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Tomato Rice Recipe

by Rachna
tomato rice

Tomato Rice is my go-to recipe when I am feeling lazy to cook something. Earlier, I would screw my nose at the thought of eating rice for breakfast but living in the South has made me more amenable to it. This South Indian recipe of tomato rice is perfect for breakfast, in your children’s tiffin, lunch and to pack with you for train journeys or picnics. A really easy dish that is ready in a jiffy if you have leftover rice. I make it mostly with leftover rice. It is a favourite of my kids. My son’s friend loved it so much that he insisted that his mother take my recipe and make it like mine. That was such a shot in the arm for me. 🙂 So anyway after that bit of show off, here is my recipe:

tomato rice recipe

tomato rice

Tomato Rice Recipe

Rachna Parmar
This is a tasty one pot meal perfect for a filling yet lazy breakfast or lunch option.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4


  • 2 cups boiled rice I use leftover rice mostly
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 3-4 green chillies slit
  • 4-5 large ripe tomatoes finely chopped or pureed
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp sambar powder or garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder optional
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • For Tempering
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. chana or gram lentils


  • If you don't have cooked rice, cook rice and keep aside to cool.
  • Now take oil in a kadhai and heat it. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and gram dal and fry till they all sputter.
  • Now add the chopped onions and fry till translucent.
  • Add the ginger paste and slit chillies. Mix well and fry for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Now add the finely chopped tomatoes or puree.
  • Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, sambar powder and salt.
  • Cook well till the tomatoes are well cooked and the paste looks darker and releases oil.
  • Now turn off the gas and add the cooked rice.
  • Mix well so that all the rice is covered with the tomato paste.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning especially salt and heat.
  • Serve hot with raita or a boiled egg. Delicious to eat.


You can adjust how many chillies or chilli powder you wish to use depending upon taste.
I prefer to use the local sona masoori rice while making it but you can use basmati as well.
Make sure the rice is not mushy or else your tomato rice will be a mushy mess.
Tried this recipe?Let me know on Instagram @rachna.parmar or tag #rachnacooks
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Do try this easy recipe. I am sure that it will become regular fare in your home.

tomato rice recipe

Have it with raita or egg for a balanced meal. Do try and let me know how you liked it.

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Megala January 10, 2018 - 4:44 pm

Beautiful rice! Perfect for lunch box!!

Rachna January 11, 2018 - 11:21 am

Thank you so much, Megala. It is!

Natasha January 10, 2018 - 6:19 pm

Yum, yum. Have tried curd rice, puliogare rice, lemon rice. Now time to give tomato rice a go and I’m sure it will be lip-smackingly delish, after all your recipe Rachna. ?

Rachna January 11, 2018 - 11:21 am

Thank you, Nats. You really should try this one!

Vidya Sury January 10, 2018 - 10:28 pm

Tomato rice is a favorite go-to for me. I always have the tomato “gotsu” prepared and ready, to mix with rice, to eat as side-dish with rotis, as a sandwich spread…. the possibilities are endless. We have a friend who loves to side-dish it with dosa. Sometimes I add a stick of cinnamon to it and it tastes great.

Rachna January 11, 2018 - 11:21 am

That is very creative, Vidya. Somehow I end up making it mostly with leftover rice. For train journeys, this is always what we carry from home. 🙂

Roshni January 10, 2018 - 11:44 pm

Nice! I make it with garam masala instead of sambar powder, but otherwise, the same recipe! Looks delicious!

Rachna January 11, 2018 - 11:20 am

I alternate between the two depending upon what is available. 😉 It is actually so tasty and simple. I have wholeheartedly adopted it.

Shailaja V January 11, 2018 - 8:20 am

Looks absolutely delightful! My mom makes a fab version of this ? I usually make coconut rice or puliogare. Should make this for dabba. Thanks for the idea, Rachna ?

Rachna January 11, 2018 - 11:19 am

I am sure. Mums are so good with cooking. 🙂 You really must try this. My kids just love it in their dabba.

the bespectacled mother January 11, 2018 - 10:27 am

The tomato rice looks tasty in the photo. This recipe is doable for me. I will try it over the weekend.

Rachna January 11, 2018 - 11:18 am

You will like it, Anamika. It is really so simple. Let me know if you try it how it went.

the bespectacled mother January 13, 2018 - 4:05 pm

I made the tomato rice for lunch today. It turned out tasty. D also liked it very much.

Rachna January 13, 2018 - 4:06 pm

So happy to hear. ?

Shilpa Garg January 11, 2018 - 12:09 pm

We make this with left over rice too and it is loved by all of us. Sambhar masala gives it a distinct flavour!

Rachna January 12, 2018 - 9:30 am

Ah so true.

Rajlakshmi January 12, 2018 - 4:01 am

I loveeeee tomato rice… With lots of peanuts. It is my go to recipe too. I haven’t made it with dal though. Will try it next time.

Rachna January 12, 2018 - 9:30 am

Oh with peanuts. Never heard of that. Erm dal? I don’t use dal either. 🙂 But you must try it. It’s a really nice recipe.

Soumya Prasad January 12, 2018 - 12:42 pm

Perfect lunch box idea this is. My mom is to send it to me once in a while. While my husband hates the flavor of tomato, I don’t make this often. Though sometimes I add methi leaves to this and call it methi rice for him ?

Works like a charm.


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