tomato bath

Tomato Bath Recipe

By Swasthi on September 9, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Tomato Bath is an aromatic, tasty and spicy one pot rice meal cooked with tomatoes, coconut, peas, herbs and spices. This is a perfect dish for busy days when you need a simple prep yet healthy and delicious lunch box option. Learn to make simple Karnataka style tomato bath in 2 ways – with and without coconut. Do you want for a rice dish you can make in a jiffy? Try my simple tomato bath without coconut following my recipe 2.

tomato bath served in a black plate with raita

If you’re looking to build up on that dish and don’t mind the slightly longer cook time (around 40 minutes), this is the next level recipe for you. I make this wholesome and satiating rice and tomato meal with coconut often as we relish it immensely.

While my recipe has instructions for cooking tomato bath in the pressure cooker, you can cook it in a deep pan directly on the stovetop or even in the instant pot.

About Tomato Bath

Tomato bath translates to “rice cooked with plenty of tomatoes”. So it is similar to the South Indian tomato rice where the dish is spiced to perfection to infuse the aromas of whole and ground spices along with herbs.

The Kannada word “bath” also spelled as “Bhath” is a one pot sweet or savory dish where all the ingredients are immersed in water and cooked to a moist dish. Kesari bath, chow chow bath, bisi bele bath are a few such dishes from Karnataka.

Cooked rice is so versatile that it lends itself to a plethora of dishes. This tangy and spicy tomato bath is one such delicious recipe popularized by restaurants from Udupi region of Karnataka.

Karnataka is home to umpteen rice dishes, each competing for the favorite dish spot. You’ll find many versions of tomato rice recipe including the quick tomato bath I posted here (recipe 2).

My Recipe

This tomato bath is special for it’s a flavorsome cross between a veg pulao and thakkali sadam. The tanginess in the tomatoes is nicely balanced by the mild sweetness of freshly grated coconut.

The pungency of tempered spices adds the necessary warmth to the dish. In other words, you get the taste of two unique dishes in one delicious pot.

You cook the onion and tomatoes in an earthy and spicy ground coconut paste. Rice is blended in with mint, coriander leaves, and whole spices that lend their unique tang to the tomato gravy. Let the flavors bloom and blend together as the rice cooks to soft and moist perfection.

tomato rice recipe or tomato bath recipe

How to Make Tomato Bath (stepwise photos)

Recipe 1 – Prepare the rice

1. Rinse 1 cup of sona masuri or ponni rice. You can use any short or medium grain, non-sticky rice to make this tomato bath. Drain all the water from the rice using a colander and set the rice aside.

2. In the meantime, prep the rest of the ingredients.

  • Deseed and chop 150 to 175 grams tomatoes (2 medium, ¾ to 1 cup chopped)
  • Chop 1 to 2 tbsps mint (10)
  • Chop 2 tbsps corianders leaves (handful)
  • Slice the small onion (¼ cup).
  • Grate 3 to 4 tbsps coconut
  • Get ¼ cup peas ready. You can peel the tomatoes, if desired, but the skins tend to contain considerable nutrients.

Make the coconut and spice paste

I made 2x recipe so you will find double the ingredients in the pictures.

3. Add the following to a grinder jar. This is the base of the masala along with tomatoes.

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh coconut
  • 2-4 mild red chili (6 bydagi)
  • ½-¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¾ inch ginger
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms pods, crushed

4. I use few red chilies and little chilli powder because the red chilies I have are too hot. If you have low heat chilies, you can skip the powder and use more red chilies instead. So add

  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 4 to 6 tbsps water ( ¼ cup + 2 tbsps)

5. Grind to a smooth paste, scrapping the sides of the jar in between.

Cook the tomato bath

6. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons ghee or oil (if vegan) in pressure pan or deep pan. Lower the heat and add the following whole spices –
1 star anise, 2 green cardamoms, 1-inch cinnamon, 2 cloves, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 small bay leaf (tej patta). Fry the spices until fragrant for a minute.

7. Now add ¼ cup of sliced onions (1 small). Sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, until the onions become transparent, and the rawness is gone.

9. Add chopped tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the tomatoes become soft and mushy.

10. Now add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of garam masala and ¾ teaspoon of coriander powder. Also mix in the ground coconut paste to the tomatoes. Stir well to combine.

11. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until thick, paste starts to leave the sides of the pan. Don’t skip this step as this is necessary to bring out the rich flavors of the dish.

12. Next add ½ cup of fresh or frozen green peas, 1 to 2 tablespoon of chopped mint (pudina) and 2 tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the flavors blend with the peas. You can also use precooked dried peas or other chopped vegetables like carrot, beets or beans.

13. Add 1¾ cups of water to the pressure pan. Add 2 cups of water if you’re cooking directly on the stovetop (as some of the water will evaporate with open cooking). Taste and adjust seasonings. Add the rinsed rice. Taste test and add more salt if required. The water has to be slightly salty.

14. Cover with lid and cook the tomato bath on medium heat for 10-12 minutes and until you hear 2 whistles. Or cook on high heat for 5-7 minutes and until you hear 1 whistle. The water should be absorbed, and the rice grains moist, soft and fluffy.

If cooking on the stovetop pot, cover with lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked.

15. Remove from heat and let the tomato bath remain covered for 5-10 minutes. When the pressure drops, open the cooker. You will see much of the coconut masala on top. Fluff the rice with a fork and mix the masala well. This step is very important.

Serve tomato bath warm or hot with onion raita.

tomato bath

Pro tips

  • Use the juiciest red tomatoes you can find. You can use a mix of tomato varieties, but they should be soft and ripe.
  • Don’t skip the whole masala as they add extra flavor to the dish.
  • To get the best of the sweet and tangy flavor, cook the tomato and coconut masala for 5 minutes.
  • Don’t add more than two vegetables as you’ll transform this into something other than tomato bath.
  • Fluff the rice after it’s cooked to ensure the dish isn’t soggy but somewhat moist with a pulao or biryani feel.
  • This versatile dish is adaptable according to your likings. Add vegetables of your choice instead of peas. If your kids prefer carrots or capsicum, add these vegetables. Other options include beets, yellow pumpkin or any quick cooking green beans.


  • This recipe uses a South Indian rice variety — sona masuri. You can use basmati, ponni, brown rice or red rice, Cook with any short, medium or long grain rice, but refrain from parboiled and sticky types. Soak the basmati rice and brown rice for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Fresh coconut provides the rich creamy taste to the tomato bath. Sub with thick coconut milk, desiccated or frozen versions, but don’t use dry copra.
  • Add more garam masala or sabzi masala instead of whole spices in a pinch or if your kids don’t like whole spices in their rice. The flavor profile will alter a bit with the addition of masala powders.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

tomato bath

Tomato Bath Recipe

Tomato bath is a one pot delicious rice dish made with short grain rice, tomatoes, coconut, spices and herbs. This tomato bath tastes exactly the same as served in Karnataka restaurants and hotels.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cup rice (sona masuri or any other)

For paste

  • 3 to 4 tbsps fresh coconut
  • ¾ inch ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 to 4 red chilies (low heat kind, if using byadgi 6)
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 6 tablespoons water to grind
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms

For tomato bath

  • 1 ½ tbsps ghee or oil
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 small onion – ¼ cup sliced
  • 1 ¼ cup chopped tomatoes (deseeded, peeled if preferred)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¾ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen or precooked dried peas)
  • cups water for pressure cooker (2 cups for pot)
  • 1 to 2 tbsps mint leaves (pudina)
  • 2 tbsps coriander leaves


  • Rinse the rice well under running water and drain completely. Chop tomatoes, onions, mint, coriander leaves and set aside.
  • To a grinder jar, add fresh coconut, red chilies, fennel seeds, ginger, garlic cloves, green cardamoms & red chilli powder. Pour 4 to 6 tbsps water and grind to a smooth paste.

How to Make Tomato Bath

  • Pour ghee or oil to a pressure cooker or a pot and heat it. Lower the heat and add all the whole spices – star anise, green cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds and bay leaf.
  • When the spices begin to crackle, add onions and saute until transparent and the raw flavor has gone.
  • Add tomatoes and sprinkle salt. Saute till the tomatoes break down and become soft.
  • Throw in garam masala, coriander powder and the ground coconut paste. Saute this until aromatic and the oil begins to ooze out from the mixture. This takes about 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Add green peas, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Saute for 3 to 4 mins.
  • Pour water and mix well. Taste test and adjust the salt. The water has to be slightly salty.
  • Add drained rice and mix well. Cover the cooker with a lid and cook until you hear 2 whistles. If using a pot, cover and cook until the water is absorbed by rice and the grains are soft and fluffy.
  • When the pressure drops, open the lid. You will see all the masala on top of the rice. This is the coconut masala, mix it gently with the entire pot of tomato bath.
  • Serve tomato bath warm or hot with onion raita.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.


NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Tomato Bath Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 590 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 29mg10%
Sodium 635mg28%
Potassium 865mg25%
Carbohydrates 101g34%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1886IU38%
Vitamin C 110mg133%
Calcium 131mg13%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Recipe 2

Tomato bath without coconut (stepwise photos)

1. Add 1½ cups rice to a bowl and rinse it well a few times. Pour fresh water and soak it till you prepare the veggies. Rinse and prepare the following vegetables and herbs:

  • 1 medium onion (sliced thin)
  • 1 to 2 green chilies (slit)
  • 3 large tomatoes (chopped, if preferred deseed as well)
  • 1 medium potato (diced)
  • 8 french beans chopped (optional or ¼ cup peas)
  • ¼ cup chopped beetroot (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

2. Heat a pot or pressure cooker with 2 tablespoons oil or ghee. Then add the following seasoning whole spices.

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 inch cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 6 to 8 pepper corn (optional)
  • 1 star anise. Fry till they begin to sizzle on a low flame.
frying dry masala spices for making tomato bath recipe

3. Add onions and green chilies. Saute till the onions turn translucent. Next add 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell disappears, for about 1 to 2 minutes.

frying sliced onions in oil to make tomato bath recipe

4. Add tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ½ teaspoon salt. Saute till the tomatoes turn mushy.

addition of turmeric to the pot for tomato bath recipe

5. Add ½ teaspoon red chili powder and ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder. Then saute for 2 to 3 mins.

addition of chili powder to the onion mixture for tomato rice bath recipe

6. Add potatoes, beetroot or beans. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes. Cover and cook for 2 mins.

addition of veggies to the cooker for tomato bath recipe

6. Pour water & add coriander leaves.
To pressure cook: For basmati rice I use 2½ cups water. If using any other kind of rice, use the same amount as you would use to cook that rice normally.
To cook in pot: For basmati rice, use 3 cups water. For other kinds of rice, use the same amount as you use to cook that kind in a pot.

pouring water salt

7. Add drained rice.

addition of soaked rice

8. Give a good mix and taste test the water. Add more salt if needed.

rice in cooker with veggies

Pot & cooker methods

9. To pressure cook for basmati rice – 1 whistle on a medium heat. If using normal rice then allow 2 whistles.
To cook in pot, cover and cook on a low heat until the rice is cooked fully. If the tomato bhath is under cooked you may sprinkle some hot water and cook further.

pressure cooking

10. When the pressure releases, open the lid and fluff up the rice. You get a nice color after you mix the rice.

fluffing up tomato bath

Tomato bath is ready. Serve hot with your favorite raita.

tomato bath

For more simple rice recipes, you can check this
Ghee rice recipe
Pulao recipe
Bisi bele bath
Vangi bath

Recipe card

tomato bath

Tomato bath without coconut

Tomato bath is a one pot rice dish from Karnataka Cuisine. Make it in 2 ways following my recipes. I have shared the first method in the post and the second method in the recipe card below. The first recipe uses coconut and the second one does not require.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings2 to 3

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 2 potatoes medium sized (cubed small)
  • 8 beans or ¼ cup peas (or both)
  • ¼ cup beetroot (cubed small) (optional)
  • 1 medium onion (thin slices)
  • 3 large tomatoes ripe and deseeded
  • 1 to 2 green chilies slit (reduce for kids)
  • 3 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • cups rice (basmati or sona masuri) (soaked for 30 mins)
  • cups water (adjust to suit your rice variety)

Whole spices for tomato bath

  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 inch cinnamon
  • 6 pepper corn (optional)
  • 1 star flower



  • Wash and soak rice for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside later. 
  • Cube potatoes and add them to a bowl filled with water. Chop other veggies too. Peel and Cube beetroot. set this aside, slice onions and chop tomatoes.

How to make tomato bath

  • Pour oil to a pressure cooker or pot. Saute whole spices and fry till they turn fragrant. Add onions and fry till transparent.
  • Next add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric and fry till they turn mushy.
  • Then add pepper powder and red chili powder. Fry for 2 minutes or until the raw smell goes away. Add all the other veggies, fry for another 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Drain the water from the rice and add it along with coriander leaves.
  • To cook in pressure cooker, for basmati rice pour 2½ cups water. For normal rice use the same amount as you would use to cook it normally. Cook on a medium heat for 1 whistle.  For aged rice and non-basmati, let the cooker whistle twice.
  • To cook in pot: Cover and cook on a low heat till the rice is fully done. If it is under cooked, you may pour little hot water and cook.
  • When the pressure releases, open the lid and fluff up tomato bath with a fork. Serve with yogurt or raita & papad.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Tomato bath without coconut
Amount Per Serving
Calories 594 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 62mg3%
Potassium 928mg27%
Carbohydrates 101g34%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 350IU7%
Vitamin C 31.6mg38%
Calcium 119mg12%
Iron 7.2mg40%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

This post is from the Archives. First published November 2014. Updated and republished in August 2021.

Tomato Bath Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Hey Swasthi
Thank you for the great work. I have been cooking from your blog for a few months. All seem to work out so well that I don’t have to scroll down to the main recipe. This is just to let you know that we are following you and just love the way you teach us.
Good wishes and regards
Harish Nayak

5 stars
Thank you very much !
The dish turned out very well. My kids loved it. Thank you very much for sharing.

Thank you for the lemon rice..
Very tasty

4 stars
Your recepies are simple and easy to understand thank you very much.

5 stars
Hi swasthi
Thank you so munch for the tomato bath. Turns out awesome every time. Can I add avarekalu in this tomato bath. Will it go well.

? tomato bath. I made it today with your cucumber raita and it turned out awesome. Hubby took it to the office & came back appreciating me. Your recipes are a treasure. Keep sharing

Super taste my kids loves it thank you sooooooooooooooooo much

Hi tried this today… Came out very well thanks for the lunch box recipe ?

Thank u tired, nice

5 stars
Tried this and I liked it very much..

5 stars
Hai Swasthi,
I tried your Jeera Bath and Tomato Bath. I and my family like this. Thanks for the recipies.

I have tried vangi bath very tasty thanks a lot

5 stars
Hello I have read the recipe. I would like to try. How to finish I do not have an electric pressure cooker..

5 stars
Hi super recipes.i like it. It’s very easy to prepare thank you so much keep the good work

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,
I tried this recipe over the weekend and everybody at home liked it. Thanks for the recipe


5 stars
I tried today… Simple and wow…my hubby liked it a lot. I like ur recipes.

5 stars
Wow….. I cooked myself . Amazing swasthi. Looking forward for chicken dishes.
sandeep Nair

Thanks for your lovely sharing of tomato rice recipe. Simple to follow & wonderful..Family really like it.

Hi madam, never thought cooking is so easy. You made my life simply beautiful. I cook more delicious than my wife.

Wow….superb dish…sooooo tasty

Mam can u please tell how to do easy dishes, within 15 mints, becoz i hav to go colg, so

Thanks a lot swathi garu