Tomato Bhath

Thakkali Sadam
This is a pretty fabulous go-to recipe for those evenings when you don’t want to spend any more time in the kitchen than you absolutely have to.

Tomato rice is such a classic comfort dish in Tamil kitchens, it’s hard to believe it is as easy as it is. It certainly tastes quite complex, with several layers of flavors that complement each other beautifully.

And believe me, you can make it in less than 20 minutes, tops. And most of that time would be for cooking the rice, so if you already have leftover boiled rice, you’re already almost there.

I usually use fresh tomatoes to make tomato rice, but I used canned whole tomatoes this time because they were all I had on hand. It was a good organic variety, and I didn’t notice any difference in taste.

I am a little tired tonight and really want to catch Bill Maher on HBO, so I’m going to stop yakking now. But I do hope that if you’ve never had Tomato Rice before, you will try it. It’s a winner.

Tomato Bhath
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
  • 1 cup basmati rice, cooked (you can substitute with brown)
  • 3 canned whole tomatoes, chopped, with about 1 cup of the juice
  • 1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp udad dal (black gram lentils)
  • 2 tbsp cashew pieces (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp sambar powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds, roasted until lightly browned and powdered in a spice grinder.
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and when they sputter, add the udad dal and cashew pieces. Stir until lightly browned.
  3. Add the curry leaves and onions and saute until the onions are translucent and just beginning to turn brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes, sambar powder, chilli powder and turmeric.
  5. Saute and cook until the tomatoes darken and begin to express the oil.
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Turn the heat to low and add the rice. Stir in gently, taking care not to mash the rice, until the rice and tomato paste are well-mixed.
  8. Check salt. Stir in the methi powder. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with some microwaved papads.
  9. Enjoy!


As you can see, our couch has pretty much gone to the dogs- and cats.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

16 thoughts on “Tomato Bhath

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 11, 2008 at 4:22am

    I made toma rice today, I don’t add sambar powder,love the tangy taste bhath:)

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Divya Kudua

    October 11, 2008 at 7:07am

    Tomato rice…Yummy!!never knew there was such an easy recipe for the same..gonna try it out your way..the tangy title itself is drool worthy;-)!!!

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 11, 2008 at 8:26am

    hi Vaishali, what a lovely pic, mouth-watering. I make tomato bhath exactly the same way, usually with leftover rice, and my daughter just loves it. I omit the cashews but at times use groundnuts. We have it with some pickle or podi ending with buttermilk. Love that pic of your pets on the couch:-)

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 11, 2008 at 9:47am

    Mouthwatering dish…i love any dishes with tomato..tomato bhath is really drooling on rite now..

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 11, 2008 at 4:31pm

    Canned tomatoes are a blessing… I use them all the time, but somehow I don’t think they taste as good as the fresh ones, they all have an Italian tomato sauce taste to it. But for the ease of it I camouflage them with our Indian spices. Works well.

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 11, 2008 at 4:40pm

    Tomato rice is relished at my home. Yours looks lovely. Loved the picture.

    Meera/Enjoy Indian Food

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 11, 2008 at 6:51pm

    Your tomato bhath looks great Vaishali..I make it once in a while too. Thanx for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I have a lot to read here at leisure. I like the mango bread u have here. Looks a lot like cake.

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 11, 2008 at 9:11pm

    mouth-watering pic. who don’t like tomato rice/bhat? just too delicious. Thanks for sharing your way of making it Vaishali! Your pets are tooooo cute.

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sukanya Ramkumar

    October 12, 2008 at 12:14am

    This looks so good. Love the color of the bhath. YUM! Ur pets look so cute…

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 12, 2008 at 3:28am

    Have yet to give tomato rice a try…i guess the sambhar powder is what gives it that special flavor.

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Gita's Kitchen

    October 12, 2008 at 3:45am

    I love tomato rice, will definitely try this differnt version. Your pets are so cute. Any puppies at home?

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 13, 2008 at 6:53pm

    tomato bath looks so perfect for my meal….:)

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 19, 2009 at 7:38am

    This looks so yummy…I often make this with leftover rice…you have a wonderful blog.

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