The base of this rice bowl recipe is really what makes it special. The spicy tomato cabbage rice is one of my mom’s signature recipes and one that our entire family is obsessed with! The first time my husband had this rice at my mom’s house he was hooked, and hasn’t stopped asking for it since.
…So with one phone call to my mom, I got her recipe and changed up the format just a little bit. She usually serves this tomato cabbage rice with roasted chicken and salad for dinner. I updated the recipe by serving it as the base of my breakfast rice bowl with a fried egg, diced avocado and some pickled jalapeños for added heat. It turned out pretty good!
I made the rice in the traditional Persian method of half-cooking first, then steaming the rest of the way. If you ask me, that’s the best way to ensure you’re rice comes out extra fluffy and non-sticky. You really cook each grain separately, without them clumping together.
The intense flavor of the rice comes from the addition of a spicy tomato sauce made with lots of garlic and chilis. The tomato sauce is then mixed in with sautéed cabbage and later incorporated into the rice overall.
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 jalapeño
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ a cabbage
- 2 avocados
- 1 lime
- 3-4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons pickled jalapeños
- Start by chopping the cabbage into small chunks and add to a frying pan over medium heat.
- While the cabbage sautés, add your 3 tomatoes (roughly chopped) to a food processor along with the garlic cloves, fresh jalapeño, salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth.
- Once the cabbage sautés and wilts down half-way, add the contents of the food processor to the pan on high heat along with the can of tomato sauce. Salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine.
- Allow the tomato cabbage mixture to come to a boil in the pan, then lower the heat to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
- Boil the basmati rice in 4 cups of water in a pot over high heat. Once boiling, drain out the water using a strainer.
- Combine the tomato cabbage mixture with the partially cooked rice in a separate bowl.
- In the pot you used to boil the rice, add the canola oil and turmeric and spread evenly over the bottom of the pot.
- Gently place the rice mixture into the pot and poke 4-5 holes with the back of a wooden spoon into the rice so that the steam will cook it evenly.
- Place the lid on the rice pot and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes. This will create a crispy rice crust at the bottom of the pot. (The best part!)
- After 15 minutes, remove the lid, cover it with a towel and put back on the pot. Lower the heat to low and let cook for an additional 45 minutes. This step is where you steam the rest of the rice to perfection.
- Once the time is up, your rice should be perfectly fluffy on top and crispy on the bottom.
- To assemble the rice bowl, scoop a cup of rice into a bowl and top with diced avocados, a squeeze of lime juice over the top, a fried egg, and spoonful of pickled jalapeños! YUM!