Tomatoes and Bell Peppers, are both great sources of antioxidants and useful nutrients for the body. Add to that the fact that they are both colorful, pretty and full of flavor too, and you have a winning combination! These two come together beautifully in this colorfully spicy and tasty Tomato Bell-Pepper Rice. For that extra wow factor, I added a teeny-weeny bit of ginger-garlic paste, some garam masala, and of course, freshly chopped cilantro! Its real simple to make, requires no preparation, and can be enjoyed with a simple Tomato-Cucumber Raita for a light and tasty weekday meal. Its a great variation to the authentic Tomato Rice, and packing up all those antioxidants is an added bonus!
3 cups long-grained rice (Basmati) - washed and cooked
1 small yellow bell-pepper - chopped finely
1 small red bell-pepper - chopped finely
2 medium firm tomatoes - chopped finely
3 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 onion - finely chopped (optional)
2 green chillies or jalapenos - finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro - chopped for garnish
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
3 tbsp oil
salt - to taste
lemon juice - to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder
Wash and cook the rice as you normally do. Using long-grained rice like Basmati helps give it a better texture, but you can use normal rice too, without compromising the taste. Cook the rice and keep it aside to cool down.
Take a wok, add oil and cumin seeds to it. When they start spluttering, add the green chillies and chopped onions and saute till they become soft and glazed. Add the tomato puree and all the dry spices, and mix well. One it starts bubbling a little, add the chopped green bell-peppers and saute again. Add salt and cook covered for 10-12 mins, till the peppers are tender and cooked through.
Now add the chopped tomatoes, along with any of their juice. Saute for a minute or so, then mix the cooked rice to it. Mix everything together gingerly, so it gets colored and the spices are evenly distributed. Add the lemon juice, cover with a lid and allow to cook for another 8-10 mins on low-flame.
When the rice looks cooked, take it off the stove and transfer to a serving bowl. Gingerly sprinkle the chopped cilantro and mix just to combine.
Serve with some Tomato-Cucumber Raita or with a curry of your choice. This simple yet tasty recipe for Tomato & Bell-Pepper Rice is fancy enough to be served to your guests at a party, and won't eat up much of your time!
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