Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TOMATO RICE தக்காளி சாதம்


TOMATO RICE தக்காளி சாதம்

Tomato Rice which is called Thakkali Sadham in Tamil is essentially a Dravid adoption of a red fruit from America which came to India in late 15th and early 16th century along with Potato and Chilli peppers.
Indian food till then was less colorful and bland except for usage of Black pepper which is native to India.

Tomato was immediately adopted into Indian cuisine and soon hundreds of dishes were created which used Tomato.
If you want to see different colors to Rice dish, no place on earth can beat South India.Tomato rice or Thakkali Sadham is a wonderful example. I myself came across this rice dish after moving over to Madras in early 60s.

Every state, every town and every household prepares this dish as per their imagination.I have eaten this rice all throughout south India with a different taste and ingredients. I love the following recipe created by me but has 90 percent of Southern touch.


Tomato rice

Rice 1 cup
Tomatoes 300 gms.
Onions 3 nos.
Ginger 1.5"Piece
Garlic 8 to 10 cloves
Shelled Peas 1/4 cup
Carrots 1 no.
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Green chillies sliced 4 to 5 nos.
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Cloves 6 to 8 nos.
Cinnamon stick !" 4 pieces
Chilli powder 1 spoons
Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
Black Pepper powder 1/8 spoon
Garam Masala Powder 1/2 spoon
Oil 3 ladles
Salt to taste


Cook rice in a manner where all the grains are separate .Take care to add a spoon of salt when you are cooking rice. Set aside the cooked rice. Dice Tomatoes in small 1/4 " pieces , shred Ginger ,cut Garlic in very small pieces ,shell the peas and dice the Carrots in small pieces. Also cut Onions in small pieces.
Now take half the quantity of oil in a pan and set it on medium heat, add Mustard and Cumin seeds and when the Mustard starts to crackle, add Tomatoes and fry on medium heat till the Tomatoes start leaving oil. Now add Diced Onions and fry till Onions become Translucent and soft. Add cut Garlic and Shredded Ginger and fry in the Gravy for three to four minutes. Finally add 1/2 spoon of Garam Masala to Tomato mix and set it aside after frying the Garam Masala for fifteen to twenty seconds. Some people prefer to fry Garlic first and later add Tomatoes and Onion, but I am not of that view.
Steam cook Carrots and Peas after adding a bit of salt and sugar to retain the natural colours
At this stage, add salt, Chilli powder, Turmeric powder, Black pepper powder, Green Chillies and curry leaves. Heat the mixture for about two minutes. The consistency of Tomato Gravy should be thick like Puliohara Gojju.
Now when the Tomato mix is medium cold, take one ladle of oil in a Tempering ladle and add cinnamon and Cloves and heat. When the cloves start puffing, pour the tempering in tomato gravy.Mix it well and finally start mixing Vegetables and Tomato Gravy and Rice layer by layer. Finally mix the whole thing thoroughly and reheat in a large mouthed Vessel or heat in Micro for 2 to 3 minutes. Your Tomato Rice is ready.!!! Serve piping hot.

And feed back as usual would be just great.


  1. This is very tasty. I love it with coconut chutney, what accompaniment do you like? Papads are nice too.

    We also have that same plate! Must be very common design- and as they advertise- they last forever!

    It's also amazing to think Tomatoes aren't native to India- and also things like tamarind (south) and amla (north) were most likely used to give that acidic taste of tomatoes. I learned about this earlier this year! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  2. Jennifer,

    Yes, coconut chutney is a very good accompanyment but if you prepare this rice as per my recipe, you would love to eat it without anything to accompany.

    Yes, Poppadams are great and so is buttermilk.

    Hemant Trivedi