Tomato rice- a simple Indian-style one-pot rice dish full of flavors. This tangy rice is flavored with warm Indian spices. It gets ready in just 30 minutes and is suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and people on gluten free diet too.
If you are looking for an easy Indian recipe that can be quickly made with limited ingredients then today's recipe- tomato rice is perfect for you.
On busy days when I don't have enough time to make office lunch, I generally make tomato rice and pack it with a simple salad or raita on the side.
It doesn't need much cutting, chopping and gets ready in just 30 minutes.
What goes in Indian tomato rice?
To make Indian style tomato rice, you will need the ingredients shown below:
- Rice: I have used long grain Indian basmati rice. You can make it with any medium or long-grain rice of your choice.
- Tomatoes: Use a juicy red variety of tomatoes.
- Ginger-garlic paste: Finely chopped ginger and garlic can be used too.
- Curry leaves: Curry leaves give a very nice and distinct flavor to this dish and it won't taste the same without them. You can use fresh, dried, or frozen. But if you can find fresh curry leaves, nothing like that. If there is no Indian supermarket near you, buy them online, they are available on amazon.
- Whole spices: I have used bay leaf, mustard seeds, cloves, and black peppercorns. You may add cumin seeds instead of mustard seeds. Also, feel free to add or skip 1-2 Indian whole spices depending upon the availability.
- Garam masala: Garam masala is a blend of Indian spices. It has a very strong and dominating flavor so add in moderation.
How to make (step by step process)?
Step 1: Heat oil in a cooking pot and add all the whole spices. Saute them for a few seconds or until they become fragrant.
Step 2: Add thinly sliced onion.
Step 3: Cook until the onion starts turning brown.
Step 4: Add ginger garlic paste and curry leaves. I have used frozen curry leaves which burn very fast so I have added them at this stage. If you are using fresh curry leaves, add them with whole spices.
Step 5: Cook until the raw smell of garlic goes away. It will take about a minute.
Step 6: Add red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala.
Step 7: Saute for a few seconds.
Steps 8, 9, and 10: Add green chilies, tomatoes, ground black pepper, and salt.
Step 11: Mix everything and cook until the tomatoes turn mushy and are nicely cooked.
Step 12: Add rinsed basmati rice. Gently mix everything and cook the rice without water for 1-2 minutes.
Step 13: Add chopped cilantro.
Steps 14 and 15: Add water and mix.
Steps 16 and 17: Cover the pot and cook on a medium flame for around 15 minutes or until the rice is nicely cooked.
Step 18: Keep the pan covered for around 5 minutes after switching off the stove. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff rice grains with a fork. Garnish with more fresh cilantro.
Your delicious Indian-style tomato rice is ready to be served!
How to serve?
Though a simple dish, Indian tomato rice is so flavorful that you don't need any elaborate curry or any other dish to serve with it.
To store, allow reaching room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container. Refrigerate for 2-3 days.
Can you freeze tomato rice?
Yes, tomato rice freezes well. You can store it in the freezer for 3-4 months.
To reheat in a microwave, add 1-2 tablespoons of boiling water and microwave for around 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave, mix everything with a spoon, and microwave again until properly heated.
To reheat on a stovetop, add 1-2 teaspoons of oil to a cooking pot. Add tomato rice. Gently saute. Add a few tablespoons of hot water and cover the pot with a lid. Cook on a low flame for a few minutes or until nicely heated. Keep checking and stirring in between.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Add water carefully otherwise the rice will become soggy.
- Instead of water, you may also add vegetable stock. However, that's not the traditional way of making tomato rice.
- If you don't want whole spices in your dish, remove them before serving. You can also tie the whole spices in a clean muslin cloth and then add them to the dish, doing this will make the step of removing spices easier.
- For some crunch, you can add roasted peanuts, cashew nuts, chana dal, or urad dal to the tomato rice.
- You may add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste for a brighter color and more flavor.
- Always mix the rice gently otherwise the grain may break.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can make tomato rice in a pressure cooker too. The rice and water ratio will be different in that case.
I prefer long-grain Indian basmati rice for this recipe. However, you can make it with any long or medium-sized rice grain. Don't use a very sticky (starchy) variety of rice.
Yes, I do it all the time. To make tomato rice with leftover rice, once your tomatoes are cooked, add rice and chopped cilantro. Gently stir until all the rice grains get evenly mixed with the sauce.
Cover the cooking pot with a lid and cook for around 2-3 minutes and then switch off the stove. Don't remove the lid for at least 5 minutes and allow the rice to absorb the flavors.
It's not required. However, if you do the cooking time will get shorter.
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Tomato rice-Indian style
- 1 Cooking pot
- 1 cup long-grain Indian basmati rice
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion thinly sliced
- ½ tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 green chili pepper chopped
- A handful of fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 3-4 curry leaves optional
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 2-3 black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil of choice
- 2 cups water or as required to cook the rice
- Wash rice with water and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pot. Add all the whole spices. Once they start spluttering, add sliced onion.
- When the onion starts turning brown, add ginger-garlic paste and curry leaves. Saute for about a minute.
- Add coriander powder, red chili powder, and garam masala. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add chopped tomatoes, green chili peppers, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix everything and cook until the tomatoes turn mushy and are nicely cooked. It will take around 5-6 minutes on medium flame.
- Once the tomatoes are cooked, add rice. Let the rice grains cook with tomatoes for 1-2 minutes before adding water and roughly chopped cilantro. Mix everything.
- Cover the pan and cook for around 15 minutes or until the water gets completely absorbed. Once the rice is cooked, switch off the stove and don't remove the lid for at least 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork. Garnish with more chopped cilantro.
- Enjoy with some raita, chutney, or salad on the side.
- The amount of water used may vary slightly depending upon the quality of rice.
- You can also add a tablespoon of tomato paste for more flavor and brighter color.
- Instead of water, vegetable stock can also be used to cook the rice.
- For some crunch add roasted peanuts or cashewnuts.
- More easy recipe tips and tricks are given within the post above. Please follow them to make this recipe.