Crunchy Tomato Rice


I haven’t been able to post recipes for a little while now – reason, well life just got in the way. Now, doesn’t it always? So here’s a recipe that you will never find intimidating anytime of the week. It takes just over 20 minutes to make, especially if you have leftover rice. What makes this version of the tomato rice my favorite is that it’s got a lot of bite to it – tons of crunchy lentils and nuts mixed in with the tangy rice morsels. If you’re like me (read: nuts about nuts) and enjoy chocolates that have nuts in them, cereal with nuts, and just nuts in general – you know exactly why having lots of nuts makes the dish special. As with most mixed rice dishes, it always helps to allow 5-10 minutes of standing time to the dish once done so the flavors settle in. But obviously you can completely disregard doing this on those weeknights when all you’re waiting to say is “I’m done!”.

Cook. Relish. Relax.


Crunchy Tasty Tomato Rice

Slightly adapted from Chef Sanjay Thumma (Vah Chef)’s Tomato Rice recipe

Cooking Time: 25 minutes | Serves: 4


  1. 3 cups cooked rice (any kind – I used long grain basmati rice)
  2. 3 medium tomatoes, chopped fine
  3. 1/2 large onion or 1 small onion, chopped fine (optional)
  4. 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  5. 1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  6. 1/2 tbsp chilli powder, or to taste
  7. 1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
  8. Salt to taste

For the tempering:

  1. 2 tbsp cooking oil
  2. 2 pcs cinnamon sticks (2″ long approx.)
  3. 4 cloves
  4. 2 dry bay leaves
  5. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  6. 3 tbsp urad dal (white lentil)
  7. 1 tbsp chana dal (split yellow chickpeas)
  8. 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  9. 1/4 cup broken cashew nuts
  10. 4-5 curry leaves, chopped



  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Tempering: Add the ingredients listed under ‘For the tempering’ one by one: dry red chilies, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad and chana dal and cook on med-high until mustard crackles and the dals turn golden brown. Reduce the heat as soon as the dals are turning brown to prevent burning / charring.
  3. Add cashews, curry leaves and onion along with some salt to help draw out the moisture from the onions so they cook faster and saute for 3-4 minutes until onions are cooked and turn golden brown.
  4. Add the grated ginger, turmeric powder and saute for a minute.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes, chili powder and cook with lid on for 3-5 minutes until tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  6. Add garam masala and cook the tomato mixture without the lid on med-high for another 4-5 minutes until the sauce thickens and oil begins to ooze from the mixture.
  7. Add the cooked rice and combine by tossing up the mixture on medium heat until all the rice morsels have been fully coated with the tomato mixture and there are no white grains left behind.
  8. Turn off the heat, garnish with chopped coriander/cilantro leaves and let it stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve hot with raita / yogurt.
3 Responses to “Crunchy Tomato Rice”
  1. Deepthi says:

    Will try this tonight..

  2. Poppy Bhavan says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: