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Tomato Curry With Coconut Rice

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

Not being a vegetarian, I have a rather indelicate lack of faith in meatless main courses; I worry all too readily about whether it's going to be filling enough. I suppose this is habit, which in turn is largely cultural conditioning but, beyond that even, my fear is to do with balance: I need to feel sure that everything on the table provides a true marriage of tastes and textures; I can't abide the one-note meal. Here I'm happy: the acid brightness of the tomatoes is met with the sweetness of peas and the rich creaminess of the coconut rice, which is itself pricked with the sharpness of lime, while its carrara-whiteness is punctuated by the gritty blackness of the seeds (not there just to satisfy culinary egomania).

Not being a vegetarian, I have a rather indelicate lack of faith in meatless main courses; I worry all too readily about whether it's going to be filling enough. I suppose this is habit, which in turn is largely cultural conditioning but, beyond that even, my fear is to do with balance: I need to feel sure that everything on the table provides a true marriage of tastes and textures; I can't abide the one-note meal. Here I'm happy: the acid brightness of the tomatoes is met with the sweetness of peas and the rich creaminess of the coconut rice, which is itself pricked with the sharpness of lime, while its carrara-whiteness is punctuated by the gritty blackness of the seeds (not there just to satisfy culinary egomania).

Tomato Curry With Coconut Rice
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Metric Cups

For the Curry

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or cold pressed rapeseed oil)
  • 2 large onions (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (or 1/2 teaspoon pouring salt)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 kilogram cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon english mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 200 grams frozen peas

For the Coconut Rice

  • 1 tablespoon garlic infused olive oil
  • 4 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds (or black mustard seeds)
  • 300 grams basmati rice
  • 1 x 400 millilitres can coconut milk
  • 600 millilitres freshly boiled water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (or 1/2 teaspoon pouring salt)
  • juice of 1 lime (or to taste)

For the Curry

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or cold pressed rapeseed oil)
  • 2 large onions (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon pouring salt)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 3½ pints cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon english mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1½ cups frozen peas

For the Coconut Rice

  • 1 tablespoon garlic flavored oil
  • 4 scallions (finely sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds (or black mustard seeds)
  • 1½ cups basmati rice
  • 1 x 14 fluid ounce can coconut milk
  • 2½ cups freshly boiled water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon pouring salt)
  • juice of 1 lime (or to taste)

Method

For the curry

  1. Heat the oil in a wide casserole or pan that comes with a lid, and add the chopped onions, sprinkling with salt, and stirring frequently as you cook them over a low to medium heat for about 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the chopped garlic, then add the halved tomatoes, before stirring in the spices, and cook for 20 minutes with the lid on over a low heat.
  3. Cook the peas in another pan (in boiling salted water as usual), drain and add to the tomato curry for the last 5 minutes’ cooking time. By all means cook the peas directly in the tomato curry, but be prepared then to sacrifice both the vivid red of the tomatoes and the bright green of the peas.

For the coconut rice

  1. Warm the oil in a heavy-based pan that has a lid, add the spring onions and nigella seeds (or black mustard seeds) and cook for a minute or so, pushing this way and that with a wooden spoon.
  2. Stir in the rice, letting it get slicked with oil and thoroughly mixed with the black-dotted green shreds.
  3. Pour the coconut milk into a measuring jug and top up to the 1 litre mark with freshly boiled water, then add this to the rice, stirring it in with the salt.
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and put on the lid. Cook for 15 minutes, by which time the rice should be cooked and the liquid absorbed.
  5. Fluff up with a fork as you pour in the lime juice, and taste to see if you need either more salt or more lime.

For the curry

  1. Heat the oil in a wide casserole or pan that comes with a lid, and add the chopped onions, sprinkling with salt, and stirring frequently as you cook them over a low to medium heat for about 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the chopped garlic, then add the halved tomatoes, before stirring in the spices, and cook for 20 minutes with the lid on over a low heat.
  3. Cook the peas in another pan (in boiling salted water as usual), drain and add to the tomato curry for the last 5 minutes’ cooking time. By all means cook the peas directly in the tomato curry, but be prepared then to sacrifice both the vivid red of the tomatoes and the bright green of the peas.

For the coconut rice

  1. Warm the oil in a heavy-based pan that has a lid, add the scallions and nigella seeds (or black mustard seeds) and cook for a minute or so, pushing this way and that with a wooden spoon.
  2. Stir in the rice, letting it get slicked with oil and thoroughly mixed with the black-dotted green shreds.
  3. Pour the coconut milk into a measuring jug and top up to the 1 litre mark with freshly boiled water, then add this to the rice, stirring it in with the salt.
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and put on the lid. Cook for 15 minutes, by which time the rice should be cooked and the liquid absorbed.
  5. Fluff up with a fork as you pour in the lime juice, and taste to see if you need either more salt or more lime.

Tell us what you think

What 7 Others have said

  • Hey Nigella, this is awesome, I have made this before many times and coconut rice is my favorite. Lots of love..

    Posted by Joy_Mondal on 1st July 2016
  • When I made this, it tasted great but the onions were still crunchy.. is that how it should be?

    Posted by rubystar24 on 28th October 2012
  • I too have made this several times and I love how easy and tasty it is - also I think more should be made of the fact that this is in fact totally vegan friendly (a thought which only occurred to me after I'd already made it a few times just for me and my boyfriend, both of us being meat eaters). I love tomatoey sauces anyway, especially in curry form, and the coconut rice is perfect as an accompaniment.

    Posted by stephjl4 on 25th November 2013
  • I love this recipe because its soo easy to make as well as the method.. I am from the middle east and i am big fan of you Nigella.

    Posted by ameera8899 on 25th November 2013
  • I made the Coconut rice to go with some steamed fish - although I did not have Nigella Seeds or Black Mustard Seeds - only Yellow Mustard Seeds this was so delish I shall be making again and again xoxo Thank you Nigella for this tasty rice.

    Posted by Rayleen on 9th January 2013
  • I'll give this a go tomorrow, and I'll add some diced eggplant to " beef" it up a bit.

    Posted by Ajmcolwell on 4th February 2012
  • This recipe is fantastic. I've made it countless times, even for guests coming over and all are surprised in the fact that you don't miss not having meat in this dish!!! The flavours explode in your mouth!!! A must try!

    Posted by cheesy chef on 16th June 2011
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