Make this easy-peasy South Indian Tomato Rice and have a nice, tangy, one-dish meal. It does not need many ingredients and is a great way to use up any leftover rice. It was one of many one-dish meals that has been sustaining me these days.

South Indian Tomato Rice | Thakkali Sadam | Tomato Annam
South Indian Tomato Rice | Thakkali Sadam | Tomato Annam

I already have a simple Tomato Rice recipe on the blog courtesy my cousin Rama. This is another recipe that I am posting because it reminded me of one of the very first dishes I cooked using a recipe from the legendary Indian magazine Women’s Era. I was so proud of making this dish all those decades ago that I think I fed it to anyone who was visiting our home for a while after that. And then I discovered Sanjeev Kapoor’s Mughlai Paneer, and the story repeated. 🙂

Tips:

  • I think this rice is best savoured within 10-15 minutes of making it, otherwise it tends to dry a bit. If you are making it way it advance, use 1.5 times the tomato puree I have mentioned so that the rice remains moist.
  • If you don’t want to make the spice powder, use some sambar powder instead.
  • I used freshly cooked rice, but you can make this recipe with leftover rice as well.
  • I add the fried peanuts in the end because I like to keep them crunchy. You can add them initially to the tempering as well.

How to Make Easy South Indian Tomato Rice | Thakkali Sadam

  1. Cooking the Rice
    Note: I cook the rice about 1 hr ore before so that it cools down. If you use rice fresh off the cooker sometimes the moisture in it tends to make the Tomato Rice mushy. You can also use 2 cups of leftover rice.
    1. First, wash 1 cup rice well under running water and then add 1.75 cups of water.
    2. Pressure cook the rice for 3 whistles or till the rice is cooked.
    3. Let the cooker cool for about 10 minutes and then remove rice from it.
    4. If needed, spread the rice on a plate to help it cool and dry out a bit.
  2. Making the Spice Powder
    Note: Fry each of the ingredients separately because the roasting time for each is vastly different. If you want to do it together, start with the chana dal and when it starts to change colour, add udad dal. When both the dals are light golden brown, add the chillies and coriander seeds. Stir-fry for a minute.
    1. Heat a kadhai over low flame.
    2. Add 2-3 drops of oil and add 1 tsp udad dal to it. Stir-fry till it turns golden brown. Transfer the roasted dal to a plate to cool.
    3. Next, add 2-3 drops of oil and add 1 tsp chana dal. Stir-fry till it turns golden brown. Add to the plate containing the roasted udad dal to cool.
    4. Now, once again add 2-3 drops of oil and add 2 tsp coriander seeds. Stir-fry till they start to change colour and become aromatic. Transfer to the plate with the dals.
    5. Finally, add 2-3 drops of oil and add 2 spicy red chillies and 2 bydagi red chillies. Stir-fry till they start to change colour. Transfer to the plate to cool. 
    6. Let all the roasted ingredients cool a bit and then grind to a fine powder.
  3. Making the Tomato Rice | Thakkali Sadam
    1. In a kadhai, over medium flame, heat 1 tsp oil.
    2. Add the peanuts to the oil and stir-fry till the peanuts start to change colour and start to pop.
    3. Remove the peanuts from the oil and set aside. I do this because I like my peanuts to remain crunchy and so add them to the Tomato Rice at the very end. You can also stir-fry the peanuts with the tempering and cook them with the rest of the ingredients. However, they will soften a bit.

    4. Now add 1 tsp oil to the kadhai and add 1 tsp mustard seeds. Wait till the mustard seeds splutter.
    5. Next, add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and stir-fry for a few seconds till they start to change colour.
    6. To the tempering, add 1 cup finely chopped onion and stir-fry till the onion pieces are transparent.
    7. To the onion, add the ground spice powder (or 1 tsp sambar powder), 1/2 tsp turmeric and salt to taste. Mix well.
    8. Now, add 1.5 Cups of Tomato Puree and mix well.
    9. Cook this onion-tomato mix for 1-2 minutes till the mix dries just a bit.

    10. To the cooked onion-tomato mix, add the cooked rice and fried peanuts. Mix well.
    11. Garnish the Thakkali Sadam | Tomato Rice with chopped coriander.
  4. Serving Ideas
    1. Serve the Tomato Rice immediately with some cold dahi and papad.
Thakkali Sadam
Thakkali Sadam

Recipe for South Indian Tomato Rice | Thakkali Sadam

Easy Tomato Rice | Thakkali Sadam

This is an easy Tomato Rice recipe that uses a simple spice powder to add extra zing to this tangy rice. This recipe is a great way to use up some leftover rice.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Indian, South Indian, Tamil Nadu
Servings 4 People
Equipment
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Wok or Kadhai
  • Blender
Ingredients
  
  • 1 Cup Rice (~100 gms)
  • 1.5 Cup Tomato Puree (~300 gms)
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
  • 2 tbsp Peanuts
For the Spice Powder
  • 1 tsp Udad Dal
  • 1 tsp Chana Dal
  • 2 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 2-4 Red Chillies (I used 2 Pandi and 2 Bydagi Chillies)
For Tempering
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
Other Ingredients
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt to Taste
  • Finely Chopped Coriander for Garnish
Instructions
 
Cooking the Rice (I cook the rice about 1 hr before)
  • Wash 1 cup rice well and add 1.75 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook for 3 whistles or till the rice is cooked.
  • Let the rice cool.
Making the Spice Powder
  • In 2-3 drops of oil, roast 1 tsp udad dal till they turn golden brown. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • In 2-3 drops of oil, roast 1 tsp chana dal till they turn golden brown. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • In 2-3 drops of oil, roast 2 tsp coriander seeds till they start to change colour. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • In 2-3 drops of oil, roast 2 spicy red chillies and 2 bydagi red chillies till they start to change colour. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • Set aside to cool and then grind to a fine powder.
Making the Tomato Rice
  • In a kadhai, over medium flame, heat 1 tsp oil.
  • Add the peanuts and stir-fry till they start to pop.
  • Remove the peanuts from the oil.
  • Add 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp mustard seeds. Wait till the mustard seeds splutter.
  • Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  • Add 1 cup finely chopped onion and stir-fry till they are transparent.
  • Add the ground spice powder (or 1 tsp sambar powder), 1/2 tsp turmeric and salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Add 1.5 Cups of Tomato Puree and mix well.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes till the mix dries just a bit.
  • Add the cooked rice and fried peanuts, and mix well.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander.
Serving Ideas
  • Serve the Tomato Rice immediately with some cold dahi and papad.
Keyword South Indian Tomato Rice, Thakkali Sadam, Tomato Annam, Tomato Rice

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