Tomato Biryani | Thakkali Biriyani | Quick Lunch Ideas


Yesterday I made this awesome Tomato Biriyani that I couldn’t stop myself from posting it here today. Usually Sunday means Biryani day, as it’s quite tasty and very easy to make. One pot meals are my to-go dishes for lazy Sunday afternoons. As it happens, I did not have mushrooms or eggs and I was in no mood to make the usual vegetable biryani. Last week, my colleague happened to mention about her mom’s tomato biriyani and that had me intrigued. A number of recipes turned up when searched google and as I forgot to check with my friend her mom’s recipe – I just decided to make it as per our taste preferences. It’s plain and flavorful, one of the simplest and tastiest Biriyanis. I am sure this recipe would be a regular at our household. As Biriyani happens to our favorite, I am planning to explore more on this and post different types of vegetarian biryanis as a part of Sunday Biryani series.

This recipe is super simple to make and the addition of coconut milk cuts through the tanginess of the tomatoes and the golden yellow color is so inviting. I did not use any other vegetable for I wanted the flavor of tomato to come out. Also, I skipped mint leaves and added only fresh coriander leaves – I loved the freshness of coriander in this recipe. I used homemade coconut milk, but one can use store bought coconut milk to further ease the process.

Check out my other Biryani recipes here.


To make Tomato Biryani

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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What I used –
  • Basmati Rice, 1 cup
  • Onion, 1 large
  • Ripe Tomatoes, 3-4 medium
  • Green Chilli, 1-2
  • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
  • Fresh Chopped Coriander, ½ cup
  • Dried Bay Leaf, 1
  • Cloves, 2
  • Green Cardamom, 1
  • Cinnamon, 1” piece
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4th tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Chilli Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala, 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, as required
  • Thick Coconut Milk, 1 cup
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Oil, 1 tbsp


How I made –

1. Wash and soak the Basmati rice in a cup of water before you begin the Biriyani preparation. This has to soak for atleast 20 mins, the amount of time for prepping exactly.

2. In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil. Add bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Fry for 20-30 secs. Add Slit green chilly and finely sliced onions. Fry until translucent and add ginger garlic paste. Fry for a min.prep1

3. Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook until slightly mushy. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Cook until the raw smell is gone. Add freshly chopped coriander. Cook until mushy.prep2

4. Add the water used to soak the rice. Check for salt and spice. Let the water come to a boil. Reduce the flame to low and add the thick coconut milk.prep3

5. As it comes to a slow boil again, add the rice. Mix well. On a low flame, cook it closed for 7-10 min until the rice is cooked and there is no water content. Let the biryani sit for 5-7 mins before mixing it. Garnish with some fresh coriander.prep4

6. Serve hot with raita of your choice!


Note –
  • I use 2 cups of water for each cup of Basmati rice. In this recipe, I have replaced a cup of water for thick coconut milk.
  • Instead of coconut milk, water can used too, but the taste is not the same. Similarly, water can be fully replaced with coconut milk for rich tasting Biriyani.
  • Adjust the spiciness by changing the quantity of red chilli powders or green chilly.
  • Using ripe tomatoes gives the required tanginess to this dish.
  • Additionally, green peas can be added as well.
  • Do not keep the flame on high after adding coconut milk, it can curdle easily. Cook it in low flame.
  • To make coconut milk at home, blend a cup of coconut in a cup of warm water until smooth – extract the milk to get the thick cocnut milk. The rest of the coconut can be used to either extract second/third milk similarly or used to make chutney!

23 thoughts on “Tomato Biryani | Thakkali Biriyani | Quick Lunch Ideas

  1. […] of Biryanis from mushroom to egg to veg to coconut based to tomato. As promised in my last Biryani post, here is the next recipe in my Sunday Biryani Series. Today I have a completely different Biryani […]

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