Tomato Rice

Thakkali sadam, also known as tomato rice, is a delicious South Indian dish made with tomatoes, rice, and a blend of spices. It is a simple yet flavorful one-pot meal that is perfect for lunch or dinner. Thakkali sadam is typically served with a side of raita or papad. It is a popular dish in Tamil Nadu and other parts of South India.

Tomato Rice

Recipe by S Kamala
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: RiceCuisine: Indian, TamilDifficulty: Medium


Soak time


Cooking time



A classic rice dish flavored with tomato. Also known as thakkali sadham.


  • Raw Rice – 2 cups

  • Tomato – 4 Nos

  • Onions – 2 Nos

  • Green Chillies – 2

  • Fresh Ginger – 1” piece

  • Garlic Flakes – 4 Nos

  • Cinnamon stick – 1” piece

  • Cloves – 4 Nos

  • Star anise – 1

  • Marathi moggu (Kapok Buds) – 1

  • Cardamom whole – 2 Nos

  • Sombu (aniseeds) – ½ teaspoon

  • Bay leaves – few

  • Turmeric Powder – ½ teaspoon

  • Red chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon

  • Oil – 4 tablespoon

  • Lemon Juice – 2 teaspoon

  • Salt – 2 teaspoons or as per taste

  • Coriander leaves – little for garnishing


  • Start by thoroughly washing the rice, then soak it in water for about 15 to 20 minutes to ensure it becomes perfectly tender.
  • While the rice is soaking, take the time to finely chop the onions, ginger, and garlic. Slit the green chillies lengthwise to release their heat. Prepare the tomatoes by giving them a cross-cut at the base, then submerge them in boiling water. Allow them to boil for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Once the tomatoes have cooled down a bit, peel off their skins effortlessly.
  • Transfer the peeled tomatoes into a blender and puree them until smooth. Add just enough water to the puree to make up 4 cups of tomato mixture, setting the stage for a richly flavored rice.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker over medium flame. Once hot, add in the whole spices: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, marathi moggu, star anise, sombu (fennel seeds), and bay leaves, lightly frying them to coax out their aromatic oils.
  • Next, introduce the ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and green chillies into the cooker, sautéing them until the onions turn translucent and imbibe the flavors of the spices.
  • Sprinkle in the chilli powder, turmeric powder, and salt, stirring thoroughly to combine the spices evenly.
  • Carefully drain the soaked rice and add it to the mix, frying gently until the grains are warm to the touch, ensuring each grain is coated with the spice mix for maximum flavor.
  • Pour the prepared tomato puree and a dash of lemon juice over the rice, gently stirring to mix well without breaking the grains.
  • Secure the lid of the pressure cooker and cook the rice mixture for three to four whistles, or until the rice is cooked through but not mushy.
  • Allow the pressure cooker to cool down before opening it, then gently fluff and turn the rice to ensure the grains are separate and beautifully infused with the tomato and spice flavors.
  • Finally, garnish the aromatic rice with freshly chopped coriander leaves, adding a burst of color and freshness. Serve this vibrant and flavorful dish hot, ready to be enjoyed as a hearty main course or a delicious side.

Recipe Video


  • You can also add fried cashew nuts or cooked green peas to the above.
  • Our reader Abi advised to try this recipe with V8 canned tomato juice and informed that it comes out really good and healthy for kids too.

A classic rice dish flavored with tomato. Also known as thakkali sadam.


  1. Any reason to peel tomato skin? More work 🙂 unless it affects the taste. Your thoughts!!

  2. Hi Arun,

    It will not affect the taste. If you remove the skin, the rice will be smooth without any skin.

  3. This website is my "deivam thantha varam". Lots of recipes and easy to follow.

  4. What an encouraging comment Arun. Thank you very much.

  5. Very very nice.

  6. This website is greatest gift for the people who live in abroad.

  7. sophiavasanth

    kamala ma ,

    First thing i should thank you so much for taking an effort to create this kamala corner site. every night i check your site for kolam preparation as well as for recipes .
    your website is my 'varaprashaatham'.
    thank you so much ma . it would be so nice of you if you could share the pooja methods too.

  8. I agree with sophia above.Your site is god's gift to people who are just starting to cook like me.Thank you very much.Iam trying tomato rice today.Brinji came out excellent…

  9. Hi Arati,

    Thank you for visiting my blog. Nice to hear that Brinji Rice came out well.

  10. Thank u so much kamala for ur wonderful recipes….. More to hear from u…..

  11. Thanks for posting such a wonderful recipe. Recently only I came to know about your website and started trying many recipes. All are great with no flaws.

    You are doing a awesome job Ms. Kamala. Kudos to your hardwork.

  12. Hi this website is really very nice and all the dish which i think i should try and have tried have come out very nicely it is worth tryin all the dishes and now i am learning to put rangoli also . in one way i think its like doin a social service very nice

  13. Raji Sri Ram

    Hi Kamala
    Tried this recipe last week and it was an instant hit among my family members..infact my sisters hav taken the recipe and want to try it in their homes..thank u so much Kamala..though i hav tried other recipes this has come out so well and it s so easy to make…will try ur other recipes soon..they all look so delicious..THANK U SO MUCH

  14. i need some clarity. as i messed up after adding rice – it got stick alot in cooker itself though i stirred gently – any tips to avoid sticking to cooker.
    Taste i have never got this before – excellent though slight sticky smell.

    • Hi Muthu,

      Stickiness may be due to the quality of rice you used. Also the tomato puree may be too thick. If you find the tomato puree very thick, then you can reduce the puree and add water to make it to a flowing consistency. Normally when you slightly fry the rice, that itself prevent sticking. Also adding lemon juice will separate the rice grains apart from giving taste. Try with good quality Basmati Rice and let me know the outcome.

  15. hi.. tried this recipe yesterday and it was tasty. you are doing great job and thanks for the recipe 🙂

  16. Hi everyone,
    Try this recipe with V8 canned tomato juice, it comes out really good and healthy for kids too….

  17. Thanks for acknowledging…..

  18. Tried it this afternoon. It came out awesome. You are the best. Thank you

  19. ur website is really superb….i taut without non veg i won able to cook anytin but after seeing this website … mainly i cook lots of vegetarin dishes… thank u ..keep postin many more new dishes

  20. Your recipes are really awesome. I don’t know cooking earlier. Now i do better cooking after learning it from your site. I tried keerai kootu as per your instruction. It came out really good. Thanks a lot.

  21. I have tried tomato rice for my husband’s lunch box.It just cameout really very tasty.I cant wait till lunch,so that I ate it as breakfast.
    Thank u somuch for ur recepies..

  22. Jyotsna,A

    Hello Kamalaji,
    Tried a few recipe from the wonderful site you started.All of them turned awesome. Lots of efforts taken. thank you so much.

    Mrs Jyotsna.A

  23. Gajalakshmi


    I have tried this and it was great. My husband loved it. Thanks a lot.

  24. Omg !!! This is such a long recipe. Will take so much time. I dont boil n peel tomatoes. Just put all in a blender raw…not onions.then onions, curry leaves,and the gravy fry in oil.add rice and cook. That’s it.yummy tomato rice ready. Good luck

  25. Nice recipe. I am going to try this today. I am learning many new recipes from your website. Thank you for giving us nice recipes..

  26. Hi Kamala Aunty,

    I tried this dish today the result was too good. I have clicked the photo of it , but i cud not post on FB ..
    My Hubby just enjoyed this dish and appreciated me a lot 🙂
    Thank you…..

  27. I m suggesting ur website for the newly wedded girls like me 😉

  28. kavipriya

    Hai aunty,
    i cooked this tomato rice and i packed it for lunch to my kid.he liked it very really came out well.thank you for this special receipe.could i request you to post some additional healthy variety rices for kids?

    • Thank you for your kind feed back. I have already posted some simple rice varieties like “Jeera Rice”, “Greens Rice” etc. Check under “Rice Varieties” category in our website.

  29. Nice recipes, thank you!

  30. Hi kamala madam,
    I tried this recipe its came out very well.. My inlaws greeting for me…thank u so much to sharing this recipe with us..

  31. Savitha rajpurohit

    Iam a southindian food lover..n from ur site i get more delicious n yummy recipes…really lov ur recipes..pls update more recipes

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