South Indian Spiced Tomato Rice (Bhath)

South Indian Spiced Tomato Rice (Bhath)


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About this recipe: This is a South Indian recipe for tomato rice (bhath) that I really like. Serve with papadams and yoghurt.


Serves: 4 

  • For the masala podi:
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal beans
  • 1 teaspoon skinned split black lentils (urad dal)
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flaked coconut
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup (40g) peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 large onions, minced
  • 3 green chillies, halved lengthwise
  • 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt to taste
  • 3 cups (500g) cold, cooked white rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, for garnish

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:40min 

  1. Make the masala podi (spice mixture) by heating 1 tablespoon oil in a frypan over medium heat; fry the chana dal, urad dal, dried chillies, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds in the hot oil until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Grind the mixture with the coconut into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frypan. Fry the peanuts and mustard seeds in the hot oil until the peanuts begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions, green chillies, curry leaves, and asafoetida powder to the peanut mixture; cook and stir until the onions are browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the tomatoes, turmeric, sugar and salt into the mixture; continue cooking until the tomatoes are soft, about 10 minutes more. Season with the masala podi. Crumble the rice into the frypan using the back of a spoon to separate the individual grains. Cook and stir until the rice is mixed into the dish and hot, 5 to 7 minutes. Garnish with the coriander to serve.

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