Tangy Watercress Rice with Garlic and Tomato

Watercress, Garlic and Tomato

Fresh watercress, garlic, and tomatoes


Inspired by Nabeela, I used up veggies from the fridge. This made a huge pot of rice so I am going to try freezing some.

Tangy Watercress Rice with Garlic and Tomato

1 c rice, rinsed
1 1/2 to 2 c water

2 bunches fresh watercress, washed and dried
3 red ripe tomatoes

1 tsp oil or ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 TB garlic paste
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1/2 – 1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder
1/2 tsp salt

4 cloves
1 small lump jaggery

Optional: poached eggs for serving


Remove largest stems from watercress. You can freeze them to add a spicy flavor to soups (I think they might work well in a chutney too ~~ but I haven’t yet ventured into that realm). Chop the rest of the stems and the tops finely.

Chop tomatoes and reserve juice.

Heat oil or ghee in a large, deep saute pan (one with a lid to fit) over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and when they pop, add cumin and saute a minute. Add garlic paste and stir well half a minute or so, then add chopped tomatoes and their juice. Allow to boil down 2-3 minutes, then add the chopped watercress. Allow watercress to wilt, this only takes a few minutes.

Cooking the Watercress Rice

Cooking the watercress rice


Sprinkle on chile powder, cumin-coriander powder, amchur powder and salt. Mix well, raise heat to high, and add 1 1/2 cups water and the rinsed rice. Add cloves and jaggery and stir well to dissolve. Reduce heat to med-low, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes. Check the rice — if it’s underdone and drying out, add 1/4 c water, cover and cook 5 min more. Check again and repeat with additional water if necessary (amount of water needed depends on how juicy tomatoes are). Give mixture one big stir and remove to individual plates. Top with poached eggs if desired.

Peppery watercress takes well to strong flavors like garlic. I was guessing at the rest, and liked the result: tangy from tomatoes and amchur powder, a little warm from chile powder and cumin, and a tiny bit sweet and spicy with dark, rich jaggery and cloves. Indian cooking has really taught me to appreciate cloves — something I was never very fond of before.

Tangy Watercress Rice with Garlic and Poached Egg



  1. Vaishali said

    I am ready to lend you a hand when you’re cleaning up your fridge next time, Linda. Provided I stay back for lunch. 😉

    Happy to have you anytime, Vaishali! We can cook up an international feast 😉

  2. ArSu said

    Oh lovely Linda I am suprised at your amazing interest in Indian cooking. Nice recipe to try watercress, have never tasted before. 😦

    Thank you ArSu. 🙂
    I have only seen watercress in soups or salads. I got two bunches for one dollar, a bargain, so decided to experiment with cooking it. Hope you get a chance to try it sometime.

  3. vineela said

    Hi Linda,
    I have to try this watercress recipe.Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you, Vineela!

  4. Nabeela said

    wow…..that rice looks amazing…..fresh herbs with rice never backfires Linda…and btw, I’m still waiting for that post where you tell us all about how your interest in indian cooking started 🙂

    I mentioned something about it in the Jihva for Dals post, Nabeela — think it was the Poha recipe 🙂

  5. shammi said

    Watercress rice – wow, here’s a recipe I definitely wanna try! I’ve only ever had watercress in egg-and-cress sandwiches.

    Let me know if you like it, Shammi, if you try. I haven’t seen watercress in anything cooked other than a mixed green soup. Egg-and-cress is traditional in Great Britain, isn’t it?

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