Tomato Rice is a quick one pot meal loaded with tomatoes, warm spices and of course rice! Yu can make with uncooked rice or even with left over rice. Paired with raita, and some pickle on the side, this rice dish is a great meal for busy days.
Tomato Rice is an easy One Pot Meal
Often, I don’t follow a strict rule with such one pot rice dishes. I like to go with the flow and even change the spices based on how I want it that day. The spices for the Tomato Rice can be changed accordingly.
Adding Idli Podi to Tomato Rice!
Today, I prepared the Tomato rice using south Indian Idli Podi as the spice mix. My friend in her last visit gave us a big batch of her homemade idli podi. We have been enjoying it a lot with dosa and idli, but occasionally I am adding it in my quick rice dishes too.
With very minimal effort it adds a warm flavor to the dish. Idli podi is easily available in any Indian store or online in Amazon.
I am not claiming this Tomato Rice recipe to be authentic. It is just one of the many ways I like to prepare it. And if you don’t have idli podi, you can use your choice of spices too.
Canned or Fresh Tomatoes?
Typically, tomato rice is prepared with fresh tomatoes and I did the same. But you can use canned ones too. Just don’t use puree or else you will mix out of the texture.
Also, if you choose canned tomato, then definitely adjust the seasoning accordingly. You might need to add more sugar to cut down on the tartness.
When I first started to understand South Indian food culture, I was amazed at the variety of rice dishes they have. The crunchy peanuts with the fried curry leaves, this rice dish is flavor bomb with lots of texture.
We pair it with yogurt and a fried curd chili (another south Indian specialty that I always stock from Indian stores)
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- handful of curry leaves
- 1 green chili
- 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion (6 oz), finely chopped
- 3 red tomatoes, finely chopped ( about 6 oz each) (I also added some cherry tomatoes from my garden)
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon Idli Podi
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 2 cups water (you might need less water if you are using short grain rice)
- 1 tablepsoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon oil
In a wok at medium heat, pour the oil. Once it heats up, add the peanuts and half of the curry leaves. Fry intil crispy and then take it off to a bowl.
To the same wok, add the ghee along with black mustard seeds, chopped green chili, chopped curry leaves and ginger. Stir for about 30 seconds.
Scatter the red onion along with salt and cook it for couple minutes. Then add the tomato, sugar and stir. Cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soften.
Add the Idli podi and mix it around.
Then add the washed rice, along with the water and give it a stir. Bring it to boil then bring the heat to medium and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the rice it cooked. Do stir once or twice in between.
Garnish the cooked rice with the fried peanurs and curry leaves.
Serve warm with raita.
Please note that you might need more or less water based on the variety of rice you are using.
Preparing the dish with leftover rice
You can prepare the same dish using left over rice too. In which case you will not add water. Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the left over rice and stir it aorund to incorporae everything.
Substitute for Idli Podi
I used Idli podi to prepare the Tomato Rice, but you can use your choice of spices too. A mix of cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powde will work great too.