How to Make South Indian Style Tomato Rice with Recipe


This article will show the tastiest South Indian Style Tomato Rice with Recipe. Tomato Rice is a favourite dish in the Tamil Nadu state of South India, and it’s simple, quick, and delicious. This one-pot marvel, also known as Thakkali Sadam in Tamil, is tasty, healthful, and ideal for packing in tiffin for lunch on the road. While this tomato rice is a little spicy, the spice may easily be adjusted to your preference. Serve it simple or with boondi raita and crispy papad. It’s a deliciously satisfying and light lunch!

What is Thakkali Sadam?

Thakkali Sadam is a traditional south Indian recipe from Tamil Nadu. It’s a rice dish with tomato, spices, and rice that’s mildly hot. ‘Thakkali‘means tomato in Tamil, while ‘sadam‘means rice. Anyone can make a big batch of this tomato rice and keep it in the fridge for lunches throughout the week because it’s a great dish to bring in a tiffin. Look no further than this simple tomato rice recipe for a quick, delicious, and nutritious supper! It simply requires one pot and requires very little cleanup. This dish is cooked in a pressure cooker on the stovetop. It may be made in the Instant Pot or in a pan on the stovetop, just like most rice dishes. In the recipe card below, I’ve included simple Instant Pot and stovetop instructions.

About this recipe

Tomato rice is a popular south Indian rice dish made with cooked rice and tomato flavours. It’s a popular breakfast and lunch rice meal all over south India. The colour of the rice is really appealing, and the flavour of the tomato rice is pretty delicious. Tomato rice is also known as thakkali sadam or tomato bath in the south. This is mostly served in various tiffin centres in the south, and it can be prepared in a variety of ways with minor differences. Tomato bath, or any bath recipe, is particularly popular in the Karnataka region, and it can also be packed as a kid’s lunch box meal. We are sure many children enjoy tomato bath, and I enjoy making it because it’s a quick and easy thakkali sadam.

How to make South Indian Style Tomato Rice

Soaking Rice

  • This is a simple and quick dish. To begin, soak your basmati (or other long grain rice) in water until the water runs clear.
  • Soak your rice for 20 to 30 minutes in fresh water, then drain and set it aside.
  • This is a crucial step that should not be skipped! Rinsing the rice eliminates surface starches that might create gummy rice during cooking.
  • Soaking the rice allows it to cook more uniformly and prevents you from getting any al dente portions. Sautéing spices, onions, tomatoes.
  • Next, heat the oil in a 3 litre pressure cooker over a low flame until it barely shimmers.
  • You can use any oil that has a neutral flavour. I used sunflower oil in this recipe.
  • Toss 12 teaspoon mustard seeds into the hot oil and fry until they start to crackle.
  • After that, add 4 to 5 fenugreek seeds (methi) and cook for a few seconds, being careful not to burn them.
  • Add 13 cup chopped onions, a 12 inch cinnamon stick, two green cardamom pods, and two to three whole cloves next.
  • Stir and cook until the onions are transparent, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir, then continue to cook until the raw ginger-garlic fragrance fades, about a minute.
  • Stir and cook for another minute.
  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes are now added. For me, 3 medium tomatoes were required.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 14 teaspoon turmeric powder, 12 teaspoon red chilli powder, 12 teaspoon black pepper powder or crushed black pepper, 12 teaspoon coriander powder.
  • If you don’t like spicy cuisine, reduce the amount of ginger-garlic paste to 1 teaspoon and reduce the amount of chilli powder and black pepper to 14 teaspoon each.
  • Cook, stirring well to coat the tomatoes in the spices.
  • Cook until the tomatoes are mushy and pulpy, and the oil starts to run down the edges of the pan.
  • Stir in the soaking rice until everything is well combined.

Pressure cooking the Tomato Rice

Allow the rice to absorb some of the toasted spice flavours by sautéing it briefly. After that, pour in 134 cup of water. For softer rice, add 2 cups water. Add 112 cup water to separate the grains. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover with the lid. Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set the pressure cooker too high for 6 to 8 minutes, then let it naturally release after 10 minutes.

Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork after the pressure has been released. Serve in a bowl with crunchy papads (also known as papadums or appalams), plain curd or flavoured raita, and fresh coriander leaves for a pop of colour. Enjoy!

Read: Some Common Spices that Lower Cholesterol and Diabetes

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  1. Can we use Parboiled Rice for thisThakkali Sadam Recipe?

    This dish can be made with parboiled rice (converted rice), however, the soaking time will need to be increased to one hour. You’ll also need to add more water and simmer it for a longer period of time.

  2. Can I use regular Rice for this Recipe?

    Yes! This dish can be made with any type of rice. Although I love aromatic long grain rice, short-grain or even brown rice can be used. If you’re using brown rice, make sure to extend the cooking time.

  3. Can I make this without a Pressure Cooker?

    Yes, you can cook this in a regular pot as well. To cook the rice, start with 2 cups of water, then cover with a lid and keep it on low heat. When the rice is approximately halfway done, check it and add up to another 14 cups of water if it looks dry.

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