Spicy Tomato Brown Rice

“A dash of red
On a day so white,
That welcoming spice
In a meal so light.
It adds a kick
To an energy drain,
This cold cold weather
Does freeze the brain!
Warm & fragrant
You want that spoon,
Fill your mouth shamelessly
And just swoon….”
2 cups brown rice, boiled (leftover rice from your Chinese takeout works well too)
1 small red onion, sliced lengthwise
4 plum tomatoes, diced
½ green pepper, diced
2 dried red chilies
6-7 curry leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons light olive oil
A bunch of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
 Salt to taste
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, chilies, curry leaves, garlic and ginger and cook till the seeds begin to splutter. Add onions and cook for another few minutes till they turn translucent. Now add the tomatoes, green pepper and all the dry spices. Turn flame to medium-low, cover and cook till the tomatoes are tender. 
Uncover and add the tomato paste along with ½ cup water. Cook till the mixture begins to simmer and then add the rice & mint leaves. Mix well, adjust seasoning and cook for a few minutes till the rice has absorbed any excess liquid. Serve hot with a dash of yogurt and crispy poppadams. Warm yourself with this delicious dish at one of my dining experiences!