The Best Tomato Rice Side Dishes

What sides pair best with tomato rice? Pair tomato rice with crispy poppadom, spicy potatoes, and pakora. Alternatively, incorporate vegetable dishes like roasted mushrooms, bell pepper medley, or spicy coconut green beans. Lastly, try light, refreshing sides like basil pesto shrimp, papri chat, and kachumber are equally delicious.

Tomato rice has a universal appeal and is liked by everyone. However, it can be slightly bland on its own. So, if you’re making tomato rice for dinner, consider pairing it with a yummy, flavorful side dish.


Crisp poppadoms are tasty pre-dinner snacks, starters, and excellent sides for tomato rice.

These thin lentil discs are available in ready-to-eat styles, but we prefer the uncooked version. If you are feeling fancy, try making homemade poppadom dough.

The lentil discs are made by preparing a dough, flattening it into small balls, and drying them before frying.

To prepare them, heat oil in a deep pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add a tiny piece of uncooked poppadom to test the oil -if it puffs up almost instantly the oil is ready.

Slide one poppadom at a time to the heated oil for 10 to 12 seconds, gently pressing the middle down to ensure they cook properly.

Spicy Potatoes

Then use tongs to remove the fried poppadum and place it on kitchen paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Spicy potatoes tossed in flavorful chili powder and spices are a flavorful side that adds a zing to your tomato rice.

Toss potatoes in a spice mix of chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and salt. Then, bake them at 450°F till crispy golden brown.

When done, top the potatoes off with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and freshly topped chives.


Pakora is the best way to make vegetables irresistible! These deep-fried fritters suit tomato rice exceptionally well.

These Indian fritters are gluten-free, vegan friendly, and made with virtually any veggie. Our favorites are potato, cauliflower, and eggplant.

Finely julienne or grate the veggies. Then the vegetables to a batter of chickpea flour and dried spices (turmeric, cumin, chili powder, coriander, fenugreek, salt, and ginger).

Form rough patties and fry them for 3 minutes until crispy and golden.

Serve pakora with chutney for an extra-addictive dish.

Basil Pesto Shrimp

Juicy pesto shrimp is a 5-minute winning side dish that you can serve with tomato rice as an easy and quick dinner idea.

Pat the shrimp dry before cooking them to remove the extra liquid. Then, sauté them in heated olive oil for 2 minutes.

Lastly, add basil and garlic pesto during the last 30 seconds to coat the shrimp in the beautiful green sauce.

The basil flavors create a famous duo with the tomato.

Roasted Mushrooms In Garlic Butter

Roasted mushrooms in garlic butter is a light, savory dish with an almost-meaty texture. Try adding a variety of roasted mushrooms to your upcoming tomato rice meal.

We like roasting a mixture of white button, Swiss brown, and portobello mushrooms in olive oil and garlic butter with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Season it with a sprinkle of salt, oregano, thyme, and an optional pinch of chili flakes for an extra kick.

Roast the mushrooms in the oven for 25 minutes at 450°F for juicy, golden-brown mushrooms.

Rainbow Bell Pepper Medley

A rainbow array of bell peppers and sweet caramelized onions are a fresh, tasty side to pair with tomato rice.

Cook the onions, garlic, and peppers slowly over medium heat to ensure caramelization and the natural, sweet flavors to fully develop.

Now, season your bell pepper medley with kosher salt, black pepper, thyme, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Spicy Shredded Coconut Green Beans

Fragrant, intensely flavored coconut green beans work as a simple side dish for tomato rice.

Toast large coconut flakes in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes until golden.

Cook the green beans until bright and tender.

Then, toss them into a heated skillet with oil, garlic, ginger, turmeric, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, and bay leaves. Ensure the beans are well coated.

Add the coconut flakes back into the side dish before serving.

Papri Chat

Papri chat is a famous Delhi Street food with a crispy and tangy taste that will compliment tomato rice.

This Indian dish is made with crispy whole wheat crackers, thin gram flour noodles, chili powder, yogurt, and tamarind chutney.

It is also packed with boiled potatoes, sprouted black chickpeas, crumbled puris, and an extra dollop of chutney on top.

We finish the side dish with pomegranate seeds, mint, and cilantro.

Indian Cucumber Salad (Kachumber)

Kachumber is a refreshing mixture of cucumber, tomatoes, and onions. This humble salad has a zesty dressing that makes it a crowd-pleaser and an ideal combination for tomato rice.

Our favorite cucumbers are English cucumbers – they are crunchy, firm, and have minimal seeds. Then, we recommend using red onions and heirloom tomatoes.

For an optional twist, add julienned carrots, jalapenos, radish, and cilantro.

Lastly, finish the salad off with a dressing, including olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, and ground pink pepper.

Best Beverage Pairings For Tomato Rice

Tomatoes – specifically, their acidity -screams for a specific wine pairing. We recommend matching acid with acid.

Our favorite choices are high acid red wines with low tannins. These include Barbera, Sangiovese and Chianti.

However, opt for Lambrusco; the bubbles have phenomenal palate-cleansing qualities if you’re feeling slightly more adventurous.

We recommend pairing tomato rice with a Pinot Grigio for white wine lovers.

Best Sauces For Tomato Rice

Our best sauce for tomato rice has got to be chutney. Who can resist this quintessential Indian sauce?

The top three chutney types we recommend include:

Sweet Tamarind Chutney

Tamarind chutney has a deep sweetness that ends with a tangy aftertaste.

Start by heating, adding tamarind concentrate to boiling water, and stirring until incorporated. Then add jaggery sugar, salt, cumin, cayenne, and ginger.

Reduce the heat and allow the tamarind chutney to simmer for 20 minutes until thickened.

Tangy Cilantro Chutney

Cilantro chutney has a medium spicy profile with fresh, tangy herbaceous notes.

Blend cilantro leaves, lemon juice, green chili, chaat masala, ginger, cumin powder, black pepper, and sugar. Add yogurt to the mix for a creamier taste, or skip this step.

If the chutney is too runny, add a teaspoon of sev or peanuts to improve the consistency.

Spicy Red Garlic Chutney

Red chili garlic chutney is spicy and hot chutney consisting of four ingredients and can be made in a jiffy!

First, break stalkless dried red chilies into two parts and soak them in a cup of hot water for 30 minutes. Then, you can deseed them to remove the worst kick.

Next, drain the chilies and blend them with garlic, salt, and lemon juice, and add water to reach a medium consistency.