Posted on: September 27, 2021 Posted by: Joven Comments: 0

Tomato pulao is a one pot delicious tangy spicy pilaf made with rice, tomatoes, mix veggies, herbs and spices. This is an easy and tasty tomato pilaf made in a stovetop pressure cooker and can be easily made in a pan or Instant pot. You can make this recipe without the mixed veggies and it will still taste good.

tomato pulao served on a white plate

I make this tomato pulao on occasions when I want to make a hearty tomato based rice dish with mix vegetables.

Tomato pulao as the name suggests has more tomatoes added to it and is a hero ingredient in this dish. Thus there is a nice tangy tasty that you get in the dish. I make this pulao in a similar way, I make the South Indian Mushroom Biryani.

To make the pulao more nutritious, I have also added some mixed veggies together with the tomatoes.

I do add veggies when I want to use all the leftover veggies from the fridge. But you can also make this tomato pulao minus the mixed veggies. This is a slightly spicy version. Do reduce the green chilies, black pepper and red chili powder for a lightly spiced taste.

Vegetable pulao is one of those dishes which help me in making quick meals when I have less time on hand. All I have to do is to make the Pulao and then pair it with raita, yogurt or a quick veggie salad.

Tomato is one of my favorite ingredients to be added to recipes. I include it in most of the dishes that I make. If you like tomatoes then do check the following recipes:

Serve tomato pulao hot or warm garnished with coriander leaves. Accompany plain yogurt, raita or a veggie salad by the side.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Tomato Pulao


1. Rinse 1 cup of rice very well in water and then soak the grains in water for 20 to 30 minutes. You can use basmati rice or any regular rice for the pulao. I used the Indian variety of surti kolam rice.

soaked rice in water

2. After 20 to 30 minutes drain the water from the rice and keep them aside.

rice in a pan

3. When the rice is soaking, prep the veggies and keep them aside. Also crush (½ inch ginger + 3 to 4 garlic cloves + 1 to 2 green chilies) to a semi fine paste in a mortar-pestle. You can also use a small chutney grinder to make this paste.

ginger garlic green chilli paste

Making tomato pilaf

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of any neutral flavored oil or ghee in a 2 litre stovetop pressure cooker. Add the following whole spices and fry them for a few seconds till they become fragrant.

  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 small star anise
  • 1 tejpatta or Indian bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

You can also add about 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds and 8 to 10 curry leaves while frying the whole garam masala.

spices in a pressure cooker

5. Then add ⅓ cup finely chopped onions.

chopped onions added to cooker

6. Stir and saute the onions stirring often till they become light golden on low to medium low heat.

sauteing onions

7. Add the crushed ginger+garlic+green chili paste along with 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves and 1 teaspoon of chopped mint leaves.

adding paste to cooker

8. Stir and saute for some seconds or till the raw aroma of the ginger and garlic goes away.

sauteing ginger garlic paste

9. Then add ¾ cup tightly packed finely chopped tomatoes.

added tomatoes

10. Stir and saute stirring often till the tomatoes become pulpy and soften.

sauteing tomatoes

11. Now add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon red chili powder and ¼ teaspoon black pepper or crushed black pepper. Stir and mix again.

spices added

12. Add the veggies – about ¾ to 1 cup chopped mix vegetables. You can add vegetables like peas, snow peas, carrots, french beans, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms. The addition of veggies is also optional.

vegetables added

13. Stir and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.

sauteing veggies

14. Then add the rice. Stir and saute for a minute.

rice added

Cooking Tomato Pulao

15. Pour 1.75 cups water. You can also make this pulao in a pot or pan. Just add 2 to 2.5 cups of water if making tomato pulao in a pan.

water added to cooker

16. Season with salt as required. Stir and mix very well. Pressure cook pulao on medium heat for about 10 to 12 minutes or for 2 to 3 whistles.

tomato pulao season with salt

17. Let the pressure settle down on its own. Then only remove the rid and gently fluff the rice.

cooked tomato pulao in cooker

18. Serve Tomato Pilaf garnished with 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves. Accompany plain yogurt, raita or a veggie salad by the side.

This pulao taste best when eaten freshly cooked hot or warm.

tomato pulao served on a white plate

More delicious rice recipes

  • Biryani – an authentic dum cooked vegetable biryani.
  • Capsicum rice – easy, quick and delicious one-pot capsicum pulao.
  • Peas pulao – aromatic and tasty green peas pulao.
  • Pudina rice – spicy and tasty one-pot fragrant mint rice.

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

Tomato pulao is a one pot delicious tangy spicy pilaf made with rice, tomatoes, mix veggies, herbs and spices.

Prep Time 30 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 50 mins

Servings 3


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This Tomato Pulao post from the archives (April 2015) has been republished and updated on 27 September 2021.

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