Tomato Rice Pilaf



I have been making this recipe for over 10 years now. This is irresistable. This recipes comes from my brother. If you read my blogs you will know that he is an adventurer when it comes to cooking. He once made this at home without any extra spices. I absolutely loved this for 3 main reasons

  1. No extra spices make the pilaf rich in tomato flavor. 
  2. Easy to make
  3. Did I mention irresistable :D ?

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: Less than 30 mins

Serves : 2


  • Basmati Rice - 1 cup
  • Tomatoes - 4 small
  • Diced Onion - 1/2 cup
  • Green peas - 1/2 cup
  • Tomato sauce /puree - 1/2 cup
  • Mint and Coriander leaves - few strands 
  • Salt
  • Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

For Seasoning:

  • Ghee - 1/2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tbsp



Heat the tawa on medium heat add oil and ghee. Then to that add Onion, Cashewnuts, when they turn golden brown add ginger garlic paste and saute it for a minute. Then goes in tomatoes (chop them real nice so that they get mashed up real quick).

Add salt, red chilli, coriander powder and mint/coriander leaves then close the lid for 5 mins on a low to medium flame, don't let the tomato gravy burn. To that add water and basmati rice and stir.

Every 5 mins, give it a gentle stir with a fork (So that the basmati rice wont get mashed up, we want the grains to be separate) and add less water if necessary. 

Notes for stove top method

  • Using a dutch pan helps. The tight lid will keep the steam inside and cook the rice perfectly.
  • Soaking basmati rice can help cook it easily. Be reminded that the grains may break while cooking.
  • Just make sure not to add too much water in the beginning 
  • Be generous on mint and coriander leaves. they are key to this recipe



Half the directions are same for stove top method and this. 

Turn on saute mode and saute onion, cashew nuts and cumin/fennel seeds in ghee. When aroma is released add in tomatoes. To that add salt, spices, green peas and mint/coriander leaves. Mix well. 

By this time saute mode would be blinking 'HOT'. Switch off IP, then add basmati rice, tomato sauce  and water.

IP SETTINGS : Low pressure - Manual - 7 minutes - keep warm off - vent sealed

Wait for pressure to naturally release. It shoudn't take longer because its been cooked in low pressure


  1. I use low pressure if I am cooking just rice in the main pot. I have seen good results with that.
  2. I used 1:2 (Rice : water) ration. Since I used tomato sauce I decreased water to 1 1/2 cups. Adjust water and tomato sauce ration based on preference

General notes:

  1. This can be adapted to traditional rice cooker or pressure cooker. 
  2. In rice cooker, if you have saute mode, saute everything and then just cook like regular rice.
  3. For traditional pressure cooker, try cooking on low heat until you get 1 or 2 whistles (based on your cooker type)
  4. Sometimes I simply cook the gravy with extra oil and make it as thokku and save it in refrigerator. This is life saver for road trips and travels.


Enjoy this with raitha and chips :)