Nov 9, 2012

Tomato Pulao

This is a very simple, flavored and mild rice dish. You can call it a Pulao or Tomato Bath, where the rice gets sautéed with spices and simmered with the flavorof tomato and gets perfected under pressure cooking. This will be good for potlucks or picnics or lunch boxes.
Tomato Pulao
This recipe comes from my mom's kitchen. Whenever I make this tomato flavored rice dish, for sure it brings several memories of my childhood. When we were kids, for any special occasion or for a Sunday Special Lunch or to host any guests my mom used to make Tomato Rice as part of the menu. Back in those days, cooking Basmati Rice was special and cooking in electric rice cooker was even more special. I still remember how meticulously my mom used the electric rice cooker; and at the end of every occasion cleaned and stored in a safe place, she used to treat it as a Jewel in the Kitchen. Now -a - days, we use electric rice cooker on regular basis, which doesn't make it's usage special any more! While posting this recipe, just felt like sharing those sweet memories. Hope this will bring back some memories from your childhood as well.... Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Basmati Rice - 2 cups (uncooked)
Red  Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 3 or 4 (cluster tomatoes)
Green Chili - 5
Oil - 1 Tbps
Butter - 1 Tbsp
Water - 4 cups

Salt - 2 tsp
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Star anice - 1
Cardamom - 1
Clove - 3
Cinnamon - 2 ( 1 inch stick)
Nutmeg - 1 tsp
Marati Moggu - 4 (see notes)
Bay leaf - 2

Cashew Nuts - 10 (for garnish)

Preparatory Steps:
Wash and drain the rice and set aside for 30 min. Slice the onions and green Chilies length wise. Dice the tomatoes into small pieces.

  1. Heat the non-stick deep dish pan. Add Oil and butter to it. 
  2. Once the oil is hot, add Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Marati Mogga, Star Anice and saute for 1 min. You will get the nice aroma of spices.
  3. Add Sliced Onion and Green Chili. Saute until the oil separates from onion. Add Ginger Garlic Paste. Fry for 1 min.
  4. Add Chopped Tomato to the pan. Let the Tomato ooze the juices and simmer for 5 min until it becomes thick puree. (this will take a while, if you are like me then, you need some patience here :-) ). 
  5. Now add the drained Rice to the pan and mix well. Add salt, black pepper and bay leaf and mix everything well together for 2 to 3 min. Switch off the heat.
  6. Add 4 cups of water to the electric rice cooker (or pressure cooker) and transfer the rice mixture to the cooker. Cook the rice until it's done. 
  7. Once it is ready, fluff up the rice with spatula and transfer it to the serving bowl and top with fried cashew nuts. 

Serving Tips:
This goes well with any simple raita like Cucumber Raita / Onion Tomato Raita or for  non-veg lovers, it tastes best with the Masala Boiled Egg Fry or Chicken Fry. My mom always makes the Masala Boiled Egg fry as a side dish for this rice, that makes it sizzling  where the guests always Aaah, Ooohh, about it!


Indian Capers / Marathi Moggu
  • Marati Moggu is a Karnataka based spice in India, described as a type of caper and also known as Kapok Buds. It’s hard to get this in the (dfw) Indian Stores in USA. I always get this spice from India. This gives a very unique flavor to this rice dish and a must ingredient in this recipe. I have just come across this online Indian shop where this spice is available at a click away (that definitely saves a trip to India  :-)).
  • You can use long grain rice if you don't have Basmati Rice.
  • If you use pressure cooker, turn it off after 2 whistles.
  • If you want spicy version, increase the measure of green chilies.
  • I have very few green chilies today, so I have added some red chilies to spice it up.

take care until we meet here again..


  1. Nice recipe dear :)Easy to make & ideal for parties..
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  2. yummy and simple rice

  3. well prepared. I am feeling hungry now. Pls pass on that platter dear. Yumm.

  4. Wow!! I am not getting the perfect taste of this. Will try out ur recipe soon..

  5. Super flavourful pulao, one of our favourite one pot meal.

  6. I haven't tried doing rice with tomato - Food on Friday in a couple of weeks is all about tomato. HOpe you are having a good week.



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