½teaspoonPumpkin Pie Spice mixor any warm spice blend
1teaspoondried Italian herb mix
Generous pinch of saffronoptional but recommended
Salt to taste
For roasting Brussels sprouts
16-18count cleaned Brussels sprouts halved or quartered
Generous pinch of garlic powder
Salt to taste
For roasting Butternut Squash
2cupspeeled cubed or fries shape butternut squash
2tablespoonsoilor more if needed
Salt to taste
Couple of twists of pepper
Additional topping ( Optional)
Fistful of chopped fresh mint leaves or fresh herb of your choice,see notes
⅓cupRoasted cashewspecans or any other nuts of choice
Wash rice 2-3 times and soak it least for 30 minutes prior to cooking.
After 30 minutes drain out all the water.
Instant Pot Method for cooking Tomato Rice
Switch on the IP on Saute mode.
Add oil to the inner pot.
Once warm add in whole spices and sautee for 10 seconds.
Now add in the onions and saute until translucent.
Add in the minced garlic.
Then add in 1.5 cups water and give it a stir.
Add in the washed & drained rice.
Add in the spices, dried herbs and salt.
Stir well and top it with tomato puree.
After adding the tomato puree DO NOT STIR.
This is done to avoid any food to stick at the bottom and get a burn error.
Press Cancel Sautee mode on the Instant Pot.
Close the lid.
Ensure that the black knob is on sealing position.
Press MANUAL 5 minutes LOW PRESSURE.
Once the IP beeps, perform QUICK RELEASE by turning the knob to Venting position.
With help of kitchen cloth or mittens take out the inner pot and place it on a pot holder.
Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving. Gently fluff the rice with a fork.
Roasting vegetables in the oven
Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
Toss all ingredients mentioned for preparing brussels sprout and butternut squash in a bowl.
Line it on a pan in a single layer.
Roast on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes or
Bake until brussels sprout is golden brown (not charred)
And butternut squash cubes are cooked through.
Assembling the Pilaf
Add the sprouts and squash to the Pilaf and give it a gentle mix.
Just before serving top the rice with fresh mint, handful of dried cranberries and nuts.
Possible Substitutions –
Replace Pumpkin Spice with garam masala.
Substitute Basmati rice with brown basmati rice.
Brown basmati rice cooking time is 22 minutes in Instant Pot NPR.
My top choices for fresh herbs in this rice recipe are mint, sage or rosemary. Thyme and basil will work great as well.
Nuts and cranberries just make the rice extra special. Skip if not preferred.
Use 2 tablespoons of tomato paste mixed with 3 tablespoons water instead of Puree. herb
At this time of the year carrots, kale and even spinach goes well with this rice.
Whole spices make the Pilaf more fragrant and flavorful. Skip if unavailable.
Important tips while using Instant Pot -
Always place a kitchen towel over the knob before performing QR. This is to avoid any food to splatter out of the knob.
Never use your bare hands to perform QR. Instead use a spoon to push the knob to venting.
For fluffy and grain separated rice it’s important to soak Basmati rice for at least 30 minutes.
Other expert tips -
You can use traditional stove top pressure cooker to make this rice. Cook on medium heat for 3 whistles.
Instructions on making Tomato rice without Instant Pot is mentioned above in the post.
You can roast the squash and sprouts in the oven instead of pan roasting them.
How to store Herbed Tomato Rice Pilaf -
Make this Pilaf up to 1 day ahead of time and store it in the fridge in an air tight container.To re hydrate the rice, sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons water on the rice.Then just reheat in a microwave or in a pan on a stove top covered with a lid.