Tomato Rasam

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Tomato Rasam
Tomato Rasam

Rasam is a kind of drink, served warm, from southern states of India. It is spicy. It is zingy. It is hot. It is a good digetsive. And I love it!

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If I say that I grew up drinking this, then I would be lying. The most optimized knowledge of southern Indian food in northern states of India, while growing up, was limited to Idli, Dosa, Wada, Sambhar and Nariyal (coconut) chutney. With the due course of time, the knowledge and the culinary experiences expanded with travel, media, restaurants and inter-mixing of the communities and my palate stretched from known to unknown kinds of thorans, aviyals, rasams and the varieties of the known ones as well.

Tomato Rasam
Tomato Rasam

While the restaurants serve Rasam as a course with appetizers, my southern Indian friends always served this towards the end. I was so confused and asked one of my friend, why towards the end and she explained that it is a digestive so it needs to be consumed after the meal. I still have to figure out what to be followed.

The bottom line is – I love it and can drink bowls and cups full of doesn’t matter to me, if somebody brings it out before or after the meal. 😊

Such a simple drink, flavored with tart tomatoes and super tart tamarind, thickened with toor dal (dry pigeon peas) and spiked with 3 spices only.

I have to mention a special thanks to CHITRA BALACHANDAR, who was very kind to share her recipe with me and guided me at every step. I met her at one of the food groups on Facebook. She is super talented with her knowledge of food and recipes. It’s my great pleasure to share one of her recipes on my blog, with her permission!

Tomato Rasam
Tomato Rasam

Let’s get this Rasam boiling and then pour in our cups!

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Tomato Rasam

The best recipe for Tomato Rasam. Even a rookie can make it with few ingredients and no effort.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author simplyvegetarian777


Rasam Ingredients

  • Tomatoes - 3 small
  • Tamarind Pulp - 2 tbsp concentrated. You may use the pulp of a large lemon size tamarind ball
  • Jaggery - 1&1/2 tbsp
  • Toor Dal Dry pigeon Peas - 2 tbsp, cooked, mashed and thick
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Haldi/Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste

Spices for Rasam

  • Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
  • Red chillies dry - 2 to 3
  • Black Pepper corns - 8 to 10

Tadka for Rasam

  • Oil - 1&1/2 tsp
  • Hing/Asafetida - a pinch
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves - 5 to 6


Making Rasam Spice Mix

  • Dry roast the coriander seeds, dry red chillies and black pepper corns in a heavy bottom skilled till lightly toasted. Cool the spices down and grind a fine powder.

Making Tomato Rasam

  • Puree the tomatoes and set them aside. You may also chop them fine. I pureed the tomatoes for a finer texture.
  • Take a sauce pan. Add pureed tomatoes, tamarind pulp, water, salt and turmeric to the pan. Bring it to a rolling boil.
  • Once it comes to a boil, add toor dal, spice mix and jaggery. Stir with a spoon and switch off the gas. Please do not boil further once the dal is added. This is very important to remember.

Making Tadka for Rasam

  • Take a tadka pan (small frying pan). Heat oil in it and add hing and mustard seeds to it. Once the mustard seeds start crackling, switch off the gas and add curry leaves to it. Tadka is ready.

Serving the Rasam

  • Add the tadka to the piping hot Rasam and serve it in 4 cuos equally. Serve some rice papad/papdoms along the side and sip on the hot and fiery Rasam.


If you do not have the cooked toor dal, then you may add 1 tbsp of dry toor dal while roastig the spices and roast and grind it along.

I had a great time creating this recipe under Chitra Akka’s guidance, in my Indian American Kitchen. I am sure you will have a great time cooking it in your kitchen as well.


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  1. Sonal, I can smell the tasty rasam right from my comp screen. Not kidding! Looks so appetising ! It is a throat soother and perfect for any weather. One of the’gems’ in South Indian Cuisine. A comfort food for me.

  2. Thanks for the “new to me” recipe, Sonal. This rasam sounds delicious, yet still has great nutritional benefits. By the way, great photos! I find beverages tricky to photograph…yours are fabulous!

    1. Nancy thank you so much!!
      I used to find beverages hard to click too but then after observing so many stylists, I realized that drinks need a contrasting or dark background or back drop to show the depth and height of the subject. Otherwise it gets lost.
      Let me know if that trick helps you :).

  3. Sonal, I love Rasam and have pinned this recipe to make soon. I agree with you about the super talented and sweet Chitra Balachander. I am so happy to have met friends like her (and you) through FB and blogging.
    This cold weather is calling me to make this rasam soon!

  4. I can have this Rasam any time …In this super chill weather what can be more soothing than a hot bowl of this steaming Rasam…Going to make very soon!
    Great clicks!!

  5. I am absolutely intrigued! This looks so simple and yet has ingredients I have never used such as hing and jaggery! It sounds like a very interesting and flavourful drink! 🙂

  6. I heard the term Rasam before but never really knew what it was, it sounds absolutely delicious Sonal, spicy and tangy and delicious. The technique is so interesting. Your photo’s are just gorgeous.

  7. This sounds delicious Sonal. I can imagine it has a bit of heat but with all of the spices I’m sure it’s very flavorful! Chitra is very talented and a supportive blogger too. She sure knows the health aspects of food.