South Indian style tomato bath or tomato rice is a simple yet flavorful one-pot dish made with rice and tomato along with a few fragrant whole spices. This version is without using onion or garlic and is made in Instant Pot.
Using whole spices in the recipe ensures the tomato rice is flavorful without adding a lot of heat. This style of tomato pulao is mild in terms of heat but has a lot of rich aroma and taste.
This recipe uses an Instant Pot and this method gives us dana dana separate (in other words, rice that is not mushy but is cooked perfectly.).
Prep Time: 30 minutes; mostly unattended
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 15; mostly unattended
- Rice - I prefer small-grained rice for this recipe. I use either Sona Masoori or Jeera Rice to make this.
- Cinnamon Stick
- Green Chilies (Any Indian green chillies, Thai Pepper or Serrano Pepper can be used)
- Oil (use ghee for a richer flavor if you are not following a vegan diet)
Step By Step Instructions
Full recipe + measurements + video can be found in the recipe card below.
Wash rice 3-4 times and soak for 15 minutes. And then drain for 15 minutes.
Chop tomatoes. Slice green chilies (or Thai pepper or Serrano pepper) lengthwise.
Get all other ingredients ready.
Set the Instant Pot in SAUTE mode.
Add oil (or ghee if using). Add the whole spices and fry for a few seconds or until aromatic.
Add the green chilies followed by tomatoes. Cook for a minute.
Add the drained rice and give it a quick mix to coat the rice grains with spices and oil.
Add water. Mix salt to taste.
Press CANCEL on Instant Pot. Close the lid. PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 5 minutes. Release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes and then release any remaining pressure manually.
Fluff and serve hot.
Just like the tomato rice with coconut, this simple tomato rice can be served with a simple cucumber-onion raitha (Indian-style yogurt dip made with cucumber and onion).
I L-O-V-E this tomato rice with kadhi pakora.
You can add some fresh green peas when in season. If you have access to frozen green peas, you can use them as well. No need to thaw the frozen green peas, just add them as such.
If you are not following a vegan diet, use ghee instead of oil for a richer flavor.
When tomatoes are cooked, they do not retain their shape. You can blanch the tomatoes and remove the skin if you prefer. Blanching tomatoes is easy and can be done as part of your prep work.
If you like to make it more flavorful, fry about a tablespoon of minced ginger-garlic before adding the green chilies/tomatoes.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat as required. You can reheat it in a microwave or on the stovetop.
Use a microwave-safe bowl while reheating in a microwave.
To reheat on the stove top, heat a little oil in a large skillet and cook until the rice is heated through.
This makes a good lunchbox staple.
Tomato Bath | Tomato Rice
- Instant Pot
- Cooking Spoons
- Measuring Spoons/Cups
- Serving Dish
- Bowl (to soak the rice)
- 210 grams (approx. 1 cup) Rice
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 2 number Cardamom Pods gently crushed
- 2 number Cloves gently crushed
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 1-2 numbers Green Chillies (You can use Thai pepper/Serrano Pepper) to taste
- 125 grams (1 large) Tomato roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1½ cups Water
- Rinse rice 3-4 times and soak it in water for 15 minutes. Drain for 15 minutes.
- Chop tomatoes. Slice green chilies (or Thai pepper/Serrano pepper) lengthwise.
- Get all other ingredients ready.
Instant Pot Cooking
- Start the Instant Pot in SAUTE mode. Add oil once hot.
- Add the whole spices (cinnamon, cloves and cardamom pods) and fry for a few seconds or until aromatic.
- Next, add the green chillies followed by tomatoes. Cook it for a minute.
- Add the drained rice and give it a quick mix to coat the rice grains with the spices and oil. Add 1½ cups of water and salt to taste. [Note: Start with ¾ teaspooon salt. Taste and see if it needs more. Add more if required]
- Press CANCEL. Close the Instant pot lid and latch it. Vent in SEALING position. PRESSURE COOK (MANUAL mode in some older models) on HIGH for 5 minutes. Natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then release any remaining pressure manually.
- Fluff and serve hot.
- 1 CUP = 250 ML. (US cups are typically 240 ml. You can use US cups with no significant change to the dish). 1 TEASPOON = 5ML; 1 TABLESPOON=15 ML.
- Grams to cups measurements – we strive to provide these conversions as accurately as possible. There might be some slight variations depending on the brand, weighing scale, etc.
- Serving size – This serves 2-3 people. Adjust the serving size to fit your dietary needs.
- Use the number of green chillies to suit your taste. Remove the vein and seeds for a milder version
- 30 minutes of prep time is the time required to soak & drain the rice. Mostly unattended.