Thakkali Sadam Recipe - Spicy Tomato Rice

Here is a simple and yet lip smacking recipe of tomato rice that you can make for your lunch box or even for a quick weeknight dinner. All you need is some cooked rice or left over rice and some fresh tomatoes along with sambar powder and mint leaves. Serve it along with a tomato onion raita for a quick meal.

Archana Doshi
5740 ratings.

Tomato Rice popularly called as Thakkali Sadam in South India is a very quick to make rice dish that is packed with flavours from tomatoes, cardamom, and the sambar powder.

Most often I like to make it more nutritious by adding some grated carrots to it as well. The Thakkali Sadam tastes delicious when served along with a raita and some papad. This rice also makes a perfect lunch box for kids, as they find it easy to eat and tasty too.

Serve Thakkali Sadam recipe along with Boondi Raita and Kachumber Salad for a weekday lunch or dinner.

If you like this recipe, you can also try other rice recipes such as

  1. Pudina Rice Recipe
  2. Lemon Rice Recipe
  3. Spinach Rice Recipe 

Course: Lunch
Diet: Vegetarian
Equipments Used: Hard Anodised Kadai (Wok)
Prep in

10 M

Cooks in

30 M

Total in

40 M


6 Servings


  • 1 cup Rice
  • 1 Onion , finely chopped
  • 1 inch Ginger , finely chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic , finely chopped
  • 3 Tomatoes , finely chopped
  • 2 Carrots , grated
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu)
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves , finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Sambar Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cardamom Powder (Elaichi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
  • 6 sprig Mint Leaves (Pudina)
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame (Gingelly) Oil
  • Salt , to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee

How to make Thakkali Sadam Recipe - Spicy Tomato Rice

  1. To begin making the Thakkali Sadam Recipe - Spicy Tomato Rice, get all the ingredients ready. Make sure you have cooked rice ready.

  2. You can use left over rice for this or even cooked rice. Place the cup of washed rice in a pressure cooker and add 2 cups of water. Pressure cook for 2 whistles and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 3 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Once release keep the rice aside. 

  3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan; add cumin seeds and mustard seeds; allow it to crackle. Then add onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until the onions are tender and golden.

  4. Add chopped tomatoes and grated carrots; sauté until the tomatoes and carrots are tender and the moisture has evaporated.

  5. Continue to cook until the mixture looks like a semi-thick paste. Stir in the chopped curry leaves at this point.

  6. Next add in the sambar powder, turmeric powder, cardamom powder, salt and mix well.

  7. Add mint leaves and sauté for a few more minutes. Gradually stir in the cooked rice to the tomato mixture and fold the thakkali sadam gently so that all ingredients are well combined.

  8. Finally add a tablespoon of ghee or sesame oil and stir it into the thakkali sadam and serve hot.

  9. Serve Thakkali Sadam recipe / tomato rice along with Boondi Raita and Kachumber Salad for a weekday lunch or dinner.