curried tomato rice at brainsandbeans dot com

Easy South Indian Curried tomato rice: One-pot Indian meals or pressure cooker meals

Curried tomato rice is hot, spicy, sweet and aromatic meal.

Long post warning. You can’t blame me, I was on a flow!

No, I am not typing some song lyrics and it is definitely not about the female body. The sad state of movie songs these days!

People say there is no harm in praising or admiring beautiful things from far but this is mostly from a man’s mouth. Did they ever ask the permission of a woman for making such absurd statement?

Who gave them the authority to make such a huge claim on behalf of the whole female species?
If you look closely into all the modern claims or theories people have for the supposed benefit of women, they were actually made by men for their own benefits and not the other way around.

And, so is everything else. People lend their hand very generously when it comes to choosing what is right or wrong for another people. Unsolicited advice, I guess.

Some people ask me where is the wellness part of this website, referring to the tagline of the blog. I would like to say that this is also a part of it.
Yes, I wanted to make it a separate part. It still is, however I am going to rant here as much as I can  want because this is my space and I can do whatever I want. I know, as long as it is legal and moral it is good to go.

So, here I am typing on notepad because my WiFi has limited connection and I am in no mood to resolve the issue. I am going to type whatever comes to my mind!
Ageing of my laptop has become another concern on top of all the other problems that piled up on the corner of my mind.
I don’t seem to relax or think straight. Why does life give you two separate good options and ask you to choose either or?
Why can’t it be customised to our own needs and desires!
Why do we have to squelch, scrunch and scratch our heads!

If you, my one of the two good reasons, is reading this you know I chose you. Be happy.

About the recipe..

‘During my vigorous days in the kitchen,’ I would like to open like that but I cannot because I am no Gordon Ramsey nor do I want to. I want to be Rachel Khoo or Rachel Allen or best yet, Nigella Lawson except you know, the physical attributes. Not that I have anything against it. I don’t think my petite frame would go hand in hand with curves. Alas, let’s not dwell on that subject. Everything and anything tends to become offensive these days.

As an amateur Indian cook, I have cooked a lot with leftover rice. I also make regular rice fairly decently.
I ‘may’ have separately boiled rice once or twice my whole life.
I ‘may’ have attempted vegetable rice before and,
it ‘may’ have slightly burned on the bottom of the pressure cooker. Oopsey daisy!

The success story of curried tomato rice goes like this..

My mother was out of town and she asked me to make my signature sambar or kadhamba saadham(mixed vegetable sambar rice). She didn’t realise that’s loads of vegetable cutting!
Urgh! I cannot wait to get a food processor! Instead, I decided I’d do something simple which also requires less ingredient and chopping. I may not have succeeded on less ingredient part but I did on the later.

I typed tomato rice on google. Veg recipes of India’s sambar rice came up. I went thru and decided to go rogue. I wasn’t in the mood to exactly follow a recipe. It’s boring to do so in regional cooking.

Talk about measurements! Our mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great great-, Ok, I will stop. you get the idea. All of them never used China-made measuring cups. Although, they did use padi and azhakku(Tamil units of measurements).
I came across some pretty dope century-old measurements used before/during British era on vintage cookbooks. I never knew words like Tola existed up until now!
What I am trying to say is that when it comes to regional cooking, instincts work better than any measuring cups, jugs or spoons. Let your inner maternal instinct come out.

This is how I ended up with my version of tomato rice. I must say I nailed it on the first try!

The key to success of this recipe lies in the water quantity and soak time for rice. I was proud of myself when the rice didn’t burn.
If savouring the rice hot, accompany it with your choice of pachadi/raita/sweetened or flavoured yogurt and not with the ola pagada(I hope that’s what it is called) in the picture,. I swear it wasn’t my side dish. I may have eaten or two pieces but that’s it. I wanted to make french beans for sides but I ran out of time.

If you don’t have curd at home after making this, no worries. Curried tomato rice plays harmony with the taste buds after cooling down.
I was impressed by the aromatic cardamom in this recipe.

Now I want to make rice recipes that has raisins and cashews in it. Oh, yum. Bless me the same success for Basmati rice too. Basmati, I am coming for you. Be ready!
I wonder what made me write such a long post! All I know for now is that I need to come up with recipes for the two bundles of cilantro/ coriander leaves I bought on the commute. Pretty generous of myself hehe.

One of the rare reasons I like rain: Constant drizzling makes the greenery seem more green. I loved walking thru the vegetable market full of green vegetables and their vibrant colours today. It brings me joy and so does our school trees whom used to look magnificent on rainy days.

curried tomato rice plate at brainsandbeans dot com

Here’s the recipe for curried Tomato rice or as we call it, thakkali saadham.

Easy South Indian Curried tomato rice: One-pot Indian meals or pressure cooker meals

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people


1 cup Parboiled Rice soaked in enough water for 30 minutes, 1 cup = 240ml
2 1/4 cup water
Spices and oil (in the order of cooking)
2 tablespoon Sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 Green cardamom pod lightly pounded
1/4 teaspoon Fennel seeds or more
2 small Cloves
1 inch Indian Cinnamon bark
1 Dried bay leaf
3 large Red Tomatoes finely chopped
2 medium Red Onion finely chopped
1 medium sized Green chilli seeds removed and finely chopped
2 inch ginger
3 garlic pods medium sized
A sprig of curry leaves
A few stalks of coriander leaves
2 teaspoon Everyday madras curry powder
1 teaspoon regular curry powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder


  • Grind ginger, garlic and green chilli into a smooth paste with enough water and set aside for later use.
  • Heat 3-Litre pressure cooker over medium flame. Add oil and let it turn hot. Add mustard seeds, wait for it to splutter.
  • Add fennel seeds, cardamom, cloves, Indian cinnamon and dried bay leaf. Fry for a minute, take care not to burn them.
  • Add onion and fry till they appear soft and translucent. Add curry- and coriander leaves. Let them turn slightly in colour.
  • Combine tomato with it and stir. Let it cook till the raw smell goes away. Add everyday madras curry powder, regular curry powder, turmeric powder, the ground ginger-garlic-green chilli, and sea salt. Mix
    well without lumps.
  • Let the gravy cook until oil leaves the sides of pressure cooker. Add soaked rice and saute for three minutes.
  • Pour water, stir, taste and add more salt if needed. Let the liquid come to a boil and then close with pressure cooker lid. Wait for the steam to escape on top and then insert whistle.
  • Wait for three whistles on medium flame. Induce fourth whistle and immediately turn off the stove.
  • How to induce fourth whistle: Turn the flame to high and listen(from far) for the pressure build up inside the cooker and when the whistle seems to blow. Turn the stove off. This step mimics the dum-method.
    Open the cooker after 15 minutes of resting. Viola! That’s curried tomato rice for you!


  • Ginger, garlic and green chilli can also be pounded and used.
  • Use the traditional, pressure cooker-on-top of a hot pan method, if you find the rice to be still moist after 15 minutes of resting.

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