanut skins turn somewhat brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes, along with red chilli powder, turmeric and salt.
Sauté the tomatoesfor around 6-7 minutes, until they form a pulp. This also depends on the variety of tomatoes, so it may take less or more time.
Stir this for 2-3 minutes more until you get a smooth paste-like masala. Check for seasoning, and add some more salt as per your taste, if required.
Add the cooled rice to this paste and on low flame mix it all together until all the rice is coated.
Remove into a serving bowl.
Serve with raita and chips.
This rice tastes better if allowed to sit for 1-2 hours, as it gives the rice time to absorb all the flavours.