Tomato rasam is one of the most favorite and popular rasam recipes from south Indian cuisine. Rasam is a clear soup served as second course in south Indian meals with steamed rice. There are so many varieties of rasam and this tomato rasam is a very common one. It is known as thakkali rasam in Tamil Nadu.
I make rasam very often and serve it with rice, ghee and a vegetable fry like potato fry, ladies finger fry, raw banana roast, arbi roast or cabbage kootu, pudalangai kootu for a comforting healthy dinner or lunch.
Making rasam at home is super easy and it gets ready in flat 15 minutes. You can make it in so many ways and each one of them is delicious. Do check out this south Indian tomato rasam recipe with step by step photos and enjoy!
Rasam is a integral part of south Indian meal. You will find a flavorful rasam being served in most of the wedding feasts, traditional lunches mostly.
While there are many special rasam recipes made with freshly ground spices like this mysore rasam, we also have super easy ones that gets ready in minutes like this jeera rasam, lemon rasam, tomato rasam recipe.
With a bowl full of piping hot rasam and mashed rice, you do not need anything more for a comforting dinner 🙂
About This Recipe
Rasam is the Tamil word for clear juice or clear liquid. Here it is typically a clear soup made with rasam powder, tamarind, tomato, toor dal etc.
Tomato rasam is a clear soup made with tomatoes as main ingredient. It is known as tomato charu in Andhra and tomato saru in Karnataka.
You can make tomato rasam with or without rasam powder, dal and tamarind. Depending on the variation you choose the time taken to make this rasam varies.
To make thakkali rasam you need very few simple ingredients and it is a super simple recipe that novice and beginners too can easily make.
Here I am sharing the traditional way to make tomato rasam with tamarind, dal and rasam powder. I have used homemade rasam powder but you can easily use any readymade powder or an instant rasam powder recipe I am sharing here.
Making good thakkali rasam recipe is really easy if you follow few tips. A well made rasam is a absolutely delicious, very very flavorful with perfect balance of tangy and spicy taste.
One of the best things about this tomato rasam recipe is how quick it is to make. Once you have cooked lentils ready, this recipe comes together in 15 minutes. If you choose to make without lentils you can make this in 1o minutes from start to finish.
The taste and flavor of this rasam depends on the quality of rasam powder used and variety of tomatoes used. The color of the rasam depends on the age and quality of the tamarind used.
If you love rasam and looking for a perfect recipe or want to know what this delicious dish is, do try out my best and easy tomato rasam recipe with step by step pictures. It is
so simple to make
vegan and gluten free
a traditional south Indian recipe.
How To Make Tomato Rasam
Instant Rasam Powder
Here I have mentioned how to make instant rasam powder that you can use for this recipe and two more times to make any rasam. If you have store bought rasam powder you can skip this step and proceed with cooking dal or lentils.
To make rasam powder heat a small pan over low flame. Dry roast the following spices until they turn aromatic in low heat.
8 dry red chili.
2 teaspoons black pepper corn
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon chana dal
2 teaspoons toor dal
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
Let cool and grind to a slightly coarse or fine powder. This will yield about 1/2 cup rasam powder and you can use it to make rasam for 4-5 times. Each time you will need about 1 tablespoon.
If you like spicier rasam add 12 dry red chilies.
Cooking Dal & Other Preparations
Pick and rinse 2 tablespoons toor dal or split pigeon peas.
Add 1 cup water to it and pressure cook until completely cooked and mushy. Add 1/4 cup water to it and mix well.
In the mean time soak a small gooseberry size tamarind ball in 1/2 cups water.
Squeeze it well and extract 1/2 cup thin juice. You can also use 1 tablespoon tamarind paste.
Next finely chop 3 large ripe tomatoes.
Making Thakkali Rasam
Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil or ghee in a pan. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Fry for few seconds. Also add 1 slit green chilli and saute.
Add cubed tomatoes and mix.
Cover and cook in medium flame until tomatoes break down and turn soft.
Add the prepared thin tamarind juice and 1.5 cups of water. Add 1 sprig curry leaves or 12 curry leaves, roughly torn and 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida.
Now add 1 tablespoon rasam powder.
Also add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder.
Next add salt to taste and a small piece of jaggery (1/2 teaspoon grated jaggery)
Mix well and let the rasam boil for 3-4 minutes in medium flame.
Now add the mashed dal. Mix well. Cook in medium flame until the mixture begins to froth, do not let it to boil.
Switch off the flame, add chopped coriander leaves. At this stage you can 1 tablespoon ghee for more flavor.
Serve tomato rasam hot with rice and ghee along with your favorite vegetable side dish as main course.
You can also serve this as clear soup on its own.
Adding few drops of ghee always elevates the taste and flavor of any rasam.
Always choose ripe, red and slightly tart tomatoes for this recipe. If the tomatoes are unripe, it will spoil the taste of the rasam.
Traditionally rasam is tempered with ghee. You can heat ghee and make the recipe instead of sesame oil as I have done.
If you do not have rasam powder just add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper crushed and make the recipe.
For a very spicy rasam you can add 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder along with rasam powder.
If you do not like the tomato skin in this recipe, you can simply blend the tomatoes and add the tomato puree to make the recipe.
After adding dal do not let the rasam boil. Remove from flame when it starts to froth.
Adding fresh coriander leaves elevates the flavor of rasam.
To make gluten free rasam use gluten free asafoetida or skip it.
You can also use crushed garlic cloves instead of asafoetida.
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Tomato Rasam – Thakkali Rasam
1 CUP = 250 ml
For tomato rasam
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste from a small gooseberry sized dry tamarind ball
- 2 tablespoons split pigeon peas toor dal
- 3 tomatoes large, ripe and slightly tart
- 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 green chili slit
- 1 tablespoon rasam powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 12 curry leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon grated jaggery
- salt to taste
- 3 cups water divided
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves
Cooking Dal & Other Preparations
- Pick and rinse 2 tablespoons toor dal or split pigeon peas.
- Add 1 cup water to it and pressure cook until completely cooked and mushy. Add 1/4 cup water to it and mix well.
- In the mean time soak a small gooseberry size tamarind ball in 1/2 cups water.
- Squeeze it well and extract 1/2 cup thin juice.
- Next finely chop 3 large ripe tomatoes.
Making Thakkali Rasam
- Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil or ghee in a pan. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Fry for few seconds. Also add 1 slit green chilli and saute.
- Add cubed tomatoes and mix.
- Cover and cook in medium flame until tomatoes break down and turn soft.
- Add the prepared thin tamarind juice and 1.5 cups of water. Add 1 sprig curry leaves or 12 curry leaves, roughly torn and 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida.
- Now add 1 tablespoon rasam powder.
- Also add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder.
- Next add salt to taste and a small piece of jaggery (1/2 teaspoon grated jaggery)
- Mix well and let the rasam boil for 3-4 minutes in medium flame.
- Now add the mashed dal. Mix well. Cook in medium flame until the mixture begins to froth, do not let it to boil.
- Switch off the flame, add chopped coriander leaves. At this stage you can 1 tablespoon ghee for more flavor.
- Serve tomato rasam hot with rice and ghee along with your favorite vegetable side dish as main course.