Tomato Rice/Thakkali Sadam

This Tomato Rice recipe is so close to my heart and am glad am sharing it in this space. This is a recipe which comes in handy while travelling or it is a keeper recipe while we decide to cook something simple. Am sure all South Indian’s love tangy and spicy preparations. It is one such preparation that all of us in the house don’t object to and it never gets bored. It is an easy recipe to make. It can be made either in a pressure cooker or in a rice cooker or on a stove top.

I learnt this recipe only after my marriage. Initially we used to cook this rice in a rice cooker. After we had been away from the family I started to make this recipe on stove top in a flat bottomed non stick pot. The reason for it is, my hubby doesn’t like it getting mushy. Most of the time the tomato rice gets mushy while it gets cooked in the rice cooker method.

Tomato Rice is a preparation where the rice gets cooked in the juices of the tomatoes and the flavours are subtle. It is not cooked with all the aromatic spices, it calls for only cinnamon stick. Nothing fancy goes into the rice, you can make this with just onion ginger garlic and tomatoes. We generally make this when the tomaotes are cheap.

Do try this yummy rice preparation and let me know if you enjoyed it.

Tomato Rice/Thakali Sadam

Cuisine: South Indian | Category: Rice Varieties/OnePot Meals | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Servings: 3


  • Basmati Rice – 1 Cup (i.e., 250ml approx)
  • Water – 1 Cup 
  • Oil – 1/4 Cup (1 Kuzhi Karandi)
  • Onion – 3 Nos. (Medium size – Out of which blend 2 Coarsely and cut 1 lengthwise)
  • Tomatoes – 5 Nos. (Medium size- Slice them lengthwise as thin as possible)
  • Green Chilies – 4 to 6 Nos (According to your spice level)
  • Ginger – About 2″ (Make it into a paste)
  • Garlic – 1 whole garlic whole bulb(Make a paste along with ginger) 
  • Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt – As required

Note :: The steps given below are for making the Tomato Rice on a stove top.  

To make it in a rice cooker do all the cooking as shown below in a pan until you add water and after it comes to a boil just transfer the contents into the rice cooker and allow it to cook in cook mode and until it comes to keep warm.

To make it in pressure cooker just do all the sauteing in the pressure cooker itself and after adding water just close the lid and wait for a whistle in high flame. Then lower the flame and allow it for another whistle then switch off the pressure cooker and wait till the pressure releases.

METHOD with VISUAL CLICKS : : (Stove Top Method)

Get all the ingredients ready.
Measure rice in a vessel.
Drain the water.
Take a tablespoon of ghee or oil in a vessel.
Add the drained rice.
Roast the rice until glossy and set this aside.
Chop the onions and tomatoes lengthwise and slit the green chilies or cut them into two halves.
Slice tomatoes as shown. Try to slice them as fine as possible.
After all the chopping is done take oil in a pan.
Saute Cinnamon stick.
Now add chopped onion and slit green chilies.
Saute for few minutes. Now add turmeric and cook till the raw smell goes off.
Next add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell goes.
Now add the coarsely minced onion to it and cook for few minutes.
Now add required amount of salt.
Add a teaspoon of red chili powder.
After that add the sauteed rice to the mixture.
Add a cup of water to it.
Mix everything and allow it to come to a boil.

Follow until the above step for the rice cooker and pressure cooker method. 

Then close the pot and allow it to cook in a very low flame(the smallest possible option).
After 10 minutes check for the rice to be done. Check now and then until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Now the Tomato Rice is ready to be served.
Enjoy the Tomato Rice with Appalam(papad) and some plain yogurt or raita on the side.

Note :  Measure water and rice using the same cup. 

The tomatoes have a lot of juices so the amount of water might vary.  Sometimes you might need to add a little more than the 1 cup mentioned.

Checking the right amount of salt is very easy. Just taste the water and it should be slightly more than normal. This hint will help check the right amount of salt. 

Cutting the tomatoes as thin as shown helps children from trying to remove the cooked tomatoes while eating. 

Coarse grinding the onions is just a way, if you have made a fine paste never mind the taste will not be compromised.

The Tomato Rice/Thakali Sadam is ready to be served. Serve it with Appalam (Papad) along with plain yogurt or Raita on the side. Try and let me know if you liked it.


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