Tomato Rice Recipe

South Indian tomato rice | Thakkali Sadam | One pot meal | Quick & easy lunch-dinner-lunch box recipe

Recipe / food styling / photography by - Sunayana Gupta


Tomato Rice is a popular pulao recipe from South India. To make tomato rice, we need chopped tomatoes, sliced onion, 1 cup rice and spices from ingredient list.

Thanks to the ease in this recipe, you can make it in a jiffy to pack in lunch box too during your busy morning schedule as it hardly takes about 15 minutes to get ready.Rice cooked with a mixture of sauteed tomatoes, ginger, garlic, mustard seeds tastes tangy and ultimate with curd or any raita of choice.

Well, in Indian cuisine what we see is that these humble Tomatoes are used in Salads, Raita, Curries, Stir Fries…but rarely as the main ingredient in any dish. This recipe of Tomato Rice is going to change your mind forever. So try out something new with this super vegetable and share with us!

For more Tomato Recipes check out -

Gujarati Tomato Gathiya Nu Shaak

Tomato Dosa

Tomato Idli

Roasted Tomato Salsa

Tomato Cheese Pasta

Tomato Thokku - South Indian tomato onion chutney

Healthy Lunch/Dinner Menu Plan -

Thakkali Sadam or Tomato Rice is slight spicy in nature. So you can adjust the heat with pairing this dish with sweet and sour Raitas made with Fruits like Pomegranate Raita, Mango Raita or Orange Mint Raita.


Kid’s School Tiffin & After School Menu Plan -

Pack Tomato Rice in Lunch Box with Sweet Mango Chutney and Lehsuni Sev.

Adjust the amount of green chilli to preferance or simply omit adding chilli and you can serve this to your kids as a delicious after school snack with Strawberry Milkshake or Cold Coffee during summers.

Tomato Rice

Tomato Rice is a popular rice recipe from South India. To make tomato rice, we need chopped tomatoes, sliced onion, 1 cup rice and spices from ingredient list.

Preparation Time :
Cooking Time :

Category : Rice
Cuisine :
Servings : 4 servings

Author : Sunayana Gupta

Share It!

Recipe Ingredients

  • Raw rice - 1 cup
  • Tomatoes (Chopped) - 2 large
  • Onion (Sliced) - 1 medium
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
  • Green chilli (Slit) - 2
  • Freshly chopped coriander - A handful
  • Salt - To taste
  • Water - 2-2.5 cups depending on quality of rice
  • Oil- 1 tablespoon 

Whole Spices -

  • Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • Cloves - 2
  • Black pepper - 4
  • Curry leaves - 8-10
  • Bay leaf (Tejpatta) - 1 

Powdered Spices - 

  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon (Optional)
  • Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon

How to make Tomato Rice

Washing & Soaking Rice -

To make tomato rice we need to wash rice. Take rice in a bowl and rince couple of times with water till you see clear water coming out. Soak it in water for an hour, but if you don’t have time then skip soaking. Just drain away all the excess water and we would be using this washed rice as it is in our recipe. 

Making Tomato Rice or Thakkali Sadam - 

  1. Now heat oil in a pressure cooker and add all the whole spices. Fry them for few seconds till they give out aroma.
  2. Add in sliced onion, green chilli and fry till pink over medium flame. To this add the chopped tomatoes, stir and cook till they become soft and mushy.
  3. Time to add in the ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and saute on low flame till it oozes oil.
  4. Now add washed/soaked rice, salt, water, chopped coriander and stir to combine well.
  5. Put on the lid and pressure cook for one whistle. Reduce the flame and cook for 2 more minutes and then remove from heat.

  6. Do not open the lid till it releases the pressure on its own.
  7. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander or mint and serve hot!

About Sunayana Gupta



I am founder, recipe creater, blogger and food photographer for this website. Here we provide you with some lip smacking veg. and egg recipes that you can easily replicate in your kitchen and create a soulful platter for your family & friends following our serving suggestions. From some regional Indian cuisine to popular recipes from around the globe, our focus is to make cooking easy for you with simple to follow steps, staple ingredients and accessible cooking techniques.

After you try any of our recipe, we are longing back to hear from you as your feedback means a lot to us. Hope you enjoy cooking and together we share some enticing ideas and tips.

Happy cooking!