Tomato Rice Recipe (Malaysian style) – How to cook with a rice cooker

Japanese tomato rice cooker recipe

Video Japanese tomato rice cooker recipe

Today I decided to fix my eyes on Malaysian tomato rice, a dish that has to be tried to be believed.

Malaysian tomato rice is prepared with a lot of spices and fresh ingredients, transforming the ordinary ingredients into a very scented rice dish with spices. It is different from South Indian tomato rice, cooked with different spices.

Malaysian tomato rice

This rice dish has evolved from the original Indian version and has become the staple of Malaysian cuisine. It is the result of the cultural mixture of Asian and Western cuisines due to the influence of European countries that settled in this country in past centuries and migrants from the Indian community.

Tomato rice is a gluttonous gem worthy of drooling on par with biryani rice. In addition, it has a universal appeal that everyone likes and friendly for children.

Suitable for any banquet table for festive occasions and ceremonies. I bet you’d like to give it a try.

Let’s start with step-by-step instructions.

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1. Rinse

and soak the rice Rinse the


with water just like prepare any steamed rice


Some brands of rice are much cleaner than others. The basmati rice I bought is generally very clean, and I only need to rinse it once or twice. Conversely, certain brands of local long-grain rice are dirtier and should be washed thoroughly.

Choice of rice:

You can use any long grain rice for this recipe or get the basmati rice while preparing for a special occasion. The form of basmati rice is longer than ordinary long-grain rice, which is the preferred choice for biryani rice and tomato rice.

You can soak the rice for at least half an hour before cooking. Rice that is pre-soaked has a softer and lighter texture. Tomato rice will be firmer if you do not soak the rice beforehand. You can choose the shape you want, depending on the result you would like to be.

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Either way, strain the rice to remove the water before adding to the sautéed ingredients in the following steps.

2. Fried dried spices

Heat some ghee in a saucepan, giving you an extraordinary flavor. Add the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon, star anise and cardamom) in the pan over low heat until aromatic. You can use butter or margarine instead of ghee as a substitute.

The above four spices are commonly used together in Malaysian cuisine. Once heated, they release the essential oil, making it very aromatic.

This is the

Malay version of tomato rice which is different from the authentic Indian recipe, in which mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garam masala, curry leaves, dried chili peppers, red chili powder and green chilies are used as


Buy the spices in small quantities. You will get a much better taste if the spices are fresh. It’s tempting to buy a larger amount, but spices will lose their fragrance and become obsolete over time.

Nasi tomato

3. Brown the onion and sauté the garlic and ginger

After that, add the chopped onion, chopped garlic and ginger to the saucepan


Cut the onion into thin slices and loosen before adding it to the pan so that it browns evenly.

Some people prefer to cut ginger into thin julienne, but I don’t like chewing a piece of ginger. The goal is not to have large pieces of ginger in the rice. In addition, young ginger is always preferred over old, which is fibrous.

The heat should not be too high while sautéing, as garlic can burn quickly and produce a bitter taste.

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You will begin to smell the aroma coming out of the pan at this point.

Continue sautéing over low to medium heat until the onions become soft and lightly browned.

Watch this video (below the instructions for the recipe)

A picture is worth a thousand

words, a video is worth a thousand pictures. This video will show you how to prepare rice with tomato. (5.53 minutes). It is located below the Instruction and above the nutritional value in the recipe below.

(Note: If you encounter any audio/visual issues while watching this video, you can watch it from YouTube by clicking on this link, which will open in a new tab)

4. Add the fresh tomato

Chopped two tomatoes into small pieces and added them to the mixture in the saucepan. I like to cut tomatoes into small pieces instead of crushing them into a paste, as I want fresh tomatoes to look and disperse among the rice.

You may want to add more tomato for a richer flavor. The ratio of raw rice to water is 1:1, a little less than cooking regular white rice because tomato has a high water content.

5. Add the tomato puree,

salt, water (milk) Add

some tomato puree on top of the

fresh tomatoes at this point


You may wonder why tomato paste is necessary for this recipe since we use fresh tomatoes


Honestly, most local tomatoes are not as red and sweet as those you can get from countries with temperate climates. Adding commercially produced tomato puree can enhance the flavor and, more importantly, provide a red tint to the ice.

Season with salt and add enough water to cook the rice.

Add a little


You can replace some of the water with milk to get a richer flavor. I didn’t use it in this recipe, but it’s a welcome variation.

<img src="" alt=

“tomato rice cooker” />6. Cook the rice (with the rice cooker)

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There is an easy way to boil the rice, with the rice

cooker. Pour the tomato mixture into the rice cooker.

Add the soaked rice and let the

rice cooker do the work.

If you don’t have a rice cooker, use a large pot or saucepan with a thick bottom:

Once the water

  • is boiled, add
  • the rice to the pot.

  • Boil the rice over medium heat until the water begins to dry. Then continue cooking with the lid on.
  • Simmer and simmer until rice is cooked and tender.

Remove the lid to allow the steam to come loose.

Loosen the rice by fluffing it while it is still hot. Otherwise, it will form lumps after it cools.

Note: If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can do the same with a large pot. Be sure to cook it to a barely boiling temperature.

7. Cover and decorate

Place the rice on the serving plate. Top with some roasted cashew nuts. You can also use toasted almond slices if you prefer.

Add some chopped coriander leaves (or mint leaves) on top and sprinkle some fried shallot over it. Now you have a lovely bowl of tomato rice with a chorus of aromas pounding your nose.

You can serve tomato with any dish, but I choose Ayam Masak Merah (chicken stew in tomato sauce) and dhal curry.

Other rice recipes for you.

I want to recommend some rice for you to try since you like rice with tomato. You can find the recipe on this food blog.

  • Taro rice (芋头饭) is an easy meal from a pot that is incredibly delicious. In addition to taro, it is prepared with shitake mushrooms, Chinese sausages and fried shallots.
  • Japanese fried rice

  • is a very fragrant fried rice with crispy garlic. It is usually served as a side dish for Japanese meals.

The recipe for rice with tomato

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