Indian-spiced Stuffed Tomatoes

Tempted for some less-traditional fare? Try this recipe inspired by the flavors and aromas of India.

by Dani Yokhna

Tasty TomatoesRemember that whole spices are used in this recipe and should be removed before adding the mixture to the tomatoes. If not removed, your guests might receive an occasional flavorful surprise!

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 whole green cardamom pods
  • 2 dried red chili peppers
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, cut lengthwise down the middle
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2-inch fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, or dried equivalent
  • 1½ T. amchoor (mango powder)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 to 8 large tomatoes

Rinse rice under running water. In saucepan, combine rice, water and salt, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in large skillet. Add bay leaf, and stir for 10 seconds. Add cloves, cardamom, chili peppers, cinnamon, pepper, cumin and fennel. Stir until fragrant—about 30 seconds. Add onion, and cook 8 minutes.

Stir in garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and ginger; cook 2 minutes. Add garbanzo beans and amchoor; cook 5 minutes.

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Remove the mixture from heat, and remove any whole spices. Stir in cilantro and cooked rice, mixing well.

Cut each tomato in half, and scoop out seeds and pulp. Chop tomato pulp, and add to bean-and-rice mixture. Fill each tomato half with mixture, and place the filled tomatoes in a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake 25 minutes.

Excerpt from Tasty Tomatoes, part of the Popular Gardening Series, with permission from its publisher, BowTie, Inc. Purchase Tasty Tomatoes here.


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