Tomato Rasam

Rasam is a typical south-indian recipe – comforting home-made food. It is a light, soupy gravy. You can have it with rice or just drink it like a soup. Especially with a cold or fever, I find rasam is the most comforting food. It is similar to a sambar (tamarind base) but much thinner in consistency.

There are numerous methods to prepare rasam and varieties of rasam too – such as tomato, pepper, jeera, lemon, garlic etc. Here’s my version of the tomato rasam.




Tomatoes: 3 medium

Tuvar dal (Yellow pigeon peas split): ¼ cup

Tamarind: about 1 small lemon (or about equivalent tamarind paste)

Sambar/Rasam powder (I use Ambika sambar powder): 1 teaspoon

Black pepper powder: ¼ teaspoon

Cumin powder: ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder: ¼ teaspoon

Asafoetida: a pinch

Curry leaves: 3-4 chopped

Coriander (cilantro) leaves: a handful chopped fine

Mustard seeds: ½ teaspoon

Dry red chilly: 1 split into half

Oil: ½ teaspoon

Salt to taste



  1. Cook the tuvar dal with about 3 cups of water for about 4-5 whistles (or till well-cooked) in a pressure cooker.
  2. Wait for the steam to be released from the cooker. Once the steam is released from the cooker, mash the dal slightly with the back of a ladle.
  3. In the meanwhile, soak the tamarind in water and heat in a microwave for about a minute. When cooled, extract all the pulp and discard the skins. You may use additional water to extract the pulp – a total of about 3 cups.
  4. Chop the tomatoes into 1-inch chunks.
  5. In a vessel/pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds.
  6. When they pop, add the asafoetida powder, dry red chilly, and curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds.
  7. Add the tamarind pulp to the tempering and bring to a boil.
  8. Then, reduce the heat to medium and add the tomatoes and the dry spice powders. Mix well
  9. Cook the tamarind pulp and tomatoes till the tomatoes are cooked and mushy – for about 15-20 minutes.
  10. Then, add the mashed tuvar dal and mix well. Add salt as well.
  11. Add water to the rasam (may be around a cup or so) to adjust it to a thin soupy consistency.
  12. Cook for a couple of minutes so that the flavors blend well.
  13. Add the coriander (cilantro) leaves and mix.
  14. Turn off the heat and serve hot.

Tip: If you want to make it faster, a quicker variation would be to use only about 2 teaspoons of tuvar dal and microwave it in sufficient water for about 5 minutes and add it to the rasam.


3 Responses to “Tomato Rasam”

  1. mam pls send a receipe daily like how to prepare sambar other lunch items pls

    From skribles: Thanks Hema that you like my blog … I have uploaded quite a few lunch items of the sambar varieties, rice varieties, etc … However, am not able to post a recipe on a daily basis

  2. This is the rasam I was looking for. Thanks.

    From skribles: Thanks Akansha 🙂

  3. Cool recipes from all over the world. Create meals that will wow your friends and family over? Don’t reinvent the wheel, make proper use of it!

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