Make this easy tomato pulao infused with garlic, ginger, onion, fresh coriander leaves, and spices for dinner or lunch. This one-pot Indian pulao recipe is quick to make.
Not too spicy, this tomato pulao recipe can be prepared in under 10 minutes and takes 35 minutes to cook on the stove. Serve it as a side to curries or other Indian dishes.
👛 Cost To Make
Estimated cost = $3.35 or $0.56 a serve
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- It's almost fuss-free because there is just a little chopping, and you don't need to grind any spices.
- If you are looking for a pressure cooker recipe, this is not the recipe for you. You make this recipe in a large pot on the stovetop.
- Tomato pulao is a healthy dish that is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- It can be made ahead of time and reheats beautifully.
- This tomato rice recipe is not too spicy making it suitable for even the fussiest eater in your family.
🥘 Ingredients In This Recipe
The printable recipe further down the page has the complete list of ingredients, including quantities and step-by-step instructions.
Basmati rice - is the best rice for this recipe, so if you have it use it, but if you don't, you could get away with another long grain or Jasmine rice.
Oil - use light flavored vegetable oil.
Black cumin seeds, also known as nigella seeds, one teaspoon cumin seeds is all you need, and it adds a nice flavor to the dish.
Tomatoes - use either fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes for this recipe. If you don't have canned tomatoes, use 200 grams (7 ounces) of fresh ripe tomatoes (about three smallish tomatoes) chop them into small pieces. Place the tomatoes into a bowl.
Chilli powder - use a red chili powder or if you don't like chili leave it out.
Other vegetables - onion, capsicum/bell peppers, potato, and peas (fresh or frozen) are included in the recipe to add flavor and make it more filling.
If using frozen peas no need to defrost them, use them from frozen. If using fresh peas no need to pre-cook them because they will cook at the same time as the rice.
Garlic and ginger - fresh ginger and garlic can be grated or finely chopped or, use garlic ginger paste.
Fresh coriander (cilantro) - if you don't like fresh coriander, don't use it.
🍳 Step By Step Instructions
First, wash and drain the rice. Place the rice in the saucepan or large bowl, add enough water to cover the rice, then use your hand to swish the rice around, then carefully pour away the water (you can use a sieve to catch any grains that may fall out) do this a few more times until the water is almost clear.
After rising, tip the rice into a sieve to remove all the water. Allow the rice to sit in the sieve suspended over a large bowl to drain while preparing the other ingredients.
Making the tomato pulao:
Step 1 - Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium/high heat, and fry the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds. Then add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring to stop the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Step 2 - Next, add the tomatoes, capsicum, ginger, garlic, and chili powder.
Step 3 - Stir the mixture while cooking on medium/high heat for about 3 - 5 minutes or until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated.
Step 4 - Add the fresh coriander, potato, salt, and peas to the pot.
Step 5 - Fry for 5 minutes more.
Step 6 - Add the drained rice to the pot.
Step 7 - Stir and fry the rice for about 1 -2 minutes.
Step 8 - Add the water and mix well, turn up the heat to high and bring to a rapid boil, turn down the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook on low for 20 minutes.
Step 9 - Turn off the heat and stand covered for 5 minutes, then use a fork to fluff the rice and serve hot.
💭 Recipe Tips
Drain the rice well - Once you have washed the rice, transfer it to a sieve to drain away all the rinsing water.
If you don't do this and have not drained it well, you may have some water sitting in the bottom of the bowl.
This water will increase the amount of liquid in the recipe, and the rice won't soak it all up, resulting in soggy and wet rice at the end of the cooking time.
Cook the tomatoes until almost dry - It is important to cook the tomatoes down to evaporate the juices for the same reason as draining the rice, to avoid having too much liquid in the rice.
Cut the potato small - it will need to be cut into tiny cubes. Having the potatoes in small pieces means that they will be ready when the rice is ready. Cut the potato into about 1 cm (0.4 inches) cubes.
To measure out the water for the rice - use the same cup you used to measure the rice. As a general rule, for every 1 cup of rice, use 1 ½ cups water.
Use a saucepan with a proper fitting lid - because you want to trap the steam to cook the rice properly.
👪 Serving Size
This recipe serves 6 as a main meal or 8 - 10 as a side dish.
🍬 Calories Per Serve
One main serving is about 282 calories.
🥗 Serving Suggestions
Serve with Indian curries, plain yogurt, raita, simple salads, or eat it as a simple meal with a fried egg on top.
Leftovers are also great for the lunch box and can be reheated or served at room temperature, with slices of hard-boiled eggs and slivers of toasted almonds.
Leftovers store very well in the fridge, allow the rice to cook completely then transfer to a sealed container. It will keep for about 2-3 days in the fridge.
To reheat leftovers in the microwave oven in a microwave-safe container and heat on high for 30 - 60 seconds or until hot.
📝 Frequently Asked Questions
Tomato pulao is an Indian rice dish made with chopped tomatoes and spices and sometimes other vegetables.
I do hope that you try this tomato pulao recipe. If you do, please come back and leave a comment below because I would love to know how you went.
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📋 Recipe Card
- 2 cups basmati rice washed and well-drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds nigella seeds
- 170 grams (6 ounces / 1 large) brown onion, roughly chopped
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes or use fresh see notes below
- 160 grams (5.6 ounces / 1 medium), seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 10 grams (2 heaped tablespoons) fresh coriander (cilantro), choppe
- 2 teaspoons level salt or to taste
- 50 grams (1.8 ounces / ½ cup) peas, fresh or frozen
- 3 cups water use the same cup you used to measure the rice with
- Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan, over medium/high heat, and fry the cumin seeds for about 30 seconds. Then add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring to stop the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Next, add the tomatoes, capsicum, ginger, garlic, and chili powder. Stir the mixture while cooking on medium/high heat for about 3 - 5 minutes or until most of the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated.
- Add the fresh coriander, potato, salt, and peas and fry for 5 minutes more.
- Add the drained rice to the pot. Stir and fry the rice for about 1 -2 minutes.
- Add the water and mix well, turn up the heat to high and bring to a rapid boil, turn down the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook on low for 20 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stand covered for 5 minutes, then use a fork to fluff the rice and serve hot.