The Onion-Tomato Duo

When I first learnt cooking, almost all my cooking was based on onion and tomato!! Every now and then, potatoes would make an appearance.

There is so much you can do with tomatoes and onions. You can make tomato rice, tomato based yogurt, tomato puli kuzhambu, simple tomato side dish for chapattis, simple side dish for dosa/idli, prepare sauce for pizza, pasta ..the options are endless.

I didn’t do the grocery shopping for this week. So all that was left in the fridge was tomatoes. Luckily, there were some onions left. So I made tomato rice for lunch and served it with tomato raita. So you can see for yourself how many dishes can be made with one single simple recipe.


Onions : 1 big or 2 medium

Tomatoes : 5 medium

Green chillies : 2 or 3, per taste

Ginger : 1/2″ piece, chopped fine

Garlic : 4 pods, chopped fine

Salt : to taste

Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp

Oil : 1 -2 tsp


  1. Chop the onion, ginger, garlic finely. Chop the green chillies into small pieces.
  2. Dice the tomatoes.
  3. Heat oil. Add the chopped onions, chillies, ginger and garlic. Fry till onions become transparent.
  4. Add tomatoes, saute till it becomes soft. If it becomes too dry, you can add about 1/4 cup water.
  5. Add salt and turmeric powder and cook till the curry is slightly dry.

That is all to it!!!


  • Substitute 1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder for green chillies.
  • You can add 1 tsp coriander powder and 1/4 tsp garam masala to this
  • Use ginger garlic paste instead of ginger and garlic.  You can skip it altogether too, if you don’t like it.
  • You can use butter or ghee, instead of oil, for a great flavor.
  • Basically, this is just onion and tomato cooked fine with a bit of salt and spice (chillies or chilli powder).
  • This mix can be used as a base for all vegetable side dishes. To this mix, add the cooked vegetable and cook for a few minutes and you are done!

I mixed  half of this paste with 2-3 cups of cooked rice. You need to adjust the salt according to your taste and ….

… Tomato rice is ready to serve.

To serve with the tomato rice, I mixed about 1-2 tbsp of onion-tomato with 1 cup yogurt. So you have a cool raita that goes well with the rice. This yogurt tastes yummy with plain rice too.

I still have some onion tomato mix left, I will adding some cooked cauliflower or potato to it and serve it as a side dish.

So here it is : A satisfying lunch with minimum effort :)


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