Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tomato Rasam

Rasam is a special type of ‘soup’ prepared regularly in South India mostly from Lentils. It is both spicy and sour.

Different brands of Rasam powders are available in market. Just mix dal stock and Rasam powder with tomato soup and season it with asafetida …..Rasam is ready.

Rasam is nutritious; it can be had as a soup or can be eaten along with Rice.


  • 2 cups crushed canned or fresh tomatoes

  • 1 cup dal stock or ¼ cup toovar dal

  • ¼ tsp asafetida

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • Salt to taste

  • ½ tsp mustard seeds

  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed fine

  • 7-8 curry leaves

  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

  • 6-7 cups of water

  • Rasam masala:

  • 1½ tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • 2 dry red chilies broken in to half


  • Prepare Rasam powder: Roast peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chilies on medium heat, without oil, for one minute. Grind them into masala powder.

  • Prepare dal stock: Pressure cook ¼ cup toovar dal with two cups of water and a pinch of turmeric powder for ten minutes. Mash well when soft. Use as dal stock.

  • Prepare tomato soup: In a pan add crushed tomato, crushed garlic, 4 cups of water and salt. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from fire, strain to remove seeds and skin.

  • Mix Rasam powder, dal stock, tomato soup and 2 cups of water; boil and simmer for 5 minutes in a pan on medium heat.

  • Prepare seasoning: Heat ghee in a small pan, add mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering, add asafetida and curry leaves. Pour the seasoning over the Rasam. Remove from fire and leave the pan closed for 5-10 minutes.

  • Mix in lemon juice. Garnish with chopped coriander. If required heat it again and serve it piping hot in cups.

Do You Know?

In Tamil, 'Rasam' means Juice. It can refer to any juice but simply Rasam commonly referred to the one prepared with Tamarind/Tomato juice with added spices.

Historically, it was prepared mainly with black pepper and tamarind, both ingredients native to and abundant in South India in general.

There are different kinds of Rasams, varying by ingredient. Lemon Rasam, Meriyala/Milagu (Pepper) Rasam, Neem flower Rasam, Ginger Rasam, Garlic Rasam, Pineapple Rasam, Parupu (Dal) Rasam etc.

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