Indian Tomato Rice

  • Serves

    serves 4


Given that rice is grown throughout southern India, it makes sense that there are so many variations on how to serve it. Flavored with sweet plum tomatoes and aromatic spices, this rice dish is perfect alongside roast chicken. This recipe first appeared as part of the digital edition of our August/September 2014 special India issue.


  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear
  • 14 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 14 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 6 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 3 chiles de árbol, stemmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 14 tsp. asafoetida
  • Kosher salt, to taste


Step 1

Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a 4–qt. saucepan. Add rice; cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, 10–12 minutes. Drain rice and transfer to a bowl. Add oil to pan; heat over medium-high. Cook mustard seeds, turmeric, curry leaves, and chiles until seeds pop, 1–2 minutes. Add garlic, onion, and tomatoes; cook until tomatoes begin to break down, 6–8 minutes. Add asafoetida and salt; stir into rice.

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