Thakkali Sadam is a traditional Tamil Nadu rice dish. It's a mildly spicy rice meal with tomato, spices, and rice. 'Thakkali' means Tomato in Tamil, while 'Sadam' signifies Rice.
A piece of advice; Make a big quantity of this tomato rice and have it for lunch all week because it's a great dish to carry in a tiffin.
If you're searching for a quick and easy dish for a great and nutritious lunch, go no further than this simple tomato rice! It only requires one pot, so there is very little cleanup.
This dish is cooked in a pressure cooker on the stovetop. It can also be made in the Instant Pot or in a pan on the stovetop, like with other rice recipes. In the recipe card below all the instructions are included.
Soaking the Non sticky basmati rice:
This is a simple and quick dish. To begin, rinse your Non sticky basmati rice under water until the water is clear. Soak the rice in fresh water for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.
TAKE NOTE: Do not skip this step! Rinsing the rice eliminates surface starches that cause the rice to get sticky while cooking. Soaking allows the rice to cook more uniformly and prevents the rice from becoming al dente.
Sauté all the onions, spices, and tomatoes.
Next, use your beloved 3 litre pressure cooker to heat the oil over a low temperature until it is barely shimmering. You might use any oil that has a neutral flavour. Sunflower oil was used.
TIP: Do you have an Instant Pot? For the next few steps, use the sauté option.
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Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds to the hot oil and fry until they crackle. Next, add 4 to 5 fenugreek seeds (methi) and cook for a few seconds, being careful not to burn them.
Add ⅓ cup chopped onions, a ½ inch cinnamon stick, 2 green cardamom pods, and 2 to 3 whole cloves next.
Keep stirring, until the onions are transparent.
Add 1 ½ tsp of ginger-garlic paste along with 6 to 7 curry leaves, and also 1 finely chopped green chilli
Continue to sauté until the raw ginger-garlic fragrance fades, approximately a few seconds.
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½ tablespoon minced mint leaves and ¼ cup minced fresh coriander leaves (also known as cilantro).
Stir for a minute and continue to sauté.
Add 1 cup of finely diced tomatoes now. For me, 3 medium tomatoes were needed.
¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, ½ tsp black pepper powder or crushed black pepper*, ½ tsp coriander powder, and 1 tsp cumin powder
TIP: If you are sensitive to spicy dishes, reduce the ginger-garlic paste to 1 teaspoon and use only ¼ teaspoon each of chilli powder and black pepper.
Sauté the tomatoes after thoroughly coating them in the seasonings.
Cook until the tomatoes are mushy and pulpy and the oil starts to come out of the sides.
Stir in the soaking rice to mix.
Pressure cooking the tomato rice
Allow the rice to absorb some of the toasted spice flavours by sautéing it briefly.
Then, add 1¾ cup water. For softer rice, add 2 cups water. 1½ cup water is needed to separate the grains.
Season with salt to taste, then cover with a lid.
TIP: If using an Instant Pot, close the cover and set the function to pressure cook on high for 6 to 8 minutes, then allow a 10-minute natural release.
Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork after the pressure has been released.
Serve with crunchy papads (also known as papadums or appalams), plain curd or flavoured raita, and a garnish of fresh coriander leaves for crunch. Enjoy!