Tomato Saar (Tomato saru)

Most of the Konkani dishes contain coconut as the main ingredient. But a very few dishes like ‘Tomato saru’,which does not contain coconut, are very famous. I guess these were prepared when the ladies were bored of cooking and still wanted to prepare something delicious. My aayi usually prepared this for dinner.

In North Kanara, people usually cook(except rice, which is prepared fresh for lunch/dinner) in the morning for both lunch & dinner. Sometimes when the main dishes get over in the lunch, simple items like this is prepared for dinner. (Mainly because, people did not have electric mixer or grinders at home. Grinding was done using the hand grinders. So all the cooking was done once in a day. A lot has changed in recent years. All the people have these electric appliances, but since most of the places i am refering to are villages and there is power cut 10 hrs a day, and sometimes more than that, people still follow the old tradition of cooking once in a day).

Tomatos(ripe) 2
Green chillies 2
Sambar powder 1 tea spn
Sugar 1/2 tea spn
Mustard 1/2 tea spn
Cumin seeds(Jeera) 1/2 tea spn
Asafoetida(hingu) a pinch
Coriander leaves 3-4 strands
Oil/ghee 1/2 tea spn
Curry leaves 1

Heat oil and add mustard and jeera. When they start spluttering, add curry leaves, slitted green chillies and asafoetida. Fry for sometime. Add 3 cups of water and tomatoes cut into big cubes. Cover and cook till tomatoes become soft. Add salt, sugar and sambar powder. Cook for 1min. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 10min

30 thoughts on “Tomato Saar (Tomato saru)”

  1. i think the whole secret of this dish is how well the sambar powder is prepared .
    if u have that perfectly done then u can make a lot of dishes like this including akki rotti

  2. Thanks Vineela.
    Vinyas, you are right. The sambar powder makes a lot of difference. If we use the sambar powder that we get in shops, the taste will differ a lot. BTW… I am surprised to see a comment from you about the praparation of sambar powder ;). hope to get some recipes from you (I mean your mom) which I can post here :).

  3. hey shilpa u’ve mentioned this recipe without using coconut but my mom usually prepares it with coconut.either ways[with or without coconut] it tastes great,but one can always give a try preparing it with’s d recipe[after much coaxing i got this recipe from mom as she was busy preparing food]:Cook 4-5 tomatoes till soft.let it cool.Grind 1/4th of grated coconut,3 green chillies[add some water].then again seperately grind d tomatoes. In a vessel add both d grinded tomatoes as well as coconut and green chilly mixture.Now add 1tsp. sugar & salt as per taste.Heat 1tsp. coconut oil add mustard,asafoetida,curry leaves.when they start spluttering add this tadka to d tomato saar.garnish with chopped coriander leaves.serve with hot rice.

  4. Mmmm.My mum made it as a fun meal.We loved its non fussy look and the taste.Slurped with a curd rice , its a fantasticmeal.
    Great job Shipa, I’ve been cajoling my mum to start writing down her recipes.

  5. Pingback: Pide with a savoury filling of tomatoes, brinjals, and capsicums « Elaichi et Cetera…

  6. Hi my name is Jyothi
    This is my own little variation in tomato saru recipe.
    Try this
    . cook little (one handful)of dal in a cooker.
    . In a pan add salt,jaggery,tarmarind water,green chilli and 2 cut tomatoes boil until tomatos are done.
    . Now add dal, 1 tbs of sambar powder and 1 tbs of rasam powder.
    .finally add corriander leaves.

  7. Shilpa,
    I wanted tomato saaru without daal & tried this one as I wanted something different from my version of tomato saaru without daal.We liked it very much.I will be cooking this often now.Thanks for the recipe.

    Shilpa: Yay….I am happy to see you back :). Thanks for feedback.

  8. Hi Shilpa,
    U can retain the water remained after cooking Moong for “Moonga gathi” and use it in this recipe or add a little bit of besan to thicken the gravy.

  9. Hi Shilpa,

    This dish is absoulety lovely, I tried it last night and it was awesome, and when accompied with rice, pappad and pickle it is hevenly. This is the first time I served my hubby something like this. He loved it.

    Many thanks.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kind regards,


  10. Your website is nice and unique.. many categories and well tabulated. Keep up the good work.. i also like the little abstract before every recipe!

  11. Mai,

    This site is amazing 🙂 I stay all alone in blore cos of my job.. was eating outside at fastfoods all the time 🙂 Now i reasiled cooking is so damn easy 🙂 Thanks so much 🙂

    Ajay Prabhu

  12. I have made this recipe and disappointed. It takes to much time to boil tomato. Instead of this, easy thing, which my mother do, boil tomato separately in cooker order microwave, smash it and put some water in it and than do all other things i.e. tadka and sambar masala as it is.

  13. Hi Shilpa, I tried this one as I wanted something different from my version of tomato saaru.
    Its easy to cook and tasty. We liked it very much.I will be cooking this often now..Thanks.
    I follow yet another recipe of tomato saaru. Its the same way as this one- But I do not add sambhar powder and I replace asafoetida with crushed garlic.

  14. This is a real awesome site…. Congrats on the wonderful setup.
    Tomato saar is one of my favourite dishes… Rice, tomato saar & beans upkaari… YUM!

  15. Although I had browsed this site several times before,this is the first time I am going to leave my comment.
    AayisRecipes “Rocks”
    I love aayi even though I think I will never meet her.
    Going through all the recipes posted on this site makes me think of my own aayi (mummy)
    God Bless You all abundantly for all the love put into this beautiful site and keep up the good work.

  16. Hye this is an awesome recipe!!. i loved it. I am expecting and was craving to make a simple recipe with lots of flavors and this recipe was really good.
    Thanks for posting it

  17. hey shilpa – u kno i visited this site after a vvvv long time – simply cause i wanted one simple recipe for yday (grahana) since we had a v v late lunch post grahana . i was so thankful to u for this v simple but v tasty recipe ! thank you 🙂

  18. Hi shilpa, i am a regular browser for your site , also i receive the new post by email to my yahoo id. had seen one receipe and also had tried once some time ago , but this weekend was serachg for it in your site but couldnt find. Can you please help me. i vaguely remember the receipe, i am not sure if it is complete. it was a tomato saar, but had jeera, coconut n green chilli ground to paste n then added to the bolied tomato, had to add lemon juice later. it was very light on stomach. i also rem reading that it was ur hubby’s fav saar. if you can give it for me. thanks , Minutha

    Shilpa: This one? or this one?. I don’t remember anyone having tomato puree + coconut and lemon juice.

  19. Thanks for this recipe. It turned out to be gr8 prep.
    This going to be one life line till my wifo is back. 🙂

  20. Hi i tried your recipe today and it turned out absolutely amazing…The tangy spicy taste makes me wanna go to India…I added some tamarind water to make it more tangy..

    Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  21. I am a regular visitor to your site and I must say you have made us Konkani ppl proud with your work. Your site makes me feel nostalgic and makes me feel home. I am living in Bangalore but my home town is Honnavar and my dad is from a tiny village Sulgod in N. Canara. Please keep up the good work.

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