Spicy Tomato Pulao

As much as I love cooking, I don’t like spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen. I’m always looking for simple meals that take under 30 – 40 minutes to make. Spicy tomato pulao is one such recipe.

spicy tomato pulao

I think I get that trait from Mom. Barring a few elaborate items, she’s always stuck to making simple, yet delicious dishes. This spicy tomato pulao is also her recipe.

spicy tomato pulao

Having some handy ingredients like tomato paste/tomato sauce, frozen peas, and fresh or store-bought ginger garlic paste help when you’re short on time. Here’s the super simple recipe.

Spicy Tomato Pulao
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Spicy tomato pulao that's made with simple, handy ingredients.
  • 1.5 cups basmati rice
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • one small onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or about 2 tbsp tomato sauce (depending on how much of the tomato flavor you want. you can even use two vine tomatoes, chopped)
  • 3 to 4 green chilis, slit
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste (optional)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ to 1 tsp chili powder
  • about 3 cups of water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil + 2 tsp ghee
  • cilantro to garnish
Whole garam masalas
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ an inch of cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise (optional)
  1. Wash basmati rice and soak in water for about 20 minutes. Cut and keep vegetables ready.
  2. In a pressure cooker or heavy bottom pan, heat oil and ghee.
  3. Add the whole garam masalas and let them sizzle, but not brown.
  4. Add onions & green chillis, let them soften. You can add a bit of salt to help the onions cook faster.
  5. If adding ginger garlic paste, add it now and cook for about 2 more minutes or until the rawness of the paste evades.
  6. Add the tomato paste/sauce and cook well - for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add turmeric and chili powder and mix well.
  8. Add the drained basmati rice, peas and about 2¾ cups of water (since we have already soaked the rice), salt to taste.
  9. Mix well and taste the water - it should be spicy to taste and a tad bit salty.
  10. Close the pressure cooker lid, but don't use the weight.
  11. Cook on high heat until the pressure cooker releases steam, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes. By not placing the weight, you have the option of removing the pressure cooker lid at any point to check its status.
  12. After the set time, if the pulao is done and there's no water left, fluff the pulao with a fork and keep aside for about 5 to 10 minutes before you serve.

Isn’t the red color of this spicy tomato pulao gorgeous? Have it with plain yogurt, raita or some potato chips.

Spicy Tomato PulaoSpicy tomato pulao

Here’s another pulao recipe that you might like – Methi (fenugreek leaves) pulao.

Also, if you like what you’re seeing so far, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest to keep up with the latest posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: