Tomato Rasam South Indian Style


Tomato Rasam is a traditional spicy and tangy soup originated in Madurai, a place in Southern India. Tomato rasam is prepared by using Lentils, Tomatoes and varieties of indian spices and herbs.


Rasam is a spicy and tangy lentil and tamarind based broth, usually prepared in Lunch and Dinner. It is served as a side dish in any southindian thali. Traditionally Rasam is made using Tamarind or kokum and black pepper. But in changing times, Rasam is cooked with or without using Tamarind. South India is considered as land of spices, so these spices and herbs such as tamarind, blackpepper, curry leaves, star anise, cloves etc are abundantly found in South India.

So people of South India usually prepare their dishes with the help of naturally grown vegetables, spices and herbs. Many People in South India completely get their rice with rasam and then they eat their rice. On the other hand many people drink Rasam Straight because of the watery and soupy nature of spicy and tangy Rasam. Rasam has many health benefits also like it helps in digestion, it can cure cough and cold, it can cure headaches, it improves the immunity and metabolism of the body and helps in weight loss etc.

Rasam is also called traditional South Indian soup. In every South Indian home rasam is a must cook and people love to have rasam in their meals. Meals are just incomplete without Rasam in South India.

Rasam Powder/ Rasam Podi enhances the flavour of any type of rasam. Rasam powder is a perfect blend of spices, hebs, roasted lentils etc. People in South India usually prepare their rasam powder in their home. But any one who wants to buy rasam powder, then they can buy and use it. It is easily available in any groceries shop. But the flavours come from freshly grounded roasted spices and have some distinct taste as compared to market available rasam powder.

Here is how to make this Tomato Rasam.

South Indian
Lunch and Dinner
Pressure Cooker, Tadka Pan
Prep. Time
15 mins
Cooking Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Serve 5 - 6 persons
  • 3 tbsp Toor Dal/ Arhar Dal/ Pigeon peas
  • 4 big chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 1 Green chili
  • Chopped Coriander Leaves
  • ½ tsp Red Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Hing /Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds/ Jeera
  • 10-12 Curry Leaves
  • 15 Black Peppercorns
  • 2 tsp Rasam Powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 3.5 cups of water
  • For Tadka/ Tempering
    • 1 tsp oil
    • 1 tsp Hing
    • 1 tsp Mustard leaves
    • 10-12 Curry leaves
    • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red chili powder(Optional)
Recipe Steps
  1. Wash and soak Toor Dal in water for half an hour.
  2. In a pressure Cooker, add 2 tsp oil in it. Now add Hing, cumin seeds, curry leaves in oil. When cumin seeds and curry leaves start to sputter then add peppercorns in the cooker. Add soaked Toor dal, chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander leaves, fine chopped ginger, fine chopped green chili, red chili powder, turmeric powder, Rasam powder and salt to taste in a cooker. Mix It well. Add 3.5 cups of water in the cooker. Mix well and let it come to boil. When boiling takes place, close the lid of the cooker and cook rasam till 3-4 whistles on low flame.
  3. When Rasam gets cooked, Mix it again and with the help of an electric blender, blend all the cooked rasam into a liquidy soupy texture.
  4. Now make a tadka for rasam. Take a tadka Pan, add 1 tsp oil in it. Add hing, Mustard seeds, curry leaves and kashmiri red chilli powder in the tadka pan. Pour this tadka in Rasam .
  5. Serve hot Rasam with meals and enjoy its flavours. Rice Papad and different styles of powder such as curry powder, Gunpowder etc are also given as an accomplishment.

You can reduce the spiciness of Rasam by reducing the amount of black peppercorns used in Rasam.

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