Traditionally, a shorter grain rice might be better for this dish, but I used Basmati. Either way, this Tomato Rice with South Indian Seasoning is perfect; the rice is fluffy, and the added tomatoes make this dish juicy!

Ayurvedic Tomato Rice With South Indian Seasoning [Vegan]

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  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 2 - 3 cloves
  • 1 2-inch stick cinnamon, broken
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 3 diced tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (optional, if not using you can increase the amount of water in this dish)
  • 13/4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup raw blanced peanuts
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced mint


  1. Heat the oil in a pan for about 30 minutes and add in the mustard seeds and wait until the seeds crackle.
  2. Quickly add in the cumin, asafetida and the ginger.
  3. Add in the green cardamoms, cloves and the cinnamon stick and stir well.
  4. Add in the curry leaves and the diced tomatoes and mix well.
  5. Stir in the salt and the turmeric and continue cooking the mixture stirring gently for 3 to 4 minutes until the tomatoes soften and begin to turn saucy.
  6. Gently add in the rice and stir well.
  7. Add in the coconut milk (if using) and the water and bring to a gently simmer.
  8. Cover and cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes.
  9. While the rice is cooking gently toast the peanuts until the peanuts turn a few shades darker and is aromatic. We tend to like a few darker brown spots while toasting but this needs to be done carefully as it is easy to burn the nuts.
  10. Remove the cover from the rice, you should have large fragrant reddish golden grains. Turn off the heat and stir in the peanuts and the cilantro and mint.
  11. Leave the rice covered for another 10 minutes before serving, this allows the moisture to get absorbed and the grains to swell into regal and separate perfection.

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