This eggplant and tomato brown rice pulao recipe is a simple, tasty dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make and uses just a few ingredients. Light and hearty, this pulao is naturally gluten-free and vegan, which goes well with summery foods!

Eggplants (also called brinjal or aubergine) are comforting vegetables with a creamy, cool taste that goes well with almost anything. They are particularly delectable when combined with rice and spices, as their sponge-like nature allows them to absorb the spices and melt into the rice. You will probably remember this dish long after you’ve had every last morsel.

Eggplant and Tomato Brown Rice Pulao is a tasty and nutritious main dish that mixes the earthy flavor of brown rice with the rich tastes of eggplant and tomatoes.  It’s a popular dish in many countries and offers a healthier twist to traditional pulao recipes using brown rice instead of white rice.

Here’s how to make a simple yet delicious brown rice pulao with eggplant and tomatoes:

Scroll down for the full recipe, but if you want to always make a perfect recipe, I recommend reading the whole article for helpful tips and ideas.

Why you’ll love This Recipe?

  • It’s flavorful. A special spice blend containing only a few ingredients imparts a delectable flavor to each grain of rice.
  • It’s nourishing. Eggplants are among the healthiest vegetables, and when combined with rice, they make a satisfying and nutritious dinner that you can feel good about eating with your family.
  • Making it takes less than 30 minutes. With minimal prep time and cook time, this recipe is perfect for weeknights or weekend nights when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen but still want to eat healthy because of how quickly it comes together.
  • Budget Friendly. This one-pot recipe requires minimal pantry ingredients, making this dish quite budget-friendly.
  • Make Ahead. This one-pot meal can be prepared ahead of time and reheated when you are ready to serve.

Ingredients I Used:

  • Brown rice
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion 
  • Garlic
  • Spices (cumin seeds, garam masala, turmeric powder, red chili powder, ground coriander, and salt). You may add ground black pepper.
  • Avocado oil
  • Water
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

How To Make Eggplant and Tomato Brown Rice Pulao?

  1. Rinse the brown rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. In a large pan, heat oil or ghee over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add sliced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown. 
  4. Add minced garlic cloves. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  5. Add diced eggplant and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they start to soften.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, ground coriander, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes break down and the mixture turns into a thick masala.
  7. Add the soaked and drained brown rice to the pan. Stir well to coat the rice with the masala.
  8. Add water and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and let it simmer for about 30-35 minutes or until the rice is cooked and water is absorbed.
  9. Once the rice is cooked, sprinkle garam masala over the pulao and gently fluff the rice with a fork.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  11. Garnish the pulao with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.

Enjoy your delicious and nutritious Eggplant and Tomato Brown Rice Pulao!

How To Serve Eggplant And Tomato Brown Rice Pulao?

How To Store Eggplant And Tomato Brown Rice Pulao?

  • This dish in an airtight container can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. If you want to store it for a long time, you may freeze it for up to a month.
  • To reheat simply microwave (after thawing) for 2-3 minutes or until reheated well.

How Do I Reheat Leftovers?

  • To reheat cold eggplant and tomato brown rice Pulao, place them in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for a few minutes.
  • To defrost, put it in the fridge or microwave it for a few minutes.
  • Sprinkle some water on the rice to rehydrate it.

Optional Add-Ins

  • Herbs: Parsley is a classic choice, but dill and oregano also taste good with rice and tomato sauce. When the rice is almost done, stir it into it.
  • Additional veggies: You can add a variety of veggies, such as shredded carrots, chickpeas, olives, zucchini, spinach, and finely chopped bell peppers.
  • Bay Leaves: To enhance the flavor of the rice while it’s cooking, add a few bay leaves. Take it out before serving.
  • Lemon: The tomato rice tastes great with the addition of lemon, which also gives it some brightness. If you want to give the rice a little extra spritz, you can add some lemon zest to the cooking process or serve it alongside thin slices of lemon.
  • Make it creamy: To make it creamier, stir in 2-3 tablespoons of your preferred dairy-free cream.
  • Cheese: You can sprinkle some crumbled, dairy-free feta cheese over the eggplant rice.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Drizzle the prepared food with a bit of extra virgin olive oil before serving. This is a popular addition to the Mediterranean diet.
  • Broth or stock: When cooking the rice, think about using veggie broth or stock rather than just plain water. This will enhance the dish’s flavor further.
  • Lentils or Beans: If you want more protein and texture in your pulao, you could add cooked beans or lentils like chickpeas. They will make the food healthier and also make it more enjoyable to eat.

Other Pulao Recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Pick A Good Eggplant?

You’ve heard the saying, “Fresh is best.” Yes. In food, that should be an obvious thing. This is not the case with onions, which may be stored for up to a week without any ill effects. Can you refrigerate one eggplant for up to a week? A good eggplant should be firm, but not overly so. It is overripe if it yields when you gently press on it or if your finger can puncture it. It needs to have a deep purple shade that is lustrous and not too withered or delicate.

Are Brinjal And Eggplant The Same Thing?

We use the words brinjal and eggplant interchangeably to talk about the same food. The egg-shaped fruit is called eggplant. It is often cooked as a vegetable and is quite meaty. In South Asia, particularly among Indians and Sri Lankans, the term “branjal” is less frequently used to refer to eggplants.

What’s The Best Type Of Eggplant To Use?

Eggplants come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. In this dish, you can use almost any type of eggplant. The best eggplant varieties are regular, Greek, and Chinese. Smaller eggplants are typically less bitter than larger ones when utilizing regular eggplants.

Is Eggplant and Tomato Brown Rice Healthy?

This eggplant and tomato brown rice pulao is made with only healthy ingredients. The most important are eggplant, tomato, and brown rice; all are very nutritious.

Eggplant: Beyond its delicate texture and delectably unique flavor, eggplant is a nutrient powerhouse, including high levels of calcium, iron, vitamin C, and B. Eggplant is also high in fiber and antioxidants, which help to mend and rebuild the body; it is a wonderful vegetable.

Tomatoes are vitamin-dense, including beta-carotene (which, when consumed, converts to vitamin A), vitamins C and E, as well as certain B vitamins and vitamin K. They also have calcium and magnesium in them.

Brown Rice: Brown rice is a nutrient-dense, satisfying whole grain that is naturally gluten-free and versatile. The fact that brown rice still has its outer layer intact is primarily responsible for its health advantages. The dietary fiber (in the form of germ and cereal) aids in cholesterol reduction, digestive health, feeling full, and overall fewer net carbs consumed.

Flavor & Spices: The spices added in the pulao, like ginger, garlic, and other spices, not only give it a taste boost but may also have health advantages, like helping with digestion and reducing inflammation.

Give it a try. It’s really simple and delicious.  And, as always, I appreciate your feedback. Please feel free to share your experience with us or offer any feedback in the comments box below.

Overlay of eggplant and tomato pulao on a white plate on grey background

Eggplant and Tomato Brown Rice Pulao

The Eggplant and Tomato Brown Rice Pulao is a flavorful and nutritious dish that combines brown rice with vegetables and spices.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: eggplant tomato pulao, vegan indian recipe
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 289kcal

Equipment

  • Large bowl, Saucepan with lid

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 medium eggplant diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 3 cups water
  • cilantro leaves for garnish

Instructions

  • Instructions:
  • Rinse the brown rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for about 30 minutes, then drain.
  • In a large pan, heat oil or ghee over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add sliced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Add minced garlic. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  • Add diced eggplant and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they start to soften.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, ground coriander, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes break down and the mixture turns into a thick masala.
  • Add the soaked and drained brown rice to the pan. Stir well to coat the rice with the masala.
  • Add water and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and let it simmer for about 45-50 minutes or until the rice is cooked and water is absorbed.
  • Once the rice is cooked, sprinkle garam masala over the pulao and gently fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let it sit, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  • Garnish the pulao with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.

Notes

Notes:
Rice Prep:
Use brown rice for its health benefits.
It is important to rinse and soak for better texture and cooking.
Spice Balance:
Cumin seeds for aroma.
Garam masala is added at the end for a fresh spice kick.
Adjust the red chili powder to control the heat.
Vegetables:
Eggplants should be diced for even cooking.
Tomatoes help create a flavorful masala base.
Sautéing:
Onions should be golden brown for sweetness.
Garlic adds depth; sauté just until fragrant to avoid burning.
Cooking Method:
Masala is key; ensure tomatoes are well cooked down.
Simmer rice on low heat for proper absorption and don’t stir too much to maintain grain integrity.
Flavor Development:
Letting the pulao rest after cooking enhances flavors.
Garnishing:
Fresh cilantro adds a fresh, herby finish.
Oil Choice:
Avocado oil is used for its health properties and neutral taste, but can be substituted with ghee or another oil.
Serving Suggestion:
Ideal as a main dish or a hearty side.
Pairs well with yogurt or a simple salad.
Health Aspect:
A wholesome, plant-based meal.
Rich in fiber and nutrients from brown rice and vegetables.

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg