Tomato Rice (Thakkali Sadam)

Tomato Rice (Thakkali Sadam)

Prep Time : 20 mins
Cook Time : 20 mins
Total Time : 40 mins


For soaking rice

  • 1 heaped cup basmati rice or any regular rice
  • water as required

More ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes (tightly packed) or 3 medium to large tomatoes or 200 grams
  •  cup finely chopped onions or 1 medium-sized onion
  • 1.5 teaspoons Ginger Garlic Paste or 1 inch ginger + 5 to 6 small to medium garlic crushed in mortar-pestle
  • ½ teaspoon chopped green chilli or serrano pepper or 1 green chilli
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 4 to 5 fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) – optional
  • ½ inch true cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves (medium-sized)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder or crushed black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder (ground coriander)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder (ground cumin)
  • ½ tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1.5 to 1.75 cups water or add as required
  • 2 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil
  • salt as required



  • Rinse basmati rice or any regular rice for a couple of times in water.
  • Then soak the rice in water for 20 to 30 minutes. Later drain the rice and keep aside.
  • Chop the tomatoes, onions and green chillies finely. Peel and crush the ginger-garlic in a mortar pestle. Also, chop the mint and coriander leaves
  • Keep aside all the spices required for the rice.

Sautéing onions, tomatoes, spices

  • In a 3 litre pressure cooker, heat the oil. Keep the flame to a low and add mustard seeds and crackle them. Then add fenugreek seeds and just lightly fry for a couple of seconds without burning them.
  • Then add finely chopped onions and cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves.
  • Stir and sauté until the onions turn translucent and soften.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilies and curry leaves.
  • Stir and sauté for some seconds until the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away
  • Now add chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves.
  • Stir and saute for a minute.
  • Keep heat to a low or switch off the heat. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder, red chilli powder, black pepper powder or crushed black pepper, coriander powder and cumin powder.
  • Mix very well and sauté the tomatoes until they soften and become pulpy with oil releasing from the sides.

Cooking tomato rice

  • Add the soaked rice. Gently mix the rice with the tomato mixture very well. Sauté for a minute.
  • Add 1.75 cups water. For a more softer consistency in the rice, you can also add 2 cups water.
  • Season with salt as per taste.
  • Cover and pressure cook tomato rice for 2 whistles on medium flame or about 10 to 11 minutes. To get a softer rice, you can also pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own. Then remove the lid and gently fluff the tomato rice.
  • Serve tomato rice with appalams or chips or with a side raita.

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