Indian Tomato Rice with Fish

Indian tomato rice with fish

I never get sick of indian food. I sometimes think I'm sick of it and say to myself "ugh, no more indian food for like, a long time." But, without a doubt, I always come crawling back. 

Many people feel intimidated by Indian spices - not knowing how and when to use them or where to buy them but don't fret - the Indian grocery store has taken care of that for you. At most Indian grocers, you can find seasoning pouches that contain the pre blended spices you need for a particular dish. There are hundreds of them and they contain only toasted, ground spices - no artificial or scary ingredients that start with X or Z. This dish uses Aachi Tomato Rice spice mix, which contains coriander, red chilli, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, cardamom and mace. 

Some Indian dishes take a long time to prepare but really, most of them can be accomplished in one hour or less. This delicious south indian meal of seasoned rice with fish and aromatic spices is a 30 minute meal - from beginning to end. 


1 tsp black mustard seeds

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

3 cups cooked basmati rice 

2 tsp tomato rice seasoning (or 1/4 tsp each oriander, red chilli powder, ground cinnamon, ground clove,  ground fennel, ground cardamom, ground mace)

1 small onion - minced

2 cloves garlic - minced 

1 large tomato - chopped

1/2 red chilli minced

1/2 red chilli sliced

bunch of fresh cilantro - washed and separated into chopped stems and leaves

juice of 1 lemon

2 fillets white fish - I use tilapia

salt and pepper

1/2 cup water

Fish Marinade

2 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp paprika 

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt and pepper


1. cook basmati rice - allow to cool. (directions for cooking basmati rice, here)

2. mix marinade ingredients in a small bowl and brush over both sides of fish. set aside.

3. in a large pot, heat oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. when seeds begin to pop, add onions and cilantro stems. sautée until onion is slightly golden. add garlic and tomatoes. season with salt and pepper.

4. add fish fillets and cook for 3-4 minutes, breaking into large pieces with a wooden spoon.

5. add tomato rice seasoning (or your spices), lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water, stirring gently so as not to break up the fish too much.

6. bring mixture to a boil and lower the heat. simmer for 10 mins. 

7. when most of the water has dissolved and fish is cooked, add cooked rice and gently stir to coat. taste for seasoning and adjust ad necessary.

8. cover the pot and let the rice steam - 10 mins or so.

9. remove from heat, toss in cilantro leaves and fluff with a fork.

10. garnish with sliced chillies.

We eat this by itself as a meal, or with a salad, but if you want to serve it with some vegetable curries, definitely do that.