Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Tomato Rice

 Published 2012-Feb-21   Updated 2017-Nov-08

-Submitted by Dahlia

(Takkali Sadam, Tomato Bath, Tamatar Pulao, Tomato Biriyani, Chitraanna)

That was the last day of school for all our apartment kids. They were all behind us for a picnic plan. We didn’t have a second thought as the summer holidays is not only for the kids but for us also. No alarm, no cooker whistle, no screaming from the kitchen, running to the bedroom and bathroom. No school van annas, no packing and no for everything for next two months.

After the  kids managed to convince us, they went to the park for discussing about play items to be taken for the picnic spot. One screamed googles,the other tennis bat, the other said no cricket bat and so on. We ladies gathered together and to decide the menu.

I was wondering what to cook (OMG! …even in summer vacation this thought haunts us…hmm…). More than cooking time and tension, what to cook is the main thought that runs like a marathon daily in a women’s life. Yes we do run marathon on a daily basis, behind the kitchen chores, kids and best half. I just opened my fridge to check out for some ideas to bloom. Bright red tangy tomatoes smiled infront of my eyes and said “Here I am, Highess…”. I instantly got an idea. Tomato Rice is going to be my receipe for picnic.

The next day morning, kids themselves kept the alarm (never happens in school days), woke up in the first ring of the alarm and dressed up in their comfortable attires. They assembled even before us near the picnic van. Different dishes with different aromas were boarded in the van, along with my spicy tomato rice. It was quite a memorable trip for both the kids and for us.

Tomatoes an easily available vegetable. No it is actually a fruit, often used as a vegetable. It is very rich in Vitamin C.There is no fat or cholesterol. It has also got Vitamin E, niacin and Vitamin B6. I still remember one of my friend grinding tomato and applying it as a face pack. It works wonders, removes sun tan and makes the skin glow. She is also keen in drinking tomato juice regularly.

For any dish using tomatoes, be in chutney or gravy, use a iron pan (tawa) to saute and use gingelly oil. This will give awesome results. So here is the recipe for making tomato rice, also known as thakkali sadam in tamil.

Recipe for Tomato Rice

Preparation Time : 15 minutes 
Cooking Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4


  • Cooked Rice - 2 cups
  • Onion - 1/2 (chopped)
  • Ginger garlic Paste - 1 tsp
  • Tomatoes - 1 (chopped) + 2 (pureed)
  • Green Chilies - 2 (chopped)
  • Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala - a pinch
  • Cilantro - for garnish
  • Salt - as needed

For Tempering

  • Oil/Ghee - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Fennel/Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Channa Dal - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Cashews - 1 tbsp
  • Curry Leaves - 1 spring


  1. You can cook the rice or use leftover rice to make tomato rice.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds.
  3. Add channa dal, urad dal and fennel seeds and fry till it turns reddish brown in colour.
  4. Add cashews, green chilies and curry leaves.
  5. Add the onions and fry till it turns translucent.
  6. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds.
  7. Next add the pureed tomatoes and cook till the raw smell vanishes.
  8. Add the chopped tomato, salt, garam masala and chili powder. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  9. Now toss the cooked rice with this masala. Check for salt and other seasonings and adjust according to your taste.
  10. Finally sprinkle with some chopped cilantro and switch off.

Serving Tomato Rice

  • Tomato Rice tastes excellent with some potato chips and raita.
  • It can also be served with some chicken or potato side dishes for parties.
  • It is a very good dish for lunch box, for train travel and for picnics.


  • The tempering is absolutely optional. It adds a nice crunch to the rice dish. I personally like to add tempering when I have tomato rice as a simple meal with some papad, boiled egg or raita. But when I make tomato rice with some rich side dish like chicken curry or potato kurma, I like to make it plain without tempering. You can name this variation as 'Tomato Biriyani'.
  • Another variation is to make it a one pot meal. Make the masala as above and cook the rice along with the masala. This is a good option when you are in a hurry.

More Rice Recipes

Akkaravadisal Akkaravadisal Phirni (Rice Kheer) Zarda Rice Cauliflower Pulao
See more...

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Comments (33)

Person   ()
superb thank u so much recipes
Person   ()
You are welcome.
Person   ()
The tomato rice is fantastic,, previously ive tried so many times but not good... this is the first recipe from ur blog,, im impressed thanq
Person   ()
Thanks Yashwanth. Try out more recipes.
Person   ()
This is a GREAT recipe. I made fresh tatziki, home made socca bread with Indian flavours and some falafels with a tomato cucumber salad Really great meal..
Person   ()
Thats great to hear Kim. Enjoy and try more Indian dishes.
Person   ()
Tried it and it came well.. Thank u fr d receipe
Person   ()
Thats good to hear. Enjoy!
Person   ()
Super yummy tasty
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
In case you do not have left over rice. Season with dry garam masala one or two each in a cooker. Later follow the same procedure. Add one glass soaked rice two glasses of water . Give two whistles. Mix well and serve hot
Person   ()
Hi Mallika, Thank you for sharing. I make it that way too. I'll be sharing a detailed recipe for that method soon.
Person   ()
Wow yummy very nice
Person   ()
Thank you.
Person   ()
hello dahlia ! indeed a `cook-in-a-jiffy`type recipe ,being a bengalee, sweet n sugar have to follow suit, hence,what I suggest is to add just 1/2 tsp of sugar either to the tomato puree or while frying the masalas,this not only blends the whole dish very well but also adds to the overall taste ! n how about garnishing also with dried or fresh coconut shreds ! it tastes simply delightful ! bye c u !
Person   ()
Sure.. You can add a few ingredients according your taste... The garnishing idea is also good.
Person   ()
I heard of tomato rice many times.......but d'nt knw how 2 prepare!!!! now i'll go and try ...thank you so much!!!!!
Person   ()
Thats nice... So now you can try it out... Enjoy!!
Person   ()
Its very tasty
Person   ()
Yes. true.
Person   ()
i love tomato rice tanx for this..........:)
Person   ()
U r welcome!!
Person   ()
yummy..... thank u....
Person   ()
enjoy :-)
Person   ()

Thanks for sharing this wonderful easy recipe....Tomato rice was a delightful and tasty..:)
Person   ()
Thank you Priyanka.
Person   ()
It's very tasty
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
Person   ()
Hi indu tujhe esa kya pasand aaya esme
Person   ()
yes very much.
Person   ()

i make this with the tomato masala (tomato paste). I use only the roasted dhania powder and cumin powder. goes well with raita, fried appalam. I shall try your method. it is a nice variation. thanks.
Person   ()
That must be tasty too..

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 Published by on and last updated on 2017-11-08.