tomato biryani recipe, how to make tomato biryani

4.5 from 2 votes

tomato biryani recipe - one pot spiced south indian style delicious tomato biryani recipe.

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tomato biryani recipe with step by step photos – one pot spiced south indian style delicious tomato biryani recipe.

tomato biryani recipe

unlike the regular biryanis, this tomato biryani recipe is not layered and dum cooked. the entire recipe is made in a thick bottomed pot or pan. covered with a tight fitting lid and slow cooked. if in a hurry, you can use pressure cooker to make the same recipe. the recipe is loosely adapted from both my tomato pulao & tomato bath.

tomato is one of our favorite ingredient. thats why you will see many tomato recipes on the blog like:

in this tomato biryani recipe thick coconut milk is added to balance the tang of the tomatoes. thus the biryani has a light taste of tomatoes and not overpowering. coconut milk makes the rice taste good and rich, but if you do not have coconut milk, then just skip it and add water. you can also use vegetable stock instead of water. mixed veggies like peas, carrots, corn, baby corn, cauliflower etc can be added to the biryani or you can keep it plain.

tomato biryani

in fact this tomato biryani makes for a good tiffin box lunch too. pair with a pickle or a veggie salad in the tiffin box. if serving for lunch or dinner, then you can pair with a raita or pickle or a salad.

tomato biryani recipe
4.5 from 2 votes
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tomato biryani recipe

tomato biryani recipe - one pot spiced south indian style delicious tomato biryani recipe.

course main course
cuisine south indian
prep time 30 minutes
cook time 25 minutes
total time 55 minutes
servings 3
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

main ingredients for tomato biryani

  • 1 cup seeraga samba rice, 200 grams (can use basmati rice instead)
  • 150 grams tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes or 1 cup chopped tomatoes or ½ cup tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoon oil (sesame oil, peanut oil or sunflower oil)
  • 35 grams onions or 1 small onion or ¼ cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves (pudina patta)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 inch medium potato chopped in small cubes
  • cup green peas (matar), fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups water or add as required
  • salt as required

whole spices for tomato biryani

  • 1.5 inches cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 3 green cardamoms (hari elaichi, choti elaichi)
  • 3 cloves (lavang)
  • 1 small to medium sized tej patta
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • a small tiny piece of stone flower (pathar phool, dagad phool), optional
  • 2 single strands of mace (javitri)

how to make recipe

preparation for tomato biryani

  1. rinse a couple of times and then soak 1 cup seeraga samba rice in water for 30 minutes. you can even use basmati rice or sona masuri rice. 

  2. after 30 minutes, drain the rice of all the water and keep aside.

  3. meanwhile, rinse and chop the tomatoes. add them in a blender or grinder jar.

  4. blend to a smooth puree. if you do not have a blender or grinder, then you can even mince or grate the tomatoes.

  5. remove and keep the whole spices aside.

  6. slice one small onion thinly and keep aside. also chop one green chili.

making tomato biryani

  1. heat 2 tablespoons oil in a thick bottomed pot or pan. please do use a thick bottomed pan, otherwise there are chances that the rice can get browned or burnt from the bottom.
  2. add all the whole spices and saute them till they crackle and turn fragrant.

  3. now add 1/4 cup sliced onions. saute onions till they begin to get golden.

  4. add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste. mix well.

  5. then add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves and 1 green chili (chopped). mix well.

  6. add the tomato puree. if using ready tomato puree, then add 1/2 cup tomato puree. mix again.

  7. now add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder.

  8. mix the masalas very well with the mixture of tomato puree and other ingredients.

  9. stir and saute for 2 minutes.

  10. now add 3/4 to 1 cup of chopped veggies. i used green peas and potatoes. mix again.

  11. add the rice. mix the rice with the rest of the tomato masala gravy.

  12. add 1.5 cups water.

  13. then add 1/2 cup thick coconut milk and salt as per taste. mix very well.

  14. cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook tomato biryani on a slow flame for 18 to 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed.

  15. once done, remove the lid. then gently fluff the rice.

  16. serve tomato biryani hot with some pickle or raita of your choice.

preparation for tomato biryani recipe

1. rinse a couple of times and soak 1 cup seeraga samba rice in water for 30 minutes. you can even use basmati rice or sona masuri rice. after 30 minutes, drain the rice of all the water and keep aside.

rice for tomato biryani recipe

2. rinse and chop the tomatoes. add them in a blender or grinder jar.

tomatoes for tomato biryani recipe

3. blend to a smooth puree. if you do not have a blender or grinder, then you can even mince or grate the tomatoes.

tomato puree for tomato biryani recipe

4. these are the spices that we will be adding in the tomato biryani. skip stone flower if you do not have it. remove and keep the below mentioned whole spices aside.

  •  –

spices for tomato biryani recipe

making tomato biryani

5. heat 2 tablespoons oil in a thick bottomed pot or pan. please do use a thick bottomed pan, otherwise there are chances that the rice can get browned or burnt from the bottom. add all the whole spices and saute them till they crackle and turn fragrant.

making tomato biryani recipe

6. now add ¼ cup sliced onions.

onions for tomato biryani recipe

7. saute onions till they begin to get golden.

onions for tomato biryani recipe

8. add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste. mix well.

preparing tomato biryani recipe

9. then add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves and 1 green chili (chopped). mix well.

making tomato biryani recipe

10. add the tomato puree. if using store brought tomato puree, then add ½ cup tomato puree. mix again.

making tomato biryani recipe

11. now add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, ½ teaspoon coriander powder and ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder.

making tomato biryani recipe

12. mix the masalas very well with the mixture of tomato puree and other ingredients .

making tomato biryani recipe

13. stir and saute for 2 minutes.

making tomato biryani recipe

14. now add ¾ to 1 cup of chopped veggies. i used green peas and potatoes. mix again.

veggies for tomato biryani recipe

15. add the rice.

rice for tomato biryani recipe

16. mix the rice with the rest of the tomato masala gravy.

preparing tomato biryani recipe

17. add 1.5 cups water. for a softer texture in the rice, you can add ¼ cup more of the water.

rice for tomato biryani recipe

18. then add ½ cup thick coconut milk and salt as per taste. if skipping coconut milk, then overall add 1.75 to 2 cups depending on the quality of rice. you can also use veg stock instead of water.

coconut milk for tomato biryani recipe

19. mix very well. check the taste of the water and it should be slightly salty. if not, then add a bit more salt.

making tomato biryani recipe

20. cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook tomato biryani on a slow flame for 18 to 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed. time will vary depending on the size of pan, thickness of pan and flame intensity. you can check the rice grains once or twice while cooking.

making tomato biryani recipe

21. once done, remove the lid. then gently fluff the rice. in the pic below what you see is a moist sticky consistency in the rice. this stickiness is due to the coconut milk settling on the top. once you fluff the rice, the stickiness gets distributed through out the whole biryani.

making tomato biryani recipe

22. serve tomato biryani hot with some pickle or raita or your choice.

tomato biryani recipe south indian

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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  1. super very easy to cook

    • thanks vivek

  2. Coconut but milk is necessary to add

    • it helps to balance the acidity and tang of the tomatoes and give a good taste. you can also skip, but there will be some loss in the overall flavor profile of the tomato biryani recipe. alternatively you can grind 1/4 cup fresh coconut or desiccated coconut with the tomatoes.

  3. ohh, yeah i got it, thank you mam…..

    • 🙂