There are varieties of rice which are popular in the South like the pulaos of the North. Coconut rice, lemon rice and tamarind rice/pulioyodharai are the common ones and they are served as prasadam too. In my childhood days, I am more familiar with the above said types. Later on, Amma started preparing tomato rice, which she learnt from one of aunts. Needless to say, we were hooked to it and loved it for our lunch boxes. Tomato rice with some appalam or any fritters makes an ideal choice as travel food too. There are many ways to prepare this. I follow the method where in I use all the powders readily available on the shelf.
Cooked rice - 2 cups with grains separated.
For the masala
Ripe tomatoes - 3 nos
Onion - 2 nos
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tspn
Sambhar powder - 1 tblspn
Green chilly - 2 nos
Curry leaves - few
Gingely oil/any vegetable oil - 3 tblspn
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tspn
Turmeric - a pinch
garam masala - 1/2 tspn (optional)
Finely chop the onions and tomatoes and keep them separately.
Heat a kadai with 3 tablespoons of oil. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the cumin seeds. When it starts to brown, add the slit green chillies, curry leaves and chopped onions. When onion turn slightly brown, add chopped tomatoes. Cook for 3 minutes or till the tomatoes turn mushy. Add the powders (turmeric,red chilly powder, sambhar powder) and salt. Keep stirring in between so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of kadai. When the oil separates from the gravy, remove from fire. If you want to add garam masala, add before taking off from the fire.
Mix with cooled rice and serve with fritters/raitha. I have served with microwaved sago(javarisi) applams.