Thakkali sadam | Tamilnadu style thakkali sadam

By Swasthi on August 6, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Thakkali sadam – Tamilnadu style simple tomato rice under 20 mins. This mildly spicy thakkali sadam tastes very delicious and is quick to make if you have the cooked rice ready. It can be made very easily for the lunch box even in the busy mornings. Thakkali sadam can be served with pappad, curd or raita.

thakkali sadam

To make this dish, I have used precooked rice that has been cooled. I have used garam masala and chili powder for the spice and flavor. However you can also use pav bhaji masala, bisi bele bath powder or vangi bath powder. Each of these will give a different flavor to the rice.

I also make this one pot Tomato rice & this Tomato bath most often for a quick meal. The taste and flavor of this thakkali sadam is entirely different from the tomato rice I have shared before. So thought of sharing this one too.

How to make Thakkali sadam

1. Wash rice in lot of water and cook the rice. I soaked basmati rice for 30 mins. Then cooked in a pressure cooker with 2.5 cups water for 1 whistle on a medium heat. While the rice was cooling I went ahead making the tomato mixture.

2. Heat a pan with ghee or oil. Add mustard and cumin. They will begin to pop soon.

3. Then add in chana dal, urad dal and cashews.

4. Fry until the dals turn golden. Add in hing, green chili and curry leaves. Skip green chili if you have young kids at home. Fry until the curry leaves turn aromatic.

5. Add onions.

6. Fry until they turn slightly golden or pink.

7. Add chopped garlic or ginger garlic paste. Fry until the garlic losses the raw smell.

8. Put in the chopped tomatoes and sprinkle salt.

9. Fry for 3 to 4 mins.

10. Cover and cook until the tomatoes turn completely mushy and soft.

11. Then add in red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder and saunf powder (optional).

12. Fry this mixture until it turns slightly dry and begins to leave the pan. There should be no raw smell of the tomatoes and the masala. Check the salt and spice. If needed add more salt. Set aside 2 to 3 tbsp of the mixture aside.

13. Transfer the cooled rice and mix gently until the rice coats the spice mixture. If needed use up the mixture that was set aside.

14. Add some chopped coriander leaves.

Serve thakkali sadam with thayir pachadi or papad or plain curd.

thakkali sadam recipe

More Rice recipes
Ghee rice
Palak rice
Vangi bath

Thakkali sadam

thakkali sadam recipe

Thakkali sadam

Tamil style thakkali sadam is a simple rice dish that is made by tempering the precooked rice in slightly spicy onion tomato masala. It can be served with plain curd, papads or raita.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time7 minutes
Cook Time13 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings3 people

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • cups rice uncooked rice
  • 3 large tomatoes deseeded & chopped or pureed
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 green chili slit or as needed

Tempering ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves or karuvepillai
  • ¾ tsp cumin or jeera
  • ¾ tsp mustard or rai
  • 1 tbsp chana dal or bengal gram
  • ¾ tbsp urad dal or skinned black gram
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped or 3/4 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 10 cashewnuts (optional)
  • pinch asafoetida or hing

Spice powders

  • ¾ to 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric or haldi
  • 1 tsp garam masala (refer notes)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder (refer notes)
  • ½ tsp saunf powder or fennel seeds powder (optional)
  • 4 tbsp coriander leaves chopped



  • Wash rice and cook until done. Rice has to be grainy but completely cooked. I cooked basmati rice in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle on a medium heat.
  • Cool the rice completely.
  • Chop garlic, onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves. Slit the green chilies.

Making thakkali sadam

  • Heat oil or ghee in a pan.
  • Add mustard and cumin. When they begin to splutter add chana dal, urad dal and cashews.
  • Fry until the dals turn golden.
  • Add hing, green chilies and curry leaves.
  • Saute until the leaves begin to smell good.
  • Then add onions and fry them until slightly golden or transparent.
  • Add garlic and fry until aromatic.
  • Transfer the tomatoes and sprinkle salt.
  • Fry until the tomatoes for 3 to 4 mins. Then cover and cook until soft.
  • Next put in turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and saunf powder. 
  • Saute until the mixture losses all the moisture and begins to leave the pan. Check the salt and spice.  If needed add more.
  • Set aside 2 to 3 tbsps of this mixture. Use only later if needed.
  • Transfer the cooled rice and begin to gently mix until the rice is coated well with the tomato mixture. If needed use up the thakkali mixture we set aside.
  • Sprinkle coriander leaves and gently mix.
  • Serve thakkali sadam with curd, papad or thayir pachadi (raita).


Garam masala and coriander powder can be replaced with bisi bele bath powder, vangi bath powder or pav bhaji masala.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Thakkali sadam
Amount Per Serving
Calories 511 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 94mg4%
Potassium 355mg10%
Carbohydrates 87g29%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 460IU9%
Vitamin C 46.5mg56%
Calcium 78mg8%
Iron 3.4mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Super yummy and a quick recipe

I have made your tomato rice so very good I have only recently found your blog. I look forward to trying more recipes Thankyou.

Is there an alternative to the pressure cooker? I’d like to make this but I have no pressure cooker.

5 stars
Very Helpful.
Very Tasty.
Thanks a lot.

5 stars
My tomato rice turned very tasty, thanks for the recipe. Can you describe the taste of tomato thokku before adding to rice. I am slightly confused about amount of salt to be added.

4 stars
Dear swasthi,
Your recipes are always amazing!!. One more added to the frequent menu. Love this..

5 stars
Hi swathi
I tried this rice. Came out very good. my hubby and kids loved it. Thank you