Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thakkali saddam means tomato rice

I wanted to share my mom's recipe for tomato rice, thakkali saddam.  This was a favorite recipe for special occasions when we were growing up.  The rice is deliciously flavored with tomato, cinnamon and other spices, so all you need to eat it with is some yoghurt, or some really simple greens or a salad.

I think this would be great with a long grain brown rice.  I haven't tried that, but I assume it would just need a little bit more water.
I'm leaving her directions as is, but I'll write an ingredient list.

Thakkali Saddam
Makes 6 Servings
Takes 2 hours
2 cups Basmati or Jasmine Rice
3 large onions
5 or 6 large ripe tomatoes
2 green chilies
1 inch piece of ginger
5 or 6 garlic pods
canola oil
2 sticks cinnamon
2 bay leaves
10 cloves
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. lime juice
big handful of mint
1) Soak 2 cups Basmati rice for 30 minutes or so.   
2) Cut 3 large onion (thinly sliced or chopped)
3) Chop 5 to 6 large ripe tomatoes (if roma tomatoes may be 12)
4) Chop 2 green chilies, grate ginger and grate 5 or 6 garlic pods.  5) In 6qt or 8 qt vessel, add 5 or 6 tsp of veg/canola oil
6) Add 1 or 2 stick of cinnamon, 1 or 2 bay leaves (if available), 8 or 10 cloves, and 2 tsp fennel seeds.  Fry for a minute or so.
7) Add chopped onions and fry well.
8) Add chopped tomatoes and fry well till it becomes smooth paste (use masher to mash it well). If needed, add more oil.
9) Add ginger and garlic. Fry
10) Add salt and chilly powder if needed.
11) Drain water from rice and add rice to the tomato gravy. Fry for 1 or 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water (if tomato sauce is liquidy, add less water)
12) Lower heat and cover the pot and put the timer for 20 minutes.
13) Let it cool for an hour. With fork fluff the rice, add salt if needed and add 1 tsp of lime juice if not tart. Mix and move it to a serving bowl.
14) Garnish with mint leaves if available. If not it is okay. Sometime the bottom may be burnt if there is not much oil. Discard that rice from the bottom layer. 

She's crazy with that last instruction.  The Crispy bits on the bottom are the best part!

One last Happy Diwali to you all!  Sad as I was to not have old friends with me this year on Diwali, our new friends here in Halifax added their own enthusiasms and we had a really nice evening.

Thanks to Jaymie and Ken for some new pictures!