Tomato Rice: South Indian Fried Rice For A Quick Meal
Image Credit: Delicious tomato rice | Instagram - @ryuniiii

Tomato rice is a wonderful one-pot recipe. Great for a lunch pack option it is a pleasant change from the daily rice. If there are leftover tomatoes in the fridge, it is the perfect opportunity to create this dish. Serve it plain, or with crispy papad or yoghurt sides. It makes a  filling and wholesome meal.

Tomato rice is called “Thakkali Sadam” in Tamil. It is a rice dish, which is a staple food in India. It is a pulao where rice is cooked with whole spices. Along with the tomatoes, this dish acquires a tangy flavour. This dish is free of any elaborate preparations and can be cooked in a short span of time. With raitas or other sides, it can go at a festive event too.

It is also called tamatar pilaf | Freepik

  • 2 tbsp Oil (any)
  • 1 tsp Hing 
  • 3-4 pcs Red Whole Chilli 
  • 1 pc Cinnamon 
  • 3 to 4 pcs Laung 
  • 1 pc  Tej Pata 
  • 4 pcs Elaichi 
  • 1 tbsp Mustard Seeds 
  •  2 tsp Jeera 
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal 
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal 
  • 1 tbsp Garlic 
  • 1 tbsp Ginger 
  • 1 tsp Green Chilli, Chopped 
  • 1 tbsp Cashew nuts 
  • 1 sprig of Curry leaf 
  • 1 cup Onion, Chopped 
  • 2 ½ cups Tomato, Chopped 
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp Turmeric 
  • 1 tbsp Red Chilli Powder 
  • 1 tbsp Coriander Powder 
  • 1½  cup of Water 
  • 1 cup Rice, Soaked
  • a handful Mint Leaves 
  • 1 tbsp Coriander stems


  • In a pan, heat some oil
  •  To this add hing, whole red chillies, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, and cardamom, roast the spices together for a few seconds
  •  Now add mustard seeds, cumin, chana dal, and urad dal
  •  Ensure that the dal turns golden brown. after that, add ginger, garlic, green chilies, cashews, and some of the curry leaves
  • On a low flame add onions and cook them for a few minutes without browning them 
  • Cook for about 2 minutes and then on a high flame add the tomatoes
  • Now add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, and coriander powder, and let all of this cook properly
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, increase the flame and add the water
  •  Check the salt and spices tempering and add soaked rice
  •  Now put mint and coriander leaves and give it a very gentle stir
  • Once the rice is well mixed, cover the pan with a lid and decrease the flame and cook for another 10 min
  • After 10 min, turn off the flame but keep the lid on for another 10 min

Enjoy this dish steaming hot on a cold day or combine it with yoghurt raita for the summers. It will delight you with its slow-cooked rice in tomato stock. With the regal spices and the south Indian curry leaves, rejoice in the taste of this wonderful tomato rice.