Ridiculously Simple Tomato Biryani

Basmati RiceWhat is your opinion about the current trends of diets, eating right, clean eating etc.? Isn’t it becoming more common than usual to hear/know/talk about health foods? Isn’t our generation more obsessed than any other about healthy eating?

Just Tomatoes

Stumbling upon information on good eating via magazines, web sites, news channels or other sources has become so very frequent. They have certainly made us think quite hard about changing the way we eat and plan our meals. But I’m starting to wonder how many of them are worth relying upon. Of course, some of them are written by experts and a few of them are backed up with adequate research, but unfortunately many of them seem to come with a concealed business intent than genuine consumer interest.


Some emphasize the importance of including whole grains in your diet while some others recommend you to eliminate them almost entirely. All of us have always believed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. One of the articles that I read recently contradicts that and calls it a myth. One group of researchers advocate eating small meals frequently while another ridicules that completely. There used to be a time when doctors recommended the use of artificial sweeteners, but in the current world they are considered to be toxic.


When it comes to healthy eating, the more we read, the more we know, the more confused we become. At least that’s how it has been for me. I don’t think there can ever be a silver bullet towards eating right. Everyone is unique, every individual’s needs vary and every person is framed and wired very differently. In my opinion, investing time to understand our body, listening to it carefully and catering to its needs meticulously would never fail to do us good.

What do you think? I’d appreciate if you can leave a comment below.

Tomato Pulao 3

This is a family recipe shared by my good friend Swapna Punyakoteeswaran. She is such an amazing friend to me and of course a philosopher and guide. Thank you Swapna for all that you are to me!


Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 20-25 mins
Total Time: 30-35 mins

Serves: 2


1 cup good quality basmati rice
1/2 yellow onion
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 green chilies (optional)
1 tablespoon oil
chopped cilantro and roasted cashews for garnish (optional)

Whole Spices

2 small sticks cinnamon
4 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fennel seeds


Soak basmati rice in water and set aside. Meanwhile, chop the onions and tomatoes.

Heat oil in a skillet and saute the whole spices until they turn slightly brown and aromatic. Add onions and saute till they become soft and translucent. Now add ginger garlic paste and saute until its raw smell goes off. Then, add the tomatoes, red chili powder, green chilies (if using) and salt and cook until the tomatoes turn mushy and dark red (about 10 mins). Keep stirring occasionally to avoid the curry from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

When the oil starts to get separated from the curry, add one and half cups of water and bring it to a boil. Now drain water from the rice,add it to the boiling water and allow it to come to a boil once again. Cover, simmer for exactly 10 minutes and turn off heat. Let it sit for five minutes.

Before serving garnish with chopped cilantro and roasted cashews. Serve with your favorite curry and raitha.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Chithu says:

    Awesome post!!!! A very concerning write up…Can’t agree with you more on your concern….its so confusing…..As you suggested our body response is one way to judge….plus may be moderation of all that we need may also help….
    Coming back to your post very nice pics….you are becoming a pro dear….nice presentation and looks yummy….I wanna eat right now

    1. Thank you Chithu. I agree, everything in moderation is a mantra that I like too!

  2. UmmSumayya says:

    The steam in the third picture and the words “every person is framed and wired very differently” – ahhhh now I now why I am a big fan of this blog! Kudos!! And keep giving us such ridiculously simple recipes, we love 🙂

    1. Latha says:

      Listen to your body…100% agree Meera. Also our traditional food is good for health we hardly value it or have the time for it. At least we can avoid packet foods which is a slow poison.
      Thanks for the write up, quick recipe and luv your fresh tomatos photo!

      1. Thank you Latha. We try to avoid processed foods and eating out as much as possible. Few things like breakfast cereals are hard to get rid of though.

    2. What do you think keeps me encouraged to blog? Motivators and well wishers like you. Thanks for all nice words Mumtaz.

  3. Hema says:

    Nice recipe and awesome presentation as usual :). A thought-provoking topic…as you’ve mentioned opinions on diet keeps changing. I guess we need to go with what suits our body. I try to avoid processed foods and make an effort to include different types of whole grains in my diet.

    1. Thank you Hema. You must perhaps do a guest post on my blog sharing ideas about incorporating whole grains into our diet.

  4. Swapna says:

    Yet another wonderful post Meera and as always just loved the picture!!!! The feelings are mutual Meera!!! You have been such a great camaraderie, a pillar of support and have always been there for me. I want to also mention for any gathering that I have to cook, I ensure that I include at least few of your dishes and needless to say that they have been a hit, EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!! Thank you for everything Meera!!!!

    I totally agree with you, there is so much hype on healthy and nutritious eating in the recent days. The toughest part to follow is what was unhealthy earlier becomes healthy now and vice versa. So, after a lot of reading and analysis, what I have learned is “anything with moderation is good for you!”.

    1. Thanks for your kind words Swapna. It is so rare to find people like you in today’s world. Thanks so much for your constant compliments about my recipes. It is such feedback that keeps me motivated.

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