Tomato Rice (Thakkali Choru/Sadham)

Tomato Rice (Thakkali Sadam) is probably the most common Variety Rice in South India. Keralites normally have Plain Rice with Curry. However, times have changed and with the influence of neighboring states, cookery shows and food blogs, many people make Variety Rice as it is comparatively easy and makes a nice lunch for kids and grown ups.

Tomato Rice

Tomato Rice (Thakkali Sadam)

There are thousands of recipes for making Tomato Rice. Some add Whole Garam Masala and/or Roasted and Powdered Lentils, while others use Coconut Milk. Here is my version of Tomato Rice. Whenever I have left over Rice in my fridge and am feeling too lazy to make accompanying curries or side dishes, I go for this quick Tomato Rice and it is definitely a saver.


  1. Cooked Rice – 3 cups (Basmathi or Ponni)
  2. Roughly Chopped Tomatoes –  3 medium (It’s better to use Ripe Tomatoes)
  3. Finely Diced Onions – 1 medium
  4. Curry Leaves – A sprig
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  6. Cinnamon (Patta) – 1″ piece
  7. Cloves – 4
  8. Fennel Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  9. Minced  Ginger – 1 tbsp
  10. Minced Garlic – 1 tbsp
  11. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  12. Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp (Alter according to your Spice Tolerance)
  13. Curry Leaves – A sprig
  14. Oil – 2 tbsp
  15. Salt – to taste
  16. Cilantro (Malli Yella) – A few

Preparation Method

  1. Heat oil in a non stick pan or kadai and splutter mustard seeds.
  2. Add cinnamon, cloves and fennel seeds. Saute for around 2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add onions and continue sauteing until they become translucent.
  4. Thrown in the curry leaves, ginger and garlic and saute for 2 more minutes.
  5. Reduce heat and add turmeric powder and red chilly powder. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes in a blender along with 1/4 cup water to make a nice paste.
  7. Add the tomato paste to the pan along with salt to taste and allow it to cook for 7 -8 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
  8. Reduce heat and add the cooked rice to the pan. Mix thoroughly and remove from stove top.
  9. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
  10. Serve with Raitha, Pappad and pickle.


  • Do not use overcooked rice for this recipe or else it will become mushy after mixing.
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5 comments to Tomato Rice (Thakkali Choru/Sadham)

  • Preethi

    Hi, I don’t know your name, I find your recipes simple & good. Thanks for the site.

    Thanks for your appreciation.

  • vidya

    Hi Jisha!!

    I m a new entrant to the cooking world and always look out for easy, cool and tasty recipes everywhere. I accidentally came across ur site which i find to be absolutely useful and highly helpful. You r doing a very gud job. I just browsed thru ur recipes list and found that all of them were so simple yet so so appealing. Congratz to u. Keep up the good work!! Waiting for more interesting recipes from u!


  • Shalini Ullas

    Thanx, it turned out to be wonderful.

  • jany

    Hi jisha
    I made it with some modifications.It came out well.

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