Tomato rice recipe is another must on Mondays like wearing a formal dress, waking up with the sound of the alarm. The Spicy Indian rice is almost like breaking the weekend mood and getting back to the routine work.
This Indian tomato rice can be prepared in many variations, but this one is an easy and quick one that you will like for sure.
I got this recipe from my mother in law, and my son likes it a lot. He can have tomato rice in his lunch box for all the weekdays, but with little variations.
I have prepared this countless times where now I can make this by closing the eyes and with left-hand too. Haha. Telling you this just to make you understand how easy this is among other Indian rice recipes.
This tomato rice recipe is a spicy version of rice with tomatoes, with a strong flavor. But the ingredients can be adjusted as per your taste beautifully.
Have you checked another interesting Mixed rice variety, Capsicum Rice?
How does this Tomato rice recipe taste like?
This is an authentic South Indian style tomato rice recipe, which is flavorful and tastes delicious. This rice is spicy with a bit of tang, with the aroma of cinnamon and cloves.
This rice is light and will not leave you heavy after eating it. So, it is the best food for the traveling and nondrowsy lunch box menu.
This spicy Indian rice is also called as 'Thakkali sadam' in Tamil. Where 'thakkali' means tomato and 'sadam' means cooked rice.
What to pair with this Indian spicy rice?
Since this tomato rice recipe is hot and spicy. Do not overthink on this, just simply is more in here. It would be great to serve with mild side dishes.
Hard-boiled Egg: A perfect combination I would ever think of while writing this recipe. The eggs can be just boiled without any masala is perfect. Moreover, serving with egg is a way to add lean protein and is practically easy to handle. Check this Egg thokku(South Indian style spicy egg gravy).
Yogurt: Or just serve with simple plain yogurt or curd.
Other rice recipes you may like,
- Indian coconut rice
- Egg fried rice-Indian style quick meal
- Coriander rice
- Mint pulao
- Bagara rice
- Green pepper rice
How to store and reheat tomato rice
If you are thinking of make ahead of this tomato rice recipe, make the tomato base prior to the day of cooking. You can store this tomato base for upto a week in the refrigerator and for months in the freezer.
You need to thaw the frozen tomato base before reheating. You may thaw by transferring it to the refrigerator a day prior to cooking. Or microwave it for 2 or 3 minutes, depending on the quantity.
You can reheat the refrigerated tomato base on the stovetop. for this, add the base and half the quantity of water. Bring it to boil and simmer the flame. Then mix with plain rice.
The tomato rice can be refrigerated, you can reheat by microwaving. Or on the stovetop by stirring. But, on my experience microwaving retains the taste and the flavor. The stovetop method is not upto my expectations.
Variations for Tomato rice recipe
- Instead of fresh ginger and garlic, you may use readymade ginger garlic paste.
- You may use garam masala powder also. This is would an aromatic variation, and also enhance the taste of tomato rice.
- You can cook the rice in your regular method. You can use Instant Pot, a pressure cooker or rice cooker, whichever you are comfortable with.
- you can also make it with basmati rice or your regular long-grain rice.
How to make Indian Tomato Rice:
Make the tomato base: In a mixer grinder jar, add roughly chopped onion, tomato, ginger, garlic. And grind it to a smooth silky consistency. Do not need to add water, the water content of the tomato is enough for this.
A pro tip: To get the perfect combo of onion with tomato, Check the quantity of tomato should be little more than the quantity of an onion, to get perfect taste and texture of this rice.
Seasoning: In the pan add 3 tablespoons of cooking oil, cinnamon, cloves, and fry till it becomes golden brown and starts leaving out the beautiful aroma.
You might be wondering why do we need this much of oil? Tomato rice tastes great with more oil. The cooking oil keeps the rice grain separate and tasty.
The spices: Add the ground paste, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground turmeric, and salt start cooking in the medium flame.
If it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, lower the flame further and add 1 teaspoon of oil further to this mixer.
In the medium heat, cook this tomato gravy in the oil till oil separates and reaches a thick consistency. Now the base should be golden red in color.
Remove from the fire before it reaches a darker color.
Mix: Let the tomato base and rice to cool down to room temperature. Spread the cooked rice over a plate and allow it to cool down.
Then mix gently and carefully together, as the rice tends to become mushy when it is handled roughly.
Garnish with coriander leaves/cilantro.
Other recipes you may like,
Printable recipe card
Tomato Rice Recipe(Thakali Sadam)
- 1 yellow onion medium size
- 2 Roma tomato medium size/ diced tomato 14 oz
- 1 inch ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
For the seasoning
For the cooking
- 2 cups cooked rice /long grain or basmati rice
- 2 tbsp cilantro for garnishing
- To a blender jar add onion, tomato, ginger, and garlic.
- Grind it to a fine mixture.
- Over medium heat, in the pan add vegetable oil, cinnamon, and cloves.
- Fry till it becomes golden brown and fragrant.
- Then add the ground mixture, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt.
For the cooking
- Stir occasionally. If the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, turn to low heat and add a teaspoon of vegetable oil. And cook further
- Cook till the mixture thickens and turns rich golden red in color.
- Switch off the heat and allow it cool down to the room temperature.
- The sprinkle cooked rice over the tomato spice mixture.
- Gently mix so that the rice coats well with the spicy tomato base.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with raita.
- If it starts to stick to the bottom of the vessel, slower the flame further and adds 1 tsp of oil further to this mixer.
- Make sure the paste should not go darker in color or burnt in the bottom, this will bring the bitter taste to the rice. This can be overcome by stirring it occasionally and maintaining the flame and by adding little oil.
- To get the perfect combo of onion with tomato, Check the quantity of tomato should be little more than the quantity of an onion, to get perfect taste and texture of tomato rice.
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