Tomato Rice


Rice cooked with tomatoes and spices. Easy one pot meal, this tomato rice is vegan & gluten-free.

Tomato Rice Recipe

There are so many ways to jazz up plain and simple rice. Like I have mentioned before, rice is such an integral part of Indian cuisine. It’s literally eaten in every corner of the country.  I have shared quite a bit of Indian rice recipe on the blog but of course there is so much more that I have not shared. Today I am sharing one of my favorite rice recipe – tomato rice. This spicy rice is particularly famous in South India but of course it’s cooked and relished everywhere.

It’s funny that I call this recipe spicy though. I mean usually tomato rice is very spicy and people enjoy it that way. However keeping in mind my taste buds, my tomato rice is not spicy at all. I guess for those who have been following my blog for a while are well aware of this, I do not eat very spicy food (I mean comparing to general Indian population). So always adjust spice levels to taste with my Indian recipes. To make this tomato rice really spicy, add more green chilies and red chili powder.

Indian Tomato Rice-1

Few things about this tomato rice recipe which I would like to mention.

1. Soak the rice for 30 minutes before adding it to the pan. This is important. Also soak the chana and urad dal for 10-15 minutes before using them in the recipe. By soaking the dal is soft and nice to bite when cooked.

2. Add only 1.75 cups water if you want all rice grain separate and not mushy at all. However this 1.75 cups of water measurement would work only if you have soaked the rice for 30-40 minutes before cooking it.

3. Tomato rice definitely tastes great with ghee. So you may use ghee in stead of oil here. However if you want to keep it vegan like me, stick with the oil.

4. Like I mentioned before, adjust spice levels to taste. Tomato rice is usually spicy but my recipe is not, so add more of the spices if you want it spicy.

5. You can very well make this tomato rice with pre-cooked rice. So if you have around 2-3 cups of pre-cooked rice, just follow all steps as it is till the tomatoes are cooked and then add the cooked rice, mix everything and serve.

South Indian Tomato Rice

This tomato rice tastes best with raita. I enjoyed it with some onion raita on the side, so good! It would also be just as good with some plain yogurt. By the way I made this rice live on my snapchat and instagram [id: @cookwithmanali on both]. So follow me there if you would like to see me cook all these recipes, there’s definitely more to come.

Tomato Rice

Tomato Rice

One-pot spicy Tomato Rice. This rice is best enjoyed with raita (yogurt dip) or simply plain yogurt. Vegan & gluten-free!
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Manali
0 from 0 votes


  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 mins
  • 1.75 - 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 5-6 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 10-12 mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal, soaked for 10 mins
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal, soaked for 10 mins
  • 5-6 cashews, broken
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt, to taste


  1. Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes. Drain water and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add bay leaves, cloves and black peppercorn. Saute till fragrant.
  3. Add mustard seeds and let them pop. Then add green chili and cashews. Cook for few seconds till cashews start becoming light golden in color.
  4. Add the soaked chana and urad dal and cook till the dal changes color and becomes light golden brown.
  5. Now add chopped onion and curry leaves. Cook till onions becomes translucent, around 2-3 minutes.
  6. Then add ginger-garlic paste and cook till raw smell goes away, around 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes, and add salt. Cover and cook the tomatoes on medium heat for 7-8 minutes till nicely cooked.
  8. Add red chili powder, garam masala powder, mint leaves and mix. Cook for a minute.
  9. Now add rice and cook for a minute with all the spices. Add water and mix. [Add 2 cups water for softer rice, 1.75 cups if you want all rice grains separately]
  10. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes or till rice is nicely cooked.
  11. Serve with any raita of choice.

Tomato Rice

Tomato Rice-Collage

12 thoughts on “Tomato Rice

  1. Rice is so important and I love how it pops up in a ton of cultures in different ways. I’ve never had tomato rice before, so now I have to give it a shot!

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