Tomato rice step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Tomato rice or tomato bath is a popular dish from Karnataka, made with loads of tomatoes and freshly ground spices. This spicy, tangy dish is ready in no time and is a great weekday meal. They are great for lunch boxes too.
Tomato rice tastes great on its own, but you can pair it with raita, papad, and salad for a complete meal. There are many versions to make this one-pot dish and here is my take on it.
Tomatoes: Use ripe and juicy tomatoes to make this dish.
Basmati rice: Basmati rice works best for this dish.
Ghee: I prefer to make this dish with ghee. However, you may replace it with any cooking oil of your choice.
Whole spices: The whole spices I use to make the spice mix are coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and dried chilli.
Onion, ginger, and garlic: I use red/pink onions to make tomato rice but this dish works well with brown onions too.
Coriander leaves: Although this is for garnishing, I highly recommend not skipping it.
Step by step instructions
Dry roast the spices with coconut and grind them into a powder (steps 1,2).
Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add cumin seeds, urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, and ginger. Saute for a few seconds (steps 3,4).
Add onion and fry until it turns translucent (steps 5,6).
Add tomatoes, ground masala powder, and salt (steps 7,8).
Mix well, cover, and cook until the tomatoes are mushy (step 9).
Add the rice. Add water, and bring it to a boil (step 10).
Simmer until completely done. All the moisture will be absorbed and the rice is completely done (step 11).
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot (step 12).
Tips for making best tomato rice
Use ripe and juicy tomatoes. And use lots of tomatoes.
Tomatoes release a lot of moisture, so make sure you do not add lots of water when cooking the rice. If you add more water, the rice will become mushy. In this recipe, I have used 2 cups of rice and a little less than 3 cups of water. This gives the perfect texture to rice without turning it mushy or overcooked.
The freshly ground spice powder makes this dish very flavourful and aromatic. You may make two or three batches of the spice powder at one time and store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. If you already have the spice powder available, the dish will be ready in just 20 minutes.
Once the rice is cooked, mix it very gently taking care not to break them.
Do not skip coriander leaves. Even though it is a garnish, I highly recommend adding it as coriander leaves makes this dish very flavourful.
Click here for more tomato recipes.
Click here for more Karnataka recipes.
- is a great way to use up ripe tomatoes
- is gluten-free
- can be easily made vegan-friendly by replacing ghee with oil
- can be made in less than 30 minutes
- is very easy to make and suitable for beginners
- is perfect for lunchboxes and potlucks
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 6-8 tomatoes chopped
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon split black gram (urad dal)
- 1 tablespoon Bengal gram (chana dal)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 2-3 cloves garlic grated or 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 7-8 curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaves for garnish
FOR THE MASALA POWDER:
- 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- ¼ cup coconut dry or desiccated
- 4-5 dry red chilli or as per taste
- 1-2 small piece cinnamon
- 2-3 cardamom
- 5-6 cloves
- Dry roast all the ingredients for the masala powder. Cool completely and grind into a powder
- Wash the rice thoroughly in running water. Drain all the excess water. Soak the rice in fresh water for 30 minutes
- Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan and add mustard seeds
- Once it splutters, add cumin seeds, urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, and ginger. Saute for a few seconds
- Add onion and fry until it turns translucent
- Add tomatoes and mix well
- Add the ground masala powder and salt. Mix well, cover and cook until the tomatoes are mushy
- Add the rice. Add little less than 3 cups of water and bring it to boil (this much water is sufficient to just cover the rice, as tomatoes release a lot of water when cooked)
- Cover and simmer until the rice is completely done and the water is completely absorbed (approximately 18-20 minutes)
- Turn off the heat. Add coriander leaves and gently mix everything well. Serve hot
Click here to watch tomato rice web story.