All posts by Ri

I love to cook and feed people. Cooking for the ones you love is the physical personification of love and nurturing.

Indian Style Spiced Tomato Rice

My parents visit India often to see their family and to visit the many temples throughout the country. As we all know travel can be exhausting and when you get home after a long (20+ hrs) flight there are three things you want to do: shower, eat a huge delicious meal and sleep in your own bed.

Ever since I can remember, I have cooked the same meal for my parents homecoming, Thackalli Thokku Sadam with Moore Keera. You understood that, right? That translates to Indian Style Tomato Rice and Indian Style Creamed Spinach. It is the perfect combination of deliciously spicy rice that is cooled off by a creamy spice infused spinach. So, when I parents got back from their pilgrimage to Indian, I had a plate full of comfort waiting for them. I’ve never seen a plate emptied so fast.

Thackalli Thokku is a spicy tomato spread that is made in Southern India and we like our food hot! We spread it over everything and it is one of my favorite dishes. I like to make it super-hot and it leaves even me grasping for air.  Don’t worry, I’ve tinkered the recipe to ensure the heat level is acceptable for all. Today, I will share the rice portion of the meal and the next post will include the creamed spinach. People think that Indian food is complicated, this recipe will prove to you that is really isn’t.

Indian Style Spiced Tomato Rice 2Indian Style Spiced Tomato Rice 1

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 large riped tomatoes, quartered
Pinch of Asafoetida (if you don’t have it, omit)
½ tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups cooked rice

In a large pan, add the oil and let heat to medium.
Add the tomatoes and spices, and let cook until it comes to a bubble.
Lower the heat and let it cook down for 20-30 minutes.
Mix into the rice and serve.

Tip: I like to make the Thackalli Thokku then cook the rice in it to infuse it full with flavor.
Feel free to use the tomato spread on anything and everything. I love to make a veggie sandwich and load it with the spread, it adds a special kick.


Food has always played a huge role in my life. I remember when I was a little girl- maybe 3 years old- and my mother putting me on her counter in India and letting me stir the pot of delicious payasum(milk sweet served during religious observations.) I had never felt so close to my mother than those precious moments where she was sharing her wisdom and made me feel important and loved.

Food has a special meaning to all of us; we celebrate milestones with it, use it as a blanket to comfort ourselves in hard times and even show others how much we care about them by cooking. I am no different.

The international sign for delicious is an empty plate. We have all been there… your sitting in a restaurant and devour something amazing and find yourself wishing that you were home so you could lick the plate clean. I hope I am not the only one who loves food this much! This is my goal and hope for this blog, that I share my recipes and you devour them, look down at your empty plate and say to yourself that it was an amazing meal.


Unfortunately my food journey led to me being overweight and unhappy. I refused to live that way and so, I turned to my constant companion, food, to help me fix myself.

Many can attest to my ability to eat. I have single handedly put away an entire large deep dish pizza and a carton of ice cream. I refused to give up the quality and quantity of food that I eat and so my journey for an answer began. I have tried everything under the sun from Atkins, Nutri System, the lemonade diet, the cabbage diet, the starvation diet and found them all lacking. I decided to follow my own path and put together a program and lifestyle that I would happily follow.

For me, a low-carb Paleo lifestyle is the way to go. It allows me to eat as much as I want and indulge without the weight or guilt. I share many of my full-carb recipes because my friends would kill me if I fed them what I eat. And, carbs are pretty delicious. I just find that my body can’t handle them and I fine with that.

May your plate always end up empty and your belly full.