Tomato Rice - South Indian rice recipe 

No onion, no garlic rice recipe

Tomato Rice recipe is a special yummy rice recipe. This can be made in advance as it doesn't need to be served hot. It is a perfect dish to take for picnic or for lunch to work or school. Send it as a gift to your neighbor.

It is a kind of fried rice recipe that can be made when you have some plain rice ready.

How to make Tomato Rice

Main ingredients for tomato rice

Basmati rice
Red ripe tomatoes

Ingredients for tomato rice for 2-3 servings

  • Chopped tomatoes - 1 1/2 cups or Tomato puree - 1 cup
  • Cooked plain rice - 3 cups
  • Fresh grated Coconut or desiccated coconut - ½ cup
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp or according to taste
  • Jaggery or sugar - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds -1 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1 tea spoon or to taste

Ingredients for tempering

  • Oil -1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida(optional) - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves - 7-8

Ingredients for spice powder

  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper corns - 4-5
  • Cloves - 3
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick

Step by step instructions for making tomato rice


  1. Lightly roast each spice separately.
  2. Grind to fine powder.

Making Tomato Rice

  1. Heat oil in a fry pan or kadai. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds.
  2. When they stop crackling, add the tomato paste.
  3. Add curry leaves. Stir and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the spice powder, jaggery or sugar and salt. Stir once in a while.
  5. Cook till oil separates and the paste thickens.
  6. Remove from fire. Add cooked rice. Mix the rice well with the cooked tomato mixture.
  7. You may need to use your fingers to mix well.
  8. Taste and Add salt if necessary.
  9. Keep pan back on the stove. Keep the flame low. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. The tomato mix and the spices and rice will exchange their flavors.
  10. Stir once in between to make sure the bottom is not getting burnt.

 Serve any time, hot or cold.

 Tips and variations

  • Rice should not be cooked very soft. It should be just cooked as in fried rice recipe.
  • You may grind chopped tomatoes to make fresh tomato puree or use store bought tomato puree.
  • If  you like to see tomato pieces in your rice, no need to make them into puree. Add chopped tomatoes instead of tomato puree. Cook tomatoes well before you add other ingredients.
  • Add more chili powder or spices if you like.
  • You may use leftover plain rice for this rice dish.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste  to the tomato puree if you like.

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