Tomato Biryani (One Pot)

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Tomato biryani recipe with step by step photos – one pot spiced South Indian style delicious tomato biryani. Gluten-free and vegan.

tomato biryani recipe

Unlike the regular Veg dum biryani, 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 a pressure cooker to make the same recipe. The recipe is loosely adapted from both my Tomato pulao and Tomato bath.

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.

How to make tomato biryani

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

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.

  • 1.5 inches cinnamon
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 small to medium sized tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • A small tiny piece of stone flower
  • 2 single strands of mace

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.

whole spices for tomato biryani

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.

ginger garlic paste for tomato biryani

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

herbs for tomato biryani

10. add the tomato puree. If using store brought tomato puree, then add ½ cup tomato puree. Mix again.

adding tomato puree for tomato biryani

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

adding spices for tomato biryani

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

mix the masala for making tomato biryani

13. Stir and saute for 2 minutes.

saute tomato biryani masala

14. Now add ¾ to 1 cup of chopped veggies. I used green peas and potatoes. Mix again.

veggies for tomato biryani

15. Add rice.

rice for tomato biryani

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

preparing tomato biryani

Cooking tomato biryani

17. Add 1.5 cups of 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

19. Mix very well. Check the taste of the water and it should be slightly salty. If not, then add a bit more salt.

cooking tomato biryani

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 the pan, thickness of pan and flame intensity. You can check the rice grains once or twice while cooking.

cooking tomato biryani

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 throughout the whole biryani.

tomato biryani

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

tomato biryani
Few more similar recipes you may like are

  • Tomato rice – spicy and tasty South Indian style tomato rice.
  • Biryani – Hyderabadi style veg dum biryani.
  • Pudina rice – spicy and tasty one pot fragrant mint rice.
  • Mushroom biryani – spicy and tasty vegetarian version of Chettinad biryani made with mushrooms.
  • Paneer biryani – this is a mildly spiced and delicious dum cooked paneer biryani.

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tomato biryani

Tomato Biryani

4.5 from 2 votes
One pot spiced South Indian style delicious tomato biryani.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 55 mins

Cuisine South Indian
Course: Main Course

Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

main ingredients

  • 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
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 inch medium potato chopped in small cubes
  • cup green peas , fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups water or add as required
  • salt as required

whole spices

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

Instructions

preparation

  • 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. 
  • After 30 minutes, drain the rice of all the water and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile, rinse and chop the tomatoes. Add them in a blender or grinder jar.
  • Blend to a smooth puree. If you do not have a blender or grinder, then you can even mince or grate the tomatoes.
  • Remove and keep the whole spices aside.
  • Slice one small onion thinly and keep aside. Also chop one green chili.

making tomato biryani

  • 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.
  • Now add 1/4 cup sliced onions. Saute onions till they begin to get golden.
  • Add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste. Mix well.
  • Then add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves and 1 green chili (chopped). Mix well.
  • Add the tomato puree. If using ready tomato puree, then add 1/2 cup tomato puree. Mix again.
  • Now add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder.
  • Mix the masalas very well with the mixture of tomato puree and other ingredients.
  • Stir and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Now add 3/4 to 1 cup of chopped veggies. I used green peas and potatoes. Mix again.
  • Add rice. Mix the rice with the rest of the tomato masala gravy.
  • Add 1.5 cups water. then add 1/2 cup thick coconut milk and salt as per taste. Mix very well.
  • Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook the biryani on a slow flame for 18 to 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed.
  • Once done, remove the lid. Then gently fluff the rice.
  • Serve tomato biryani hot with some pickle or raita of your choice.

Notes

  • If you do not have coconut milk, then just skip it and add water.

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Dassana Amit

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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16 Comments

    1. 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.

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