Tomato Rice /Thakkali Sadham Recipe

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On our last visit to India more than 2 months ago, my mother had prepared very delicious and fragrant Tomato Rice with mint. That along with a yogurt raita made a quick fix and light tasting dinner. Quite frankly I am not a huge fan of Tomato Rice and when she proceeded to make the Tomato Rice I was not pleased and had that smirk on my face. But she nudged along and asked me to try it as it was a new recipe and the others in the family just loved it.

Quite grudgingly I tried it, but was blown away as the taste was not what I had expected and it was just delicious. After shedding a few tears of happiness, not so surprisingly I also hastily jotted down the recipe and decided to try it later on my own.

OK, OK if you have read so far and thinking that this the recipe that I had jotted then, then no you are thinking way far aheadJ. The story with my trial takes a u-turn here. I tried the recipe for Tomato Rice that I had written and it was a disaster. Just everything about it went wrong and taste was nowhere near the original one. Need less to say I was crushed and decided to try it again after pestering my Mom for the recipe again with step by step details. I am yet to try that recipe though. Mother’s have that special touch don’t they? J 

Anyway, last week I was looking for some easy rice ideas when I decided to make this Tomato Rice the original way by making the masala powder from scratch. While writing this post I also realized that there are two other quick ways of making this Tomato Rice all with very good results.

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Version 1: Tomato Rice can be prepared by adding rice, tomato onion mixture to the masala powder that is made from scratch. (Recipe follows)

Version 2: Tomato Rice can be prepared by adding the MTR pulao Masala to the tomato onion mixture with very good results. I do have to add that I had seen this idea long time ago on a food blog. Sorry, I am not able to remember which blog that was. If somebody remembers please let me know and I will add the link here in this post giving credit to the blogger.

Version 3: Tomato Rice can also be prepared by using Tomato Chutney/Tomato thokku/ Tomato Pachadi. After the chutney is prepared, it is mixed along with cooked rice to make quick and easy Tomato Rice.

This is an easy recipe to make and so please do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. It is a great dish to make for parties, picnics and potlucks and not to forget a quick-fix meal. This pairs very well with yogurt based raita.


  • 1 cup uncooked rice (preferrably Basmati)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • Salt


For seasoning:


  • Curry leaves
  • 1 Tbsp urad daal
  • Asafetida
  • 4-5 cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin seeds(jeera)
  • 3-4 garlic pods (crushed)
  • Oil
  • Mustard seeds


For masala Powder:


  • 1 Tbsp Coriander seeds
  • ½ Tbsp Channa daal
  • 1/2 Tbsp Urad daal
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 2-3 dry red chillies
  • 1 inch cinnamon piece


OR Use the MTR Pulao Masala




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  • Cook the rice such that it is nice, fluffy and grains are separated. After the rice is cooked spread it out on a big plate to allow it to cool.
  • Dry roast the ingredients for masala and grind it to a fine powder. 
  • Chop the onion and tomatoes into small pieces and keep aside.


  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan, then add oil, jeera, mustard, curry leaves.
  • After the mustard seeds splutter, add asafetida, then the urad daal and fry until it turns golden brown.
  • Add the crushed garlic and fry until it turns light brown. Add the cloves and cinnamon.
  • Now add the chopped onion and sauté until it turns transparent. Add more oil at this time.
  •  Add the tomatoes and salt and continue to mix, until the tomatoes are completely cooked and the water from tomatoes is gone.
  • Add the masala powder/Pulao Masala, more salt, more chillies(if required), little more oil and check for seasoning.
  • After the masala powder has mixed well, add the rice and incorporate the cooked masala onto the rice. Cover the lid and allow to cook for a while.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve Hot with tomato, cucumber Raita.
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  1. indosungod says:

    The rice looks really good. Unlike I actually like tomato rice. The kiddies like it with corn added to it.
    I have to try this way. I cook the rice with the tomatoes in a pressure cooker usually.

  2. Asha says:

    Don’t you dare diss your momma again, ya hear? ;D

    Rice looks fab and masala has all my fave ingredients, so I don’t see why doesn’t taste good! I used those ready made Pulao pds before, didn’t like it.I would rather make your masala.

    Have a great weekend. We ave 85F right now, AC is on to cool and it smells like burning outside, very hot.

  3. Soma says:

    Love tomato rice.. but i just go easy.. This masala powder sounds really good yaar. & the mint too, esp after i did lisa’s rice with mint!

  4. Pavani says:

    Your pics make me want to grab a spoonful from the monitor. Looks awesome, thanks for the variations too. Totally agree that moms definitely have a special touch which makes their dish taste so much better. I hope our kids find that special touch in our dishes!! Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. Deesha says:

    adding thokku is soo cool and makes it so much easier. I wasn’t too confident with tomato rice & has been a disaster many times, now i have found a foof proof way of making it .. This sounds very good with Pulao masala & stuff

  6. Avisha says:

    I am new to blogging ,saw your recipe for Tomato Rice.I liked your versions on TR,very nice tips and have taken note of that.A nice simple recipe and serving with raita – great combination.

  7. says:

    i recently came accross your blog and like your blog. i have also started a foodblog recently.keep up your good work and i wish u a very success.


  8. Ashwini says:

    Love tomato rice anytime..but it does not taste as good as my mother makes it:-). I usually like making fresh powders for this.I liked the addition of mint in the rice. Looks yumm. Will try all your versions next.

  9. sushma says:

    Hey RC the bowl looks so tempting. my all time fav. i hv prepared it wth MTR pulav mix which is a very nice combo.. hvnt tries wth chutney though. will try wth ur version 🙂

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