Tomato Rice is your one pot South Indian dish that is ideal for brunch, lunch or dinner. The tangy and spicy rice goes well with yogurt, ‘papad’ (or ‘poppadom’), tortilla chips or just by itself!
What is Tomato Rice?
Various cultures across the globe have different versions of Tomato rice. But the basis of South Indian Tomato rice is: tomatoes (fresh, paste or puree) cooked along with spices and mixed with rice.
Related Recipes: Raw Mango Rice, Spanish Rice, Fried Rice, Coconut Rice
Goodness of Tomatoes
Psst…did you know, tomato is considered both a fruit and a vegetable! Well now you do ?
It forms an integral part of numerous cuisines across the globe and daily consumption of tomatoes is good for health and adds flavor to food.
Native of Mexico, they are relatively easy to cultivate and grow quickly. Hence today, tomatoes are grown all over the world.
They are one of the healthiest foods in the world. It’s high lycopene content makes it a rich anti-oxidant and responsible for good bone health.
More Tomato Recipes: Homemade Tomato Soup, Homemade Marinara Sauce
Tomato rice is one of the many dishes that brings back a lot of childhood memories. It was my favorite lunch box item from my mom’s kitchen and honestly, one dish that I learned cooking relatively young.
As kids, we all fussed over fruits and vegetables and raw tomatoes topped the charts of many ☺ Tomato rice was my mom’s quick fix solution for it. The pureed tomatoes cooked with spices and mixed with rice, made her fussy kids eat the healthy tomatoes. This was one of her ways of ‘hiding the veggies’ (read tomatoes).
About the Recipe
It’s one of those recipes that is now a no brainer for me when we are hungry and want something real quick. I call tomato rice, a “one pot easy meal’ as it can be eaten by itself, easy to cook and doesn’t require a lot of prepping.
Basmati or regular rice works fine. I generally make it with left over rice but you can begin from scratch as well. For the gravy, cook fresh tomatoes or tomato puree/ paste with onions and spices. Once it’s ready, mix it with rice. It’s that simple and quick but results in an extremely tasty dish ? Trust me.
Food has a strong bond with memories. Every recipe, every ingredient triggers an event in the past. It’s these memories that I cherish with my recipes. Food for thought!
- 1 cup Basmati Rice or Jasmine rice or any long grained rice or regular rice
- 3 tbsp Tomato paste or 3 medium sized tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Red Onion finely chopped
- 2 nos Green chili cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 – 1 tsp Red chilli powder adjust according to your taste
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 2-3 nos bay leaves
- 4-5 nos Fenugreek seeds
- 4-5 nos cloves
- 2 nos cardamon remove the seeds to use
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 5-6 nos black pepper corns or black pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- Water as required
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- Rinse rice grains a couple times and let it soak in water for 15 minutes.
- Cook the rice using an electric rice cooker or pressure cooker. You can also cook rice in a pot on stove. The rice should be fully cooked. (The rice should be cooked along with sufficient salt to taste).
- Once cooked, bring it to room temperature by spreading it on a flat surface or plate. Keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a non stick pot and add bay leaves, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper corns, fenugreek and cumin seeds. Let them cook for a minute.
- Now add chopped onions and cook until it turns pink and translucent. Next add ginger garlic paste and cook for another minute. Next add red chili powder and turmeric powder and cook for a minute.
- Add the tomatoes or tomato paste. If working with fresh tomatoes, cook until the oil separates. In case of tomato paste, add water and bring it to a boil.
- Now add green chili, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. The salt added should be sufficient for the gravy. Remember, rice already has salt.
- Boil it for 5 minutes, to allow all the spices to cook well. Remove from heat.
- Add the rice to the gravy and mix gently so that the gravy evenly covers the rice.
- Transfer to a serving dish and serve with ‘Dahi Ki Chutney’ (Yogurt Dip) and papads. Enjoy!
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