Tomato Pulao with Paneer / Tomato Paneer Pulao

Tomato Pulao with Paneer and roasted Peanuts is the latest Lunch Box fad at home. It makes my job easy as all my three kids are happy with it. Planning lunch Box is like the biggest hurdle for every mom, especially if you have two or more kids. Packing variety lunch to suit their tastes and to keep them fascinated is a mammoth task. Apart from sandwiches, rolls like Healthy chicken wraps, Chicken Kati roll, Mix Noodles, Chicken Pasta etc., I try to make variety rice for their lunch.

After Paneer Pulao, Corn Pulao, Vegetable Pulao, I was looking for another option and found this Tomato Pulao with Paneer. Some call it Tomato Biriyani, Tomato rice or even Tomato Fried Rice. Well, you can try adding some capsicum pieces and spring onions and make a variety Fried rice, or pair it with exotic dishes like Kashmiri Butter chicken, Punjabi Chicken Curry, Kashmiri Mutton Curry, Prawns in Coconut Milk, Pepper chicken, Butter Chicken, Kadai Chicken, Aloo Gobi Masala, Paneer dishes etc. and serve your guests. For a simple dinner, try this Tomato Pulao with Raita, Papad and maybe some Dal curry and/or an omelette for extra perk. You might also like my special Tomato rice with coconut milk, another delightful Tomato dish, Ghee rice, Egg Biryani, Chilli Garlic fried rice and chinese Fried Rice – all exciting lunch box options.

I have used Basmati Rice for Tomato Pulao; it can be prepared in advance to save time. Paneer pieces are slightly roasted with spices. Rice is tossed in spiced tomato puree and the crunchy Peanuts add to the appeal. Tomato Pulao has only simple ingredients and is a wonderful healthy choice for Kids Lunch Box. Paneer is rich in calcium, phosphorous and other minerals, peanuts are good source of healthy nutrients and provides energy together with rice to make them active in school. Try this simple Tomato Pulao with Paneer and roasted Peanuts and you will not be disappointed.

Cuisine: Indian

Serves : 4

Time: 20 minutes


Basmati/ Pulav Rice: 1 ½ cups
Hot water: 3 cups
Bay leaf: 1 no.
Cardamom: 4 nos
Cloves: 4 nos.
Cinnamon: 2 -3 sticks
Ghee: 2 tsp
Lime: 1 tsp
Tomato: 3 nos.
Paneer: 200 gms
Maida: 1 tbsp
Chili , Turmeric, Garam Masala: for marinating (as required)
Peanuts: ½ cup
Onion: 2 nos.
Green chillies: 2 nos.
Ginger Garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
Chili Powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Gram Masala: ½ tsp
Cumin Powder: 1 pinch
Mint leaves + Coriander: little
Oil/ Ghee: as required


Wash and soak rice in water for around half an hour. Drain and keep aside. Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan and add Bay leaf, Cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Pour hot water, adjust salt and add rice and lime juice. Cook till done. Keep it aside for cooling.

Mix Maida (1 tbsp), Chili Powder (half tsp), Turmeric powder and Garam Masala (enough for marinating). Cut the Paneer into small cubes. Coat Paneer cubes with this spice mix. Toast the Paneer in ghee slightly and keep aside. Fry the peanuts in little oil and keep aside.

Tomoto Pulao With Paneer Tomoto Pulao With Paneer Tomoto Pulao With Paneer

In the same pan, add required oil + ghee and fry the chopped onions and crushed green chillies, then add Ginger Garlic paste. Now add chilli powder, Turmeric, Garam Masala and Cumin powder.

Tomoto Pulao With Paneer Tomoto Pulao With Paneer

Puree the tomatoes and add this to the pan. Sauté well to combine. Let it simmer for few minutes. When the gravy thickens, add little chopped mint and coriander leaves. Finally add the Paneer cubes and adjust the salt. Combine the rice gently with this Masala. Garnish with roasted peanuts and more chopped coriander and mint leaves.

Tomoto Pulao With Paneer Tomoto Pulao With Paneer

Enjoy the flavour rich Tomato Pulao with some raitha and papad. 


  • I have used Basmati rice for this Pulao. You can cook the rice early and then combine with Tomato Masala just before serving to save time.
  • Do not mix hot rice with the Masala or it will form lumps. Always allow the rice to cool before mixing.
  • Instead of Paneer, try adding Potato or Cauliflower to make variety rice.
  • Adjust the spice levels as per your taste.
  • Peanuts should be added last, to retain the crunchiness.

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