Tomato Mint Rice is a quick, aromatic and yummy one-pot dish that’s perfect for lunchbox recipe.
We love pulao and variety rice like this Tomato Mint Rice so much that we make it a couple of times a week. The convenience of making one-pot meals such as this is unbeatable.
Speaking of convenience, this recipe came out of the absolutely necessity for quick school lunches for a busy single father. As a solo parent of two young girls in school, the parental was always looking for ways to make lunches interesting and nutritious. My sister and I would really look forward to a lunchbox with amla (Indian gooseberry) rice, raw mango rice, pulao in all colours and varieties, potato rice and the list goes on.
My father says he learnt this recipe from a TV chef from the late 90’s and to be honest, it rocked our world so much that this delicious minty tangy rice was a guaranteed weekly feature. I still request this dish for lunch when I am in India for a holiday; I love it that much!
The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity and you can put a healthy meal with minimal effort. There’s more, this family friendly recipe uses easily available ingredients for a delicious meal, which is perfect to pack for school/work lunches. During this pandemic, especially, I prefer making healthy lunches with ingredients available at home that requires very little effort. Yay for more Netflix and chill!
Curries That Pair Well with Tomato Mint Rice
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Serves 2 to 4
- Basmati rice – 1.5 cups
- Tomatoes – 2 to grind and 2, chopped into small pieces
- Onion – 1 large, thinly sliced
- Garlic – 6 cloves
- Ginger – ½ an inch piece, cleaned and peeled
- Mint – 1 bunch, washed and stems removed
- Green chillies – 4 to 6 or more if you like it spicy
- Chilli powder/ ground chilli – 1 Tbsp.
- Oil/Ghee – 2 Tbsp.
- Salt – As required
- Water – To cook the rice
- Bay leaf – 1
- Cinnamon – 1-inch piece
- Cardamom – 3 pods
- Cloves – 3
- Rinse the rice well and let it soak for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Once the rice has soaked
- Grind 2 tomatoes, garlic cloves, ginger, chillies and mint leaves. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
- Add the whole spices and fry until they sizzle.
- Toss in the chopped onions and cook until soft and golden brown.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and red chilli powder.
- Mix and cook until tomatoes are soft.
- Pour the ground tomato and mint mixture.
- Give it a mix and let it simmer.
- Add the soaked and drained rice.
- Add salt and mix to combine the ingredients.
- Cover the lid of the pressure cooker.
- Cook for 1 whistle on medium high flame.
- Turn off the stove and let the pressure settle.
- Once the cooker is ready, open safely.
- Fluff up the rice up with a fork gently.
- Serve the fragrant rice with crunchy chips or a curry of your choice.
- Instead of grinding tomatoes, you could chop them all and use it in this dish.
- If you prefer a vegan version, skip the ghee and use any oil of your choice.
- Basmati rice is my pick for its fragrance and long grains. Use any long or short grain varieties of your liking.
- If you’re using long grained rice, rinsing the rice well and soaking it really makes the rice fluffy, giving it great texture.
- Chuck in some washed coriander leaves while grinding the mint and tomatoes. It renders the dish lovely flavour and aroma.
- It’s the whole spices that make the rice dish aromatic, but if you don’t have any, use a heaped couple of teaspoons of garam masala while grinding the mixture.
- You could add fresh/frozen peas, diced carrots, potato and/or capsicum to make this dish more wholesome.
- We love spicy food at home, if it’s not something you enjoy, adjust chillies and chilli powder quantities accordingly.
- This dish tastes great the next day too, when stored in a clean box and refrigerated.