Tomatoes, available in bright red and light green is both a vegetable and a fruit. This plump wonder is unanimously loved by all and forms the main ingredient from chutneys, dal, curries, gravies to ketchup.
Tomatoes come loaded with outstanding nutrients including vitamin A, C, K, B6, folate, thiamine, potassium, magnesium, and copper.
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It is also a storehouse of potent antioxidant lycopene which plays a crucial role in boosting health. And what’s more? Tomatoes even keep up your skin supple and radiant.
Top Health Benefit Of Tomatoes
Protects The Heart
More and more research points towards the astonishing benefits of lycopene the antioxidant in tomatoes safeguarding the heart. Cooking tomatoes actually boosts up the lycopene activity which is proven to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Lipids are the miscreants that cause heart diseases due to the clogging up of fats.
Good For Vision
Tomatoes are a powerhouse of lycopene, a vital carotenoid that is fundamental for good vision. Choose bright red tomatoes as these have more lycopene. Lycopene works well to lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration and lessen the risk of cataracts later in life. Also Read: Eat These 5 Foods To Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin A - Infographic
Promotes Skin And Hair Health
Tomatoes are loaded with a chock full of nutrients that include Vitamin A, C, B complex, potassium, magnesium and copper all these works too well to keep up the skin and hair healthy. Having a glass of tomato juice regularly helps in boosting the fairness and glow of the skin, maintaining the pH balance that tightens the skin, treats sunburns, and acne. Further, tomatoes are even good for your hair keeping up the shine and treating scalp odour and dandruff. Also Read: Tomatoes: Benefits Of Tomato-Based Products For Skin and Hair
Protects The Lungs
According to the latest study, it is proven that people who quit smoking can repair the lungs by consuming a tomato-rich diet. Further on the abundance of vitamin A in tomatoes protects the lungs from the harmful effects of smoking and improves the functioning of the lungs.
Boost Your Immunity
One of the perfect way to stay healthy is to fire up your immune system by eating anti-inflammatory foods. Tomatoes are packed up with a huge dose of antioxidants that include carotenoids, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E which prevent free radical damage and boost the immune system.
One-Pot Tomato Rice
1 cup rice (soaked)
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
10 onions (sambar or regular onions), finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig of curry leaves, roughly torn
½ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tbsp sambar powder
½ tsp cardamom powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp ghee
salt, to taste
Heat some oil in the pressure cooker and add the mustard seeds.
Once the seeds start to crackle, add the onions, garlic and curry leaves and saute till the onions turn golden brown.
Add chopped tomatoes and saute it until it becomes tender and becomes mushy.
Now add the powder masalas, i.e. sambar powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt according to taste and mix everything.
Add the mint leaves and saute for some time and mix everything well.
Lastly, add the soaked rice along with 1 and ¼ cup of water and give everything a stir so that the masalas mix well with the rice.
Close the pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles, then remove it from the heat.
Once it cools off, remove the lid, add a dollop of ghee on top and serve it hot.
This one-pot tomato rice recipe imbued with healthful ingredients is a boon during the social lockdown times when the essential commodities are limited. Tomato being abundant in vitamins and minerals is not only good for the eyes but also boosts immunity and enhances cardiac functioning. Curry leaves have multifold benefits towards uplifting overall health whereas the addition of the humble ghee is not only a source of good fat but also keeps constipation at bay and aids in weight loss.
Suggest some best substitute for tomatoes?
Tomatoes are a quintessential ingredient in most Indian cuisine and are used liberally, however, with the price of these pulpy red veggies reaching a whooping high, let’s look out for some alternatives for this favourite.
Well, tomatoes besides adding body and richness offer a delightful tartness to several dishes. Tamarind is one of the natural ingredients that comes with fresh sweet-tanginess closest to tomatoes. Just add a dash of tamarind pulp to dal, curries, or stir-fries instead of tomatoes for that rich flavour and taste.
Curd comes as a handy flavour enhancer while making gravies that have a tomato base. It offers the thickness to the curries and the perfect kind of tartness, so you won't be missing tomatoes too much. Just ensure to whisk curd well and add it towards the end of the preparation to minimise any chance of curdling.
Unripe mangoes have a sharper flavour and make a good substitute for tomatoes. Right from dal, sambar, fish curry and chutneys – taste amazingly well when mango is used instead of tomatoes.
Pumpkin puree can be used as tomato alternatives in those dishes that need tomato paste or sauce. Furthermore, if you wish to attain some of the acidity of tomatoes, you can add a little vinegar as per your taste.