Malaysian Tomato Rice

Tomato rice is one of the many popular specialties in Malaysia. You can buy Tomato Rice from most Malay food stalls, and it is usually served with various curry dishes, or fried chicken. Most food stalls cook their tomato rice with tomato sauce, but we have a natural recipe here that uses fresh tomatoes. A much healthier option.


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • half a cup of tomato puree or passata
  • Half a white onion, finely chopped
  • Half a red onion, finely chopped
  • Half a cup of ghee
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch length of cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of salt
  • A handful of parsley, finely chopped


  1. Lightly heat ghee in a pot, brown chopped onions on medium heat. Add in all the spices, stir-fry till the content releases strong aroma.
  2. Add in the chopped tomatoes and passata, stir-fry till tomatoes are soft.
  3. Pour in the basmati rice, stir and mix well with the oil, onion, and spices.
  4. Add in water and salt, and bring it to a boil on high heat. When boiled, turn heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, till all liquid is down to the level of the rice.
  5. Turn heat off, lightly fluff rice and let rice simmer with cover on, till all moisture is fully absorbed by the rice.
  6. Sprinkle over chopped parsley and some freshly ground pepper, and serve with your favourite curry, or just sliced boiled egg and fried onion.
  7. Serves 4.

Versatility Note:

  1. You can also try to use vegetable base butter, or olive spread if you cannot find ghee in your area.
  2. Some might also add coconut milk in the cooking. But remember to reduce the amount of water when you do so.