Tomato rice step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Tomato rice or tomato bath is an easy and popular dish from Karnataka, made with loads of tomatoes and freshly ground spices. This spicy, tangy dish is a great weekday meal and perfect for lunch boxes too. Naturally gluten-free and vegan, this tomato pulao tastes great on its own, but you can pair it with raita, papad, and kachumber salad for a complete meal.
There are many versions to make this one-pot tomato dish and here is my take on it. I am making a masala powder first and using it in this dish. Freshly ground masala makes this dish incredibly aromatic and delicious. Making it in Instant Pot is a breeze and a great option for meal prep too.
Read on for ingredients, useful tips, and step-by-step instructions to make this dish that is not only a part of everyday meals but perfect for 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.
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.
Onion: I use red/pink onions but this dish works well with brown onions too.
Other ingredients: Ginger, garlic, green chili, curry leaves, and coriander leaves.
Grind together the spices to make the masala powder - coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, dried chili, and dried coconut (steps 1,2).
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add cumin seeds, urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, ginger, and garlic. Saute for a few seconds (steps 3, 4, and 5). Add onion and saute until it turns translucent, about 3 minutes (steps 6 and 7). Add chopped tomatoes next (step 8).
Add the masala powder and salt. Saute for 3 minutes (steps 9, 10, and 11). Once the tomatoes turn soft and pulpy, add soaked and drained Basmati rice (step 12).
Add two cups of water. Mix well and secure the IP lid (step 13). Pressure cook for 6 minutes. Do a quick release of pressure (step 14).
Open the lid and gently mix the rice. Top with cilantro and serve hot (steps 15 and 16).
Use ripe and juicy 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 2 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.
You may also replace the masala powder with garam masala or curry powder, although it may affect the taste of the final dish.
Once the rice is cooked, mix it very gently taking care not to break them.
You may add some mint leaves for freshness.
Mix South-Indian tomato pickle with hot steamed rice to make instant tomato rice.
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This dish can be served with plain yogurt or raita. Onion raita or boondi raita pairs well with it. You can also pair it with any dal for a wholesome meal.
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Yes. Just skip onion and garlic from this recipe and follow the remaining recipe as-is.
This Instant Pot tomato rice is:
- a great way to use up ripe tomatoes
- naturally gluten-free and vegan
- ready in less than 30 minutes
- very easy to make and suitable for beginners
- perfect for lunchboxes and potlucks
Tomato Rice in Instant Pot
- 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
FOR THE MASALA POWDER:
- 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- ¼ cup coconut dry or desiccated
- 5-6 dry red chili or as per taste
- 1-2 pieces cinnamon
- 3-4 cardamom
- 6-8 cloves
- 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.
Kayla DiMaggio says
Loving this tomato rice! It was so easy and delicious and it was the perfect side dish!
This dish is FULL OF FLAVORS! Yum, I've never thought rice can be so good. Thank you for this amazing recipe!
Sounds amazing with all the added spices. I have to give this a try. Yum! I bet my son will love this, he's such a fan of rice dishes.
Very healthy and tasty rice recipe. I love the mix of spices.
This tomato rice recipe is fabulous! I'm hooked on making it.
This tomato rice dish is a great way to use up ripe and juicy tomatoes. So simple to make and so flavorful. Wonderful healthy meal!
such an appetizing tomato rice recipe . making in the IP was so easy too
Super flavorful tomato rice! It's always a hit at dinner.
I love the concept of adding a ton of spices and other healthy ingredients to rice! This was such a fun recipe to play with 🙂 I used what I had on hand and it turned out great!