Spicy Cherry Tomato Rice with a recipe for Tomato Masala from Rose of Magpie’s Recipes

My friend and next town over neighbor Rose from Magpie’s Recipes is leaving the Bay Area and moving back to India next week.  We met at a Bay Area food blogger’s lunch and soon made plans to meet at our local farmer’s market.  A few weeks later we spent the morning marketing (mostly tasting different kinds of plums!) and then cooked lunch together at my house last Summer making both this spicy cherry tomato rice and an easy small batch of spiced plum preserves.

I’ve been holding on to both the photos of Rose’s tomato rice and her recipe for months, at least since last year’s plum and end of tomato season.  Time passes too quickly for me and I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to share this wonderful plate of spicy cherry tomato rice with you.

Rose is originally from Kerala in South India but has traveled and lived all over the world.  Rose aka Magpie brings her love of spices with her on all her global adventures as well as actual spices from home which she generously shares with her friends.  Her grandparents and uncles are farmers and entrepreneurs in India who grow rice, coconut, cashew nuts, bananas, cardamom, nutmeg, rubber, pine apples, pepper, kokum and mangosteen.  Yes, I had to look up kokum…a small round fruit that tastes both sweet and salty.  Garcinia indica…a plant in the mangosteen family that bears fruit for culinary, pharmaceutical and industrial uses.

I don’t know if this is the right time to mention it, but I did grow the little cherry tomatoes and sprigs of Thai basil we used on the tomato rice!

The last time I met Rose was with Gina at the San Rafael farmer’s market, she gave me a bag of cardamom  and a lovely scarf that I will always cherish.  When I reach for those cardamom pods, which I do for baking, I will think about Rose and her sister as young girls being chased by geese at their family’s farm in Kerala, South India and how important it is to seize the moment especially making time with friends a priority…because you just never know..with very short notice.. they might move to the other side of the world!

I’m excited for Rose’s move back to India as she will be closer to her family.  But soon I will  be missing a friend who will be living on the other side of the world…and with my thoughts about Rose and her move next week.. I can’t think of a better time to share one of her delicious recipes with everyone.  Rose is such a fantastic cook and her blog is filled with so many beautiful pictures and unique delicious recipes-I can’t wait to see what she shares from her new home in India.



  1. Patty I am speechless! So sweet you are :) Shopping at the market that day and then cooking with you in your beautiful kitchen was so much fun. I hope we can do it again some day, maybe this time in India! Like I said, I am not going to say goodbye because forever friends you can never say good bye to :)

  2. Your rice looks so tasty, Patty! I love the cherry tomatoes and all those wonderful spices!

  3. Your cherry tomatoes and Thai basil wear the masala quite beautifully! I can practically smell the cooking spices from here… :D

    Beautiful dish, Patty! Thanks for introducing me to another great blogger!

  4. What a gorgeous spring-timey dish! It looks absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Oh what a sweet tribute to your friend, and I love that you grew the tomatoes and basil. I’m jealous! Thank you for sharing, Patty. Your posts always bring a big smile to my face. Thank you for sharing…and for introducing me to another blogger!

  6. Patty – what a lovely post! Having met Rose via you in December at our blogger lunch get together, I know first hand what a lovely person she is. Her little son just makes me giggle each time I think about him. This salad looks very delicious and full of flavors. :-)

  7. This sounds like a flavorful delicious rice dish. I bet this dish was wonderful with your fresh tomatoes and herbs, what a nice post about your friend Rose.

  8. This was a lovely tribute to a blogging friend. The rice looks absolutely beautiful. I know you’ll never forget her friendship, and I wish her much happiness on her move back to India.

  9. The tomato rice looks so delish, Patty!

  10. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Those spices and sweet cherry tomatoes make this rice dish out of this world!Great idea for dinner this week, Patty:)

  11. Patty, this looks like a wonderful dish! I love the cherry tomatoes incorporated with the basmati rice and all the lovely spices! YUM!!!

  12. I’m going to miss Rose and Paulie, he just cracks me up. She is a genuine, kind woman and I feel so lucky to have met her and been able to share time with her. You too my friend. Where does time go? Let’s not let too much time pass before we see each other again.

  13. Such a warm post and with a wonderful rice recipe. I can´t wait to make this easy dish, it´s the kind of thing I can eat for days! It´s hard to say goodbye to a friend, but you also know she´ll reunite with her family.

  14. How fun to shop and cook together!! The rice sounds wonderful, love fresh tomatoes!

  15. I love rice dishes, and this one with spicy tomatoes sounds and looks terrific Patty…
    Enjoy the rest of your week :)

  16. That’s a wonderful story, Patty, and an equally wonderful recipe. I’ve learned so much from other bloggers about international foods and recipe. I’m sure you will miss your friend, but hopefully, she will continue blogging in India.

  17. It was so nice to have had the chance to meet Rose and how fun it must have been to cook together. Love this rice–this is something I would never tire of eating. And now I’m also excited for Rose to share her life from India.

  18. What a great story and tribute! :)

    And this rice looks interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever flavored my rice so I need to give this a try!

  19. So fresh! I am drooling right now :) I particularly enjoy garam masala, so I know this is a wonderful recipe to highlight such beautiful spices.

  20. What a sweet post, Patty! I haven’t met Rose, but she seems like a very nice lady and how nice that you two lived very closely! Friendship will last especially when we’re connected with food. You made such a delicious dish from her collection. Looks yum!!!

  21. Such a sweet story and great friendship. I’m glad that you got to meet and becomes friends with Rose before she moves back. I hope that one day you can meet each other again. The rice looks so pretty and all of the ingredients are what I love. Thank you Patty for sharing your story of friendship and Rose’s recipe.

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