This was dinner tonight. Yes. :-D
I start thinking about dinner generally by 5 PM, make that 4 PM if I am really hungry. So in the mental trip that I took around the fridge today, I saw a big bowl of roasted tomato puree (recipe here) and some bell peppers. I suddenly wanted to cook rice in tomato puree, and it sounded kinda bizarre in my head. A quick internet search told me that it is an actual method of cooking rice, called as Spanish rice. And that’s how this dish was born.
I found couple of recipes on the internet, and no two of them were similar. Hence, I decided to make my own modifications to the recipe, add the herbs I liked, and cook it in the flavours I wanted it to be in. Thyme and Red Chilli flakes got in as a part of this decision.
The rice was cooked in roasted tomato puree, as opposed to the regular tomato puree or salsa method I found in my internet search, and I added 1:1 quantity of puree and water to cook the rice. I, however , did follow the method of browning the onions and garlic, but added the peppers after that to be sautéed along with them before adding rice.
The result was a very fragrant , fluffy and a colourful rice, which was a hit with the rice-lover husband guy.
Recipe inspired from – Simply Recipes
Roasted Tomato Puree – 1 cup
Yellow , Red and Green bell peppers – diced in inch long pieces – each one half of a medium sized one
Onion – diced in thin pieces, 1 medium
Garlic cloves – diced/crushed – 8-10
Dried Thyme – 2 tsp
Red chilli flakes – 1.5 tsp
Sea Salt – 1.5 tsp or to taste
Long grained rice (or Basmati) – 1 cup
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Wash the rice , and let it drain in a sieve.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions and garlic. Once they turn to a brown colour, add the pepper slices to this and sauté them too.
Add the rice to this mixture, and sauté this for 5 mins, on a medium flame. Add thyme and chilli flakes now and mix well, but very carefully to not break the rice grains.
Add the tomato puree and boiling water. Cook on high flame till this boils, and cook on a low flame till the rice is completely cooked.
Garnish with cilantro leaves, if required. But serve hot. Super hot!