tomato biryani
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4.5 from 2 votes

Tomato Biryani

One pot spiced South Indian style delicious tomato biryani.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: main course
Cuisine: south indian
Servings: 3
Author: Dassana Amit


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



  • 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.


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