Tomato Rasam

Hope you all had a great vacation. I could not post anything here for last few months, but hopefully I can post something once in a while.

Rasam is very common in South Indian meals. Usually it is very watery and does not have any vegetables like sambar which is thick and has vegetables. Rasams can be made with tomatoes, lemons, peppercorns etc.

The powder can be made in advance and saved or made at the time of preparing rasam. Usually for this rasam, only the water used for cooking toor dal is used (dal can be used for some other dish). Since we like to eat it with rice and I add very little toor dal to it. I make it little spicy. It is very suitable for a cold weather and also when you are suffering with a sore throat or runny nose.

Rasam Powder:
1/2 cup (30gms approx) coriander seeds
1/8 cup (30gms approx) chana dal
3 tbl spn (30gms approx) red chilli powder
1 tbl spn (10gms approx) pepper (for better result, use white pepper)

Dry roast coriander seeds, chana dal, pepper till a nice aroma comes out. Switch off the heat and add chilli powder. Keep mixing taking care not to burn anything. Cool to room temperature and grind to a smooth powder. Store in an air tight container.

2 tbl spn toor dal(optional)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 cups(approx) water
1 and 1/2 tea spn rasam powder
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
A pinch asafoetida
1/2 tea spn tamarind extract
4-5 strands coriander leaves finely chopped

Pressure cook toor dal in water and mash it very well, add water (or just use 3 cups of water that is used to cook dal and leave out dal).
Add tomatoes to the dal water and bring it to boil. Add tamarind, salt. Cook till tomatoes are cooked. Add rasam powder. (If required, add extra chilli powder, as we already have chilli powder in rasam powder, I don’t add it again). Add coriander leaves, take off the heat.
Heat a little oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves, asafortida. Pour this seasoning over rasam.
Serve hot.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

26 thoughts on “Tomato Rasam”

  1. I live in Mexico away from large cities and it is difficult to find many of the ingredients shown. In particular curry leaves probably don’t exist in all of Mexico. Is their a substitute in recipes for curry leaves? Powder perhaps?


  2. Jessica Marshall


    its an interesting thing to make and eat and i wish that it will not be much spicy plus delicious to be served with some fruit salad.

    I learned some of the recipes from the afooddirectory. Looking forward for more recipes.


  3. Wish you a happy new year Varada aunty, Dont you add jeera for rasam powder?. Rasam with riceis always a satisfying meal.

  4. Hi Shilpa,

    Thats a nice recipe that u have posted. However I would like to point out that rasam most often is prepared with toor dal…. even normal rasam we do grind toor dal, pepper and jeera and add it…..there’s a lot more to rasam that just a watery treat.

  5. Hi Shilpa,
    Your recipes and the overall blog is so wonderful. I always refer to this site when I m out of options for cooking and I always find something interesting.

    I was wondering if yu can post the recipes for making all the different south indian powder spices – like sambar powder, rasam powder, powders for different rice items like bisibele, puliyogre etc….

    Anyways its a wonderful site and your commentary for all the recipes is a so much fun to read… Thank u so much …

  6. Hi…
    1 st off all wish a very happy makar sankranti /pongal/lehari…………
    I am in gulf….just surfing net to get new recipes for dinner party………..and found Aayi’s site….which resembles with AAI(mother)…..from Maharashtra…..
    good to have nice recipe………I will include in 2 day’ menu…
    Be happy….
    keep smiling………..
    have a nice day………..

  7. For Ted Byers
    Latin name for kadipatta is Murraya koenigii and it grows as happily in Mexico as in India, but it is not used in the cuisine.

    Go here http:// (take the space out) and show this picture around and I think you’ll find some quite locally.

    It doesn’t care for temperatures below 55 F, prefers moist but well drained acidic soil etc but there are several sites that tell you how to grow them; apparently they accept abuse well as long as they have that semitropical sun. They do well from seed, too. Currychef, in NY, is quite the Don of the deal.


  8. I have never made rasam earlier, but after reading your post I am inspired to make it…Thanks for sharing…will try it soon and will let u know:)

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