Remember how Vidur, when he was about a year and a half old, stunned us by asking a visitor “olik chocolik?” which we quickly deciphered as “you like chocolate?” and when the fascinated visitor gently declined, he floored us by following it up with “eating busakath?” (Eating biscuit?). How we marveled at his somewhat French accent as a toddler! So amusing.

Every morning, with my coffee, I eat busakath. I have those diabetes friendly ragi biscuits.Britannia calls them nutribix. Remember how almost every Britannia biscuit packet comes with broken bits?

The ragi biscuits are no different. The 150g carton has convenient little pouches of three. I was so thrilled when I first saw it. I thought, wow, so easy to carry a couple of these in my bag to meet those unexpected hunger pangs, only to discover that the pack is full of broken bits and powder. Very annoying. One would think that the rather hard ragi biscuit wouldn’t be easy to break. Sury laughs and says, they’ve made it easy for me to eat. No need to break, you see. Bah!

So I got a couple of kilos of tomatoes, intending to turn them into the tomato rice mix. So convenient. Just mix with hot rice and I am good to go. Except that it was 3-4 days before I got around to it, and by that time, the 2 kg became 1 kg. Salads and other interim cooking. So anyway, I had intended to make it the day before yesterday. Whenever I see a tomato, I always giggle thinking of Vidur’s tonaado juice for rasam and juice mummum for rasam rice.

Then yesterday, the kitchen sink was overflowing what with being busy with the visits to the dentists (yeah plural) and other priority catching up to do. And the tomatoes took a back seat. Determined to clear up the sink before it raised a stink, I fortified myself with a strong cup of coffee and broken ragi biscuits and got started. It is funny how I enjoy housework, Mi.

Then suddenly a thought struck me. Why not cut up the tomatoes and cook them while I did the dishes?

The sheer brilliance of the idea blinded me at first and then glowing with that quiet glow only an amazing thought can bring, I washed my hands and chopped up the tomatoes and onions. I put them in our faithful shwee pan, added a couple of spoons of oil, half a spoon of turmeric, two spoons of coriander powder, a spoon of salt, half a spoon of asafoetida, one and a half spoons of dry mango powder, a spoon of peppercorn powder and three stalks of curry leaves.

I tossed the contents of the pan around, set the stove on “sim”, covered the pan with a lid and got on with the dishes.Each time I washed a few, I opened the pan to turn the tomatoes over. They were coming along nicely.

By the time I emptied the sink, the tomatoes were done. I took off the lid, raised the stove to “high” to get rid of the residual water and get that nice shine of oil in the tomato. Two more spoons of oil, a taste of the tomato, another half spoon of salt and it was ready to eat. I had made rice so we had tomato rice. I stored the rest of it in the fridge. You always were amused at how I was so fond of the “tomato vadhakkal” I still am. Always feels good to cook from scratch and have it on the ready. Now, to make the curry leaf powder! Which reminds me, I am well on my way to cutting it too fine for the dosa milaga podi.

Ah, what is the 11th hour for, eh?

One tumbler kaapi coming up. We’ll share.

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