Tomato Rasam

  • Author: Kavitha
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Spicy, tangy and flavorful south Indian soup that doubles up as a side. It can be eaten mixed with rice or as is like a soup. Get recipe for Tomato Rasam here



  • 1/4 cup thick Tamarind Extract
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 cup cooked Tuvar Dal (split Pigeon Peas)
  • 23 Tomatoes, chopped into 12 inch pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons Rasam Powder (adjust for spice preference)
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hing / Perungaayam (Asafetida powder)

For tempering & garnish

  • 2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds (jeera)
  • handful of chopped Curry Leaves
  • handful of chopped Coriander Leaves

Tamarind Extract – use store bought or make at home with tamarind fruit as follows –

  • Soak the tamarind fruit pieces in warm water for 5-10 minutes to soften it
  • Use your hands to squeeze out all the pulp out of it. Add some more water if required to facilitate the process.
  • Fish out the remains of the tamarind and discard it. Just use the pulp.

Rasam Powder – make at home or buy from the store


  1. Make or buy the Rasam Powder. This is crucial to making this Rasam. I prefer using the homemade mix.
  2. Extract the juice out of some tamarind and make tamarind water.
  3. Also cook some Dal / Lentils ahead of time. You can use a day-old cooked yellow lentils too. While hot, smash them roughly.

To make the tomato rasam

  1. Mix the tamarind extract with 2 cups of water.
  2. To the tamarind water, add some chopped tomatoes, salt, asafetida powder (hing) and rasam powder.
  3. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Reduce the flames to medium low and let the soup / rasam boil for about 10 minutes. The liquid should have reduced by half. You are looking for the tomatoes to be cooked well and the raw-smell of the tamarind to go away by cooking it for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Add the smashed lentils, mix well. Add 1 cup of water and let the rasam boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust for salt / rasam powder if required.

For Tempering

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds.
  3. When they start to crackle, add the cumin seeds and fry for 5-6 seconds.
  4. Add the curry leaves and fry for just a second.
  5. Add the entire oil mixture to the rasam.
  6. Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.

To Serve

  1. You can serve this with rice and some stir fried vegetables or chips or fryums.
  2. Or drink this like a soup – hot.


  1. Tomato Rasam stays good in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Best consumed hot and fresh.
  2. The ingredient measurements are suited to our palate. You can choose to increase / decrease the tamarind, rasam powder etc. to suit your preference.

  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: South Indian