Basmati Rice - 2 cups (levelled, not heaped), soaked in water for 20 minutes with a bay leaf and cumin seeds and drained
Roma Tomatoes - 3, chopped
Onion - half of a big one, chopped finely
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup, chopped
Mint Leaves - 1/4 cup, chopped
Yogurt - 1 tbsp
Tamarind paste - 1 tsp (optional, needed if using tomatoes that are not very sour)
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Sambar powder (I use Shakthi) - 1.5 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 to 1 tsp
Water - 3.5 cups
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Kraambu (Cloves) - 1
Pattai (Cinnamon) - 1 inch piece
Cinnamon - 1 small piece
Sombu (Fennel seeds) - 1 tsp (always a good combination with tomatoes)
Elakkai (Elaichi) - 1
Clove - 1
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves and stems - some
Onion - half of a big one, cut into big cubes
Tomato - 1
Garlic - 8 to 10 cloves, peeled
Green Chillies - 8
Method:1) Heat 2 tsp of oil and fry the masala ingredients, one half of the onion (cut into big cubes),tomato, garlic, ginger & green chillies till the onion is light brown. Cool and grind this to a paste.
2) Heat the remaining oil in a pressure cooker and season with clove & cinnamon Then add the chopped onion and cook till it is browned. Now add the chopped tomatoes with some salt and turmeric powder and cook till mushy.
3) Toss in the chopped coriander and mint leaves, and the ground paste along with the chilli powder, sambar powder and garam masala, yogurt and tamarind paste (if using). Fry this really well for about 5 to 7 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, drain the rice, saute in ghee for a few minutes & keep aside.
5) Add the drained and fried rice to the onion-tomato spice mixture and 3.5 cups of water. Check and add more salt if necessary. Cover with lid, place the weight on top and once the pressure builds allow to cook for 5 minutes on medium flame before switching off the stove (there will be no whistle). Let this rest for 20 minutes atleast before opening the cooker. Stir gently and serve with some raitha and chips.