Rice Zephyr's Corner

Tomato Rice – A great one-dish meal

Haven’t I said that there are hundreds of mixed rice varieties? Well, this quick tomato rice is one of them. I am sharing two versions of making this. Both are tasty, but I like the first one, as you can make the masala before hand and just mix with the rice later.  It is an ideal one-dish-meal, teamed with raita or papad.


  • Tomatoes                                                   2 large ripe ones
  • Onion                                                           1 medium
  • Capsicum                                                     1 small (optional)
  • Green chillies                                               1 (chopped)
  • Turmeric powder                                        ¼ tsp
  • Chilli powder                                                 ½ tsp (add or reduce to taste)
  • Dhania powder                                             ½ tsp
  • Mustard                                                          ½ tsp
  • Jeera                                                              ½ tsp
  • Asafoetida powder                                       ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves                                                  7-8
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil                                                                   2 tsp

To Assemble:

  • Cooked rice                                                   3 cups
  • Ghee                                                              1 tsp to drizzle over the rice.
  • Coriander leaves to garnish                       2 tbsp (chopped)


  • Chop onions, capsicum, green chillies and coriander finely.
  • Chop tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a kadhai, pop mustard and jeera. When they sputter, add the chopped green chillies, onion and curry leaves.
  • Saute the onion till it turns transluscent. Don’t brown it.
  • Now add the chopped capsicum and saute for a minute. Add the tomatoes, salt as required, and mix well. Let it cook till the tomato gets mushy.
  • Add turmeric, dhania and chilli powders. Mix well, cover and cook for a couple of minutes, till the tomatoes get cooked well.
  • To Assemble:
  • Add the cooked rice to the tomato mixture. Mix thoroughly with a light hand, taking care not to break the grains of rice. Taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and simmer for two minutes, till the rice absorbs all the flavours.
  • Switch off the heat and turn it out on to a serving dish. Drizzle ghee over the rice and garnish with coriander. Serve hot or cold.

Tomato Rice – 2nd version

The ingredients are the same for this one too, except that we take uncooked rice for making this version and puree the tomatoes.

  • Rice (short or long grained)                        1 ½ cup
  • Puree of 2 tomatoes
  • Water                                                             2 cups including tomato puree

(other ingredients as per recipe 1)


  • Wash and soak rice for 15 mins. Measure the tomato puree and add water to make it to 2 cups. Add to rice, add chilli powder, dhania powder, turmeric and salt, and cook for 2 whistles. (or just cooked, depending on your cooker. The grains should be separate and not overcooked).
  • Follow the preparation method of the first recipe till the point of adding tomatoes.
  • Fluff up the cooked rice and add to the sauted onion and capsicum. Mix well, adjust the salt and cover and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Remove to serving dish and garnish with ghee and coriander.


  • Both the versions taste good, but the first one is easier, to my mind.
  • Adding capsicum is optional, but it gives it added flavour.
  • You can add two cloves and ½” piece of cinnamon to the rice in recipe – 2, if you like. I prefer it without the added flavour. I prefer just the flavour of tomato.
  • It can be eaten hot or cold, making it ideal for lunch boxes and picnics.
  • Serve with papad/chips, curd or raita.

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