Instant Pot tomato rice is a flavorful dish made with rice, tomatoes, and aromatic spices. Tomato rice can be served plain or with your favorite Indian dishes, such as raita, chutney, dal, or sambar.
Also called tomato pulao, this one-pot meal is a crowd-pleaser, providing a quick and satisfying option for both busy weeknights and gatherings.
I first learned how to make tomato rice from my mom, who was a wonderful cook. I loved the way the rice was so fluffy and flavorful. She taught me how to make it the way she did, and I've been making it ever since. For the past few years, I have been making it in my
Why you will love this recipe
- The combination of tomatoes, freshly ground spices, and aromatics creates a dish bursting with flavors.
- Tomato rice can be enjoyed on its own as a standalone dish, but it also pairs well with various accompaniments like raita, papad, and kachumber salad.
Instant Pottomato rice is a convenient option for meal prepping. You can prepare a larger batch and portion it out for quick and hassle-free meals throughout the week.
- Tomato pulao is not only suitable for everyday meals but can also be served at potlucks, picnics, and gatherings.
Tomatoes: Use ripe and juicy tomatoes to make this dish.
Basmati rice: Basmati rice works best for this dish. However, it can also be made using Sona masoori rice. Both white rice and brown rice can be used here, although you will have to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Whole spices: The whole spices I use to make the spice mix are coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and dried chili. I also use mustard seeds in the tempering/seasoning.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Use lots of tomatoes that are ripe and juicy. 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 2 cups of water.
In my recipe, I am making a fresh masala powder using whole spices. You can 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. You may also replace this masala powder with garam masala or curry powder.
Once the rice is cooked, mix it very gently, taking care not to break them. This helps to separate the grains and prevent them from clumping together. Do not fluff the rice using a fork, as the rice grains may break and fall apart.
What to serve with
Instant Pot tomato rice?
Raita: Raita is a yogurt-based side dish that pairs well with tomato rice.
Vegetable stir-fry: South Indian-style stir-fry is good for pairing with tomato rice. Try this beans palya, cabbage palya, or chayote squash palya. You can also serve it with this spicy pan-roasted chow chow sabzi.
Fresh tomatoes taste the best for this rice dish. However, you can use canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes as a substitute for fresh tomatoes in tomato rice. For this recipe, you will need one (16 oz) can of tomato. Canned tomatoes provide convenience, especially when fresh tomatoes are not readily available.
Yes, tomato rice is generally considered a kid-friendly dish. The flavors of tomato rice are mild and familiar, making it appealing to children. It is not overly spicy and has a tangy and savory taste that kids often enjoy. Additionally, the colorful appearance of the dish can make it visually appealing to children, making it a good option to introduce them to different flavors and textures.
Yes. Just skip onion and garlic from this recipe and follow the remaining recipe as-is.
To store tomato pulao, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 5 days and reheat before serving. For longer storage, freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat until piping hot.
Instant Pot rice recipes
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Instant Pot Tomato Rice
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 6-7 medium tomatoes
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon split black gram (urad dal)
- 1 tablespoon Bengal gram (chana dal)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1-2 green chili finely chopped
- 8-10 curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 2 cups water
- Grind together the spices listed under masala powder into a powder.
- Wash the rice thoroughly in water until the water runs clear. Drain all the excess water. Soak the rice for 20-30 minutes.
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode (normal) and add oil.
- Add mustard seeds once the oil heats.
- Once it splutters, add cumin seeds, urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, ginger, and garlic. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add onion and saute until it turns translucent (3 minutes).
- Add tomatoes, masala powder, and salt. Saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the rice and 2 cups of water. Mix well and secure IP lid.
- Pressure cook for 6 minutes. Do a quick release of pressure.
- Open the lid and gently mix the rice. Top with cilantro and serve hot with yogurt or raita.