Tomato Rice, a popular South Indian dish, is a delectable and aromatic preparation that beautifully combines the nutty fragrance of cooked rice with the tangy richness of tomatoes. Known for its simplicity and vibrant flavors, this dish is a staple in many households and is favored for its quick and straightforward preparation.

The dish typically involves cooking rice separately until it achieves a fluffy and separate texture. Meanwhile, a spiced tomato mixture is prepared by sautéing onions, green chilies, and tomatoes with a blend of aromatic spices. This spiced tomato mixture is then combined with the cooked rice, creating a delightful fusion of flavors.

The tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and other spices adds an extra layer of aroma and depth to the dish. Depending on personal preferences, additional ingredients such as peas, cashews, or fresh herbs like coriander may be incorporated, enhancing both the visual appeal and the overall taste.

Tomato Rice is not only cherished for its delicious taste but also for its versatility. It can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or paired with accompaniments such as yogurt, raita, or a side salad. Whether served for a quick weekday meal or as part of a festive spread, Tomato Rice continues to be a beloved dish that captures the essence of South Indian cuisine with its vibrant and comforting flavors.


  • 1 cup basmati rice (or any variety of your choice)
  • 2 cups water (for cooking rice)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Cooking Rice:
    • Rinse the rice thoroughly and cook it with 2 cups of water until it’s fluffy and each grain is separate. Let it cool.
  2. Tempering:
    • In a pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let them splutter.
  3. Add Onions and Green Chili:
    • Add finely chopped onions and green chili. Sauté until the onions become golden brown.
  4. Add Tomatoes:
    • Add chopped tomatoes to the pan. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the oil starts to separate.
  5. Spices:
    • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala. Stir well to combine.
  6. Add Peas:
    • Add peas to the mixture and cook for a few minutes until they are tender.
  7. Combine Rice and Tomato Mixture:
    • Add the cooked rice to the pan. Gently mix the rice with the tomato mixture, ensuring it’s evenly coated with the spices.
  8. Season with Salt:
    • Season the rice with salt according to your taste. Mix well to incorporate the salt evenly.
  9. Garnish:
    • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves for added freshness.
  10. Serve:
    • Tomato Rice is ready to be served. It can be enjoyed on its own or with yogurt, raita, or a side of your choice.

Enjoy your flavorful and aromatic Tomato Rice!

Here are some tips to help you make delicious Tomato Rice:

1. Choose the Right Rice:

  • Use long-grain rice like basmati for a fluffy and separate texture. Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch.

2. Precook Rice:

  • Cooking the rice in advance and allowing it to cool will prevent it from becoming mushy when mixed with the tomato mixture.

3. Quality Tomatoes:

  • Choose ripe and flavorful tomatoes for the best taste. Vine-ripened or Roma tomatoes work well.

4. Balance the Spices:

  • Adjust the amount of red chili powder and garam masala according to your spice preference. Taste the tomato mixture and add more if needed.

5. Tempering Technique:

  • Ensure that the mustard seeds and cumin seeds splutter well during the tempering process. This releases their flavors and enhances the overall taste of the dish.

6. Caramelize Onions:

  • Allow the onions to caramelize to a golden brown color. This adds sweetness and depth to the flavor of the tomato rice.

7. Fresh Green Chili:

  • Adjust the quantity of green chili based on your spice tolerance. For a milder version, you can deseed the chili before chopping.

8. Use Fresh Peas:

  • If using peas, opt for fresh peas when they are in season. If using frozen peas, add them directly without thawing.

9. Tomato Consistency:

  • Cook the tomatoes until they are soft, and the oil starts to separate. This ensures a rich and well-incorporated tomato flavor.

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about making Tomato Rice:

1. What is Tomato Rice?

  • Tomato Rice is a flavorful and aromatic South Indian dish where cooked rice is mixed with a spiced tomato mixture, typically including onions, spices, and sometimes peas.

2. Can I use any type of rice for Tomato Rice?

  • While basmati rice is commonly used, you can use other long-grain rice varieties. Ensure the rice is cooked to a fluffy and separate texture.

3. How do I prevent the rice from becoming mushy?

  • Precook the rice and allow it to cool before mixing it with the tomato mixture. Using cooled rice helps maintain the individual grains.

4. Can I use canned tomatoes for Tomato Rice?

  • While fresh tomatoes are preferred for better flavor, you can use canned tomatoes if fresh ones are not available. Drain excess liquid from canned tomatoes before using.

5. How spicy is Tomato Rice?

  • The spice level can be adjusted to your preference by controlling the amount of red chili powder and green chilies. You can make it mild or spicy based on your taste.

6. Can I make Tomato Rice in advance?

  • Yes, Tomato Rice can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat gently before serving, and you may need to add a bit of water to restore moisture.

7. Can I add vegetables to Tomato Rice?

  • Yes, you can add vegetables like peas, carrots, or bell peppers to enhance the nutritional content and add color to the dish.

8. How long does Tomato Rice last?

  • Tomato Rice can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container. Ensure it’s properly cooled before refrigerating.

9. Can I freeze Tomato Rice?

  • Freezing may affect the texture of the rice. It’s best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated for a short period.

10. What can I serve with Tomato Rice?

  • Tomato Rice can be enjoyed on its own or with yogurt, raita, pickle, or a side salad. It’s a versatile dish that complements various side dishes.

Click Here for more yummy recipes :