Tomato Mint Pilaf

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I have to give full credit to DH for this recipe of Tomato Mint Pilaf, as he took over the mantle of chopping, cooking, preparing and even cleaning. Now DH is a talented, but reluctant cook.  In a decade’s time that I have known him, it must have been a handful of times; he has done any full fledged cooking. But when he cooks he does it with passion and enthusiasm and that readily shows up in the final outcome. But then for the past few weeks (knock on the wood) DH is on a roll in churning out recipes with keen interest and passion. So I am making good use of the opportunity by remaining ‘invisible’ as much as possible.

This recipe came out on a need basis. It was one of those lazy Friday nights when we did not have interest to do any full fledged cooking nor did we have interest to order a Pizza. There was some left over rice, almost empty fridge except for some Tomatoes and Mint.  We discussed through some ideas and came up with this recipe; however we did not have any expectations for its taste. But then the rice was actually prepared we were in for a pleasant surprise. The rice jelled very well in combination with Tomatoes, Onion-Garlic, and the daals in the background. Addition of mint enhanced the flavor of tomatoes.

This is a good one to prepare if there is left over rice, just some basic vegetables and when there is no enough time on hand.

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  •  3 cups cooked rice (make sure it is fluffy and grains are separated)
  •  1 tsp turmeric
  •  1 cup chopped onion 
  •  4 medium ripe tomatoes (chopped)
  •  Handful of mint leaves (chopped)
  •  3-4 green chillies (chopped finely)
  • Juice of lemon (optional)  
  •  salt
  • For the seasoning (tadka)
  •  2 tsp urad daal
  •  2 tsp chana daal
  •  Cashews
  •  3-4 pieces cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • Curry leaves
  •  Asafetida
  •  Mustard seeds
  •  Cumin seeds
  •  Oil 



  •   Take a big plate and spread out the rice making sure there are no lumps. Add salt, turmeric mix and keep aside.
  •  Take a heavy bottom pan, add oil on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter, next add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafetida. Mix well. 
  •  Now add both the daals, cinnamon, cashews and roast until the cashews and daal get crunchy.
  •  Add the ginger garlic paste and fry. Add the chopped onions, green chillies and fry until it gets transparent.
  •  Add the chopped mint and mix until it wilts.  Add the chopped tomatoes.
  •  Add more salt, some oil and red chilli powder (optional). Mix until the tomatoes get cooked completely and become a paste.
  •  Add the rice and mix thoroughly. Cover the lid and let it cook for a while. 
  • Finally add the juice of lemon and mix well.
  •  Serve hot with coconut chutney and Raita on the side.
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  1. Sharmila says:

    I’ll take that plateful RC .. thank you … the rice looks so perfect … every grain visible.:-) Am sure this will go very well with raita. 🙂

  2. Lakshmi says:

    I have some left over rice and tomatoes and green chillies in my refigerator too. Actually thats all I have in my refrigerator. Guess what Im making for dinner tonight!

  3. Desi Soccer Mom says:

    That does sound good, especially since your DH made it. Spousal collaborations, be it kids or food are always heart warming and precious. 🙂

    Re your baked karanji questions, you are right, the puff pastry is probably higher in trans fats. However, it was a choice between the obvious frying in ghee or the less obvious healthier (?) oven baking. When you don’t see it being made (the puff pastry sheet) it is less guilt free. What do you think?

  4. Sonu says:

    I have tried Tomato pilaf…but not with Mint leaves. Your rice plate…imagine it make me so hungry now. 🙂 Would love with Raita.

  5. Soma says:

    I am absolutely in love with the tomato and mint flavor. How great is it to have a DH on roll in the kitchen:-) I had done this combo from Lisa’s blog & loved it; can see it from the pictures how good it is.

  6. Bharti says:

    Sounds really flavorful. I saw a chef once prepare a pasta dish using tomato and lots of mint instead of basil. I tried it out and it was good. Seems like I must try it out in a pilaf too.

  7. prathibha says:

    Instead of mint I use grated carrots in that place..we also prepare this at home and we rather call it south Indian style fried rice..Next time I try adding some mint to it..BTW looks nice and that granular rice texture

  8. Deesha says:

    I think most husbands are good but reluctant cooks .. My husband never enters the kitchen, its just in weekends that he makes me some great ginger tea & I literally wait for that one .. I once made mint flavored chitranna, this one looks really good, need to try tomatoes & mint combo

  9. Bong Mom says:

    As long as he is on the roll, get more stuff out, quick 😀 Tell him all the blog readers loved his rice, that would be a good incentive 🙂

  10. spice says:

    Once upon a time my DH was a good cook(still he’s good in cooking but he doesn’t cook) but then, he says he married…..tragic end to his cooking carrer..ha..ha..ha
    nice rice there…..

    That was a funny comment 🙂 LOL I showed it to my DH and he had a good laugh too

  11. Cilantro says:

    You should just relax and enjoy when he cooks for you. Rice looks delicious.
    My husband cooks occasionally, last week he made a chicken gravy for us…taste wise never complain when he cooks for me.

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