December 3, 2021

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Tomato Bath

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Tomato bath is a savory, tangy and flavorful rice-based dish made with a ground paste of tomatoes, coconut, spices and herbs. The addition of this ground masala paste takes this dish to another level. My recipe is of Karnataka-style tomato rice that is popularly known as tomato bath. Here the word ‘bath’ translates to ‘rice’.

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I make this spiced, rice and tomato dish often as we simply love it. I learned this tomato bath recipe in my cooking school decades back. I have adapted it to taste our taste buds. The texture of the rice grains in this dish is not separate like a pulao, but moist and slightly mushy.

To make this tomato bath, tomatoes and fresh coconut are ground with some spices and herbs to a fine paste.

The tanginess or sourness of the tomatoes is balanced by the addition of fresh coconut which gives a slightly sweet taste. You can even use desiccated coconut instead of fresh coconut.

The addition of freshly ground spices, tomatoes and coconut gives a really amazing taste to the rice. Sometimes I even add capsicum to the recipe.

The tomato bath recipe is easy and is a one-pot recipe. You can either make the entire recipe in a pot or in a pressure cooker. You can use basmati or sona masuri rice or any type of short-grained or medium-grained rice to make this recipe.

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It can be served as is or with a side accompaniment of raita or salad or pickle. It makes for a healthy and tasty lunch.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Tomato Bath

A) Soaking rice

1. Rinse 1 cup of rice very well in the water a couple of times. Then soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain all the water and keep the rice aside.

You can use sona masuri rice, basmati rice or any short-grained or medium-grained variety of rice. Here I have used hand-pounded sona masuri rice.

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B) Making tomato coconut masala paste

2. Rinse and roughly chop 4 medium tomatoes (300 grams) and add them to a grinder jar or blender. You will need 2 cups of roughly chopped tomatoes.

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3. Then add the following ingredients:

  • 1 inch ginger (chopped)
  • 5 to 6 medium sized garlic (chopped)
  • 2 to 3 green chilies (chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (or ½ teaspoon cumin powder)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
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4. Next add ¼ cup grated coconut or desiccated coconut powder.

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5. Without adding any water grind or blend everything to a fine smooth paste. The juices from the tomato will help in grinding the paste. So no need to add water while grinding or blending.

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6. Now measure the tomato coconut masala paste in a measuring cup. Depending on the water content in the tomatoes, the quantity may vary. You need to use the proportion of 1:2 for white rice and the masala paste + water respectively. 

E.g. If using 1 cup of white rice, you will need ideally 2 cups of masala paste. But the quantity depends on the juiciness and water content of the tomatoes.

I got 1.5 cups of tomato coconut masala paste – so added ½ cup water later in the pan as I am using 1 cup of rice.

  • If you get 1.5 cups of masala paste, then add 0.5 cups water.
  • If you get 1.25 cups of masala paste, then add 0.75 cups water.
  • If you get 1 cup of masala paste, then add 1 cup water.
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Making Tomato Bath

7. In a heavy thick-bottomed pan or pot heat 2 tablespoons ghee or oil. You can use any neutral flavored oil or coconut oil.

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8. Keep the heat to a low and add 2 small tej patta or 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf) and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. Stir well. Let the cumin seeds crackle.

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9. Then add 1 medium onion, thinly sliced or ½ cup thinly sliced onions.

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10. Stirring often sauté the onions till they become golden. Sauté onions on a medium-low to medium heat. If using capsicum (bell pepper), then you can add it after the onions have become golden and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

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11. Add the soaked rice.

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12. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and ¼ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper.

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13. Mix everything.

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14. Now add the measured tomato coconut masala paste.

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15. Stir and gently mix everything.

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16. Add water as required and depending on the quantity of masala paste. I added ½ cup water first and later added ½ cup water more as I was using hand pounded sona masuri rice which takes more water to cook.

Depending on the variety of rice you are using add less or more water.

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17. Season with salt as per taste.

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18. Add ¼ teaspoon sugar.

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19. Mix well. Check the taste of broth and it should be slightly salty.

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Cooking tomato bath

20. Cover the pan with its lid and simmer on a low heat.

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21. Simmer till the rice grains are cooked and fluffy. Do check at intervals and if the rice starts sticking to the pan or water dries up or the rice mixture looks dry or the rice grains are still undercooked, then you can add some more hot water.

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22. Once the rice grains are completely cooked and all the water has been absorbed, then switch off the heat. Fluff the rice with a fork.

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23. Serve tomato bath with any raita, pickle or salad of your choice. While serving garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and some grated coconut (optional).

Best to have this dish either hot or warm. Since coconut is added to the dish, eat it on the same day and avoid refrigerating.

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Few more similar recipes you may like are

  • Tomato rice – spicy and tasty South Indian style tomato rice.
  • Vangi bath – spiced brinjal rice from the Karnataka cuisine.
  • Tomato pulao – easy, tasty and tangy tomato pulao recipe made in pressure cooker.
  • Tomato biryani – one pot spiced South Indian style delicious tomato biryani.
  • Pudina rice – spicy and tasty one pot fragrant mint rice.

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsBy Dassana Amit

This Tomato bath is a delicious, tangy and spiced rice based dish from the Karnataka cuisine. The recipe is made with a ground paste of tomatoes, coconut, spices and herbs. Addition of this ground masala makes the rice really delicious and flavorful. 

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 40 mins



Servings 2

Units

For making tomato+coconut masala paste

For soaking rice

Other ingredients for tomato bath

Soaking rice

  • Rinse rice very well in water a couple of times. Then soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. 

  • After 30 minutes drain all the water and keep the rice aside. You can use sona masuri rice, basmati rice or any short grained or medium-grained variety of rice.

Making masala paste for tomato bath

  • Rinse and roughly chop the tomatoes and add them in a grinder jar or blender. You will need 2 cups roughly chopped tomatoes.

  • Add ginger, garlic, green chilies, cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon.

  • Next add grated coconut or desiccated coconut.

  • Without adding any water grind everything to a fine smooth paste. The juices from the tomato will help in grinding the paste. So no need to add water while grinding or blending.

  • Now measure the tomato coconut masala paste in a measuring cup. Depending on the water content in the tomatoes, the quantity may vary. 

  • You need to use the proportion of 1:2 for white rice and the masala paste+water respectively. If using 1 cup of white rice, you will actually need 2 cups of the masala paste. 

  • I got 1.5 cups of tomato coconut masala paste – so added ½ cup water later in the pan.

  • – for 1.5 cups of tomato paste, add 0.5 cups water.– for 1.25 cups, add 0.75 cups water.– for 1 cup of tomato paste, add 1 cup water.

Making tomato bath

  • In a heavy thick bottomed pan or pot heat ghee or oil.

  • Keep the heat to a low and add tej patta and cumin seeds. Stir well. Let the cumin seeds crackle.

  • Then add onion and stirring often sauté the onions till they become golden

  • Sauté onions on a medium-low to medium flame. If using capsicum, then you can add after the onions have become golden and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Then add the soaked rice. Sprinkle turmeric powder and red chili powder. Mix everything.

  • Now add the measured tomato coconut masala paste. Stir and gently mix everything.

  • Add water as required and depending on the quantity of masala paste. I added ½ cup water first and later added ½ cup water more as I was using hand pounded sona masuri rice which takes more water to cook.

  • Season with salt as per taste. Also add sugar.

  • Mix well. Check the taste of the broth and it should be slightly salty.

Cooking tomato bath

  • Cover the pan with its lid and simmer on a low heat.

  • Simmer tomato bath till the rice grains are cooked and fluffy. Do check at intervals and if the rice starts sticking to the pan or water dries up or rice mixture looks dry or rice grains are undercooked, then you can add some more hot water.

  • Once the rice grains are completely cooked and all the water is absorbed, then switch off the heat. Fluff the tomato bath with a fork.

  • Serve tomato bath as is or with any sides like raita, pickle or salad of your choice. While serving garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and some grated coconut (optional)

  • Use the same measuring cup that you have used to measure the rice.
  • You can also pressure cook the rice. If pressure cooking, then add less water or add water as required. Also use a heavy cooker so that the rice does not stick or get burnt at the bottom. 
  • When the rice is cooking keep an eye on it by checking it with a fork so as to ensure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add more hot water if the water dries up and the rice mixture looks dry or undercooked.
  • To add more spice increase the quantity of green chillies.
  • Use tomatoes that are fresh, ripe and juicy.
  • For the coconut, you can use frozen coconut or unsweetened desiccated coconut.
  • The recipe can be scaled.
  • Best to enjoy this dish when it is hot or warm. I would not suggest to refrigerate due to the addition of coconut in the dish.

Nutrition Facts

Tomato Bath

Amount Per Serving

Calories 239 Calories from Fat 144

% Daily Value*

Fat 16g25%

Saturated Fat 11g69%

Monounsaturated Fat 3g

Cholesterol 33mg11%

Sodium 100mg4%

Potassium 606mg17%

Carbohydrates 22g7%

Fiber 5g21%

Sugar 9g10%

Protein 3g6%

Vitamin A 1970IU39%

Vitamin C 77.5mg94%

Calcium 47mg5%

Iron 1.9mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Tomato Bath recipe post from the blog archives (first published in August 2011) has been updated and republished on 5 July 2021.

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