This Persian dish is good as an accompaniment to a meat dish. When fresh tomatoes are cheap, use them in preference to canned; blanch, skin and seed before use.
1 cup rice
1/2 pound onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 garlic clove, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 pound canned tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fine sugar
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano (optional)
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1. Put 2 1/2 cups of water into a pan and add 1 teaspoon salt and the rice. Cook for 8 minutes then drain and reserve.
2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and fry onions and garlic gently for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season to taste. Stir in the sugar.
3. Fry for a further 4 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add the herbs and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add the rice and 1 1/4 cups of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with freshly chopped herbs if wished.