Toast to the Coconut with Tomato Coconut Rice

Coconut has long been maligned as a non-healthy food,”full of saturated fat and a potential risk to the heart. Its bad for your cholestrol levels and other such.” The cuisine that I have been raised on, however,includes coconut in some form or the other in almost 90% of its recipes. And this is my everyday food!!! I take heart (no pun intended), in the fact that no one in my circle of family or friends has showed anymore likelihood of being afflicted by heart disease than ones who have avoided coconuts their whole life. And with that thought, I present to thee another reason to gorge on this magnificent piece of my culinary life, the coconut.

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It takes all of 15 minutes to put together and the results are extremely good. The tanginess of the tomatoes is off-set by the sweetness of Coconut Milk, making for a delicious balance of flavors in every spoonful. Be sure to use fresh tomatoes and not the canned ones and definitely not concentrated pastes. It would, just not be the same.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups basmati rice, washed and set aside for 30 mins
5 medium tomatoes,pureed
1 large onion,thinly sliced
1tbsp ginger+ garlic+green chilly paste,
cloves 2-3,
cinnamon stick 1/2″inch,
bay leaf 1 pc.
1 medium carrot,diced,
1/2 cup green peas
2 cups thick coconut milk + 3 cup water,mixed together
coconut oil, 4-5 tbsp

Method
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, ona medium to high flame.Add bay leaf & whole garam masala.Stir for 1 minute.Add onions, fry till pink and add the paste. Fry for 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle water, if required. Add the tomatoes ,fry on high till the paste leaves oil. Add the veggies except peas. fry for another minute and add the soaked rice. Mix well . Add the milk & water mixture. and let it come to a boil. Add peas and salt. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook on low flame till done (about 10 minutes). Transfer to serving bowl. If you wish to make it fancy or are serving this at a party, top with sliced tomatoes and coriander. Serve with mixed raita.

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Mom, Prawns and Rice

Mom's Prawn Pulao.

Try it once and it will become a staple in special days cooking!!! Thats all I am going to say about this wonderful dish.

Rice 3 cups (washed and dried)
Prawns 25-30
Water 6 cups

Pudina Leaves a fistful
Coriander Leaves a fistful
Green Chillies 4-6
Jeera 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds 1 tbsp
Grated Coconut 1/4 cup
Cinnamon 1' piece
Cloves 7-8
Badi Elaichi 1
Black Peppercorns 7-8
Bay Leaf 1

Onion 3 medium size finely chopped
Tomatoes 2 medium size finely chopped
Red Chilly pwd 1 tsp (optional)
Turmeric a pinch
Salt to taste

Roast grated coconut, jeera, coriander seeds, half the cloves, cinnamon and black peppercorns. Brown 1 finely chopped onion. Blend together into a fine paste with fresh coriander and mint leaves. Keep aside.

Heat oil. Add bay leaf, badi elaichi,remaining cloves, cinnamon, black peppers. When they start sputtering , add remaining onions and saute for a couple of mins. When translucent, add red chilly pwd, turmeric ,tomatoes, rice and saute till the rice becomes opaque. Add the paste made earlier, prawns and water. Bring to a boil. Add salt and cover. Cook on a medium low flame till all the water evaporates.
Garnish with fresh coriander and mint leaves.