Spiced Tomato Soup {Rasam}

by Kiran on September 28, 2012 · 53 comments

in Indian, Soups, Vegetarian


I got bored with regular “Hi” or “Hello” 🙂

And I blame the boredom all because I’m feeling so under the weather. It feels……


This tomato spiced soup (known as “rasam” in the southern parts of India) was made at the most appropriate time. It’s an Indian version of tomato soup — made with fragrant spices to soothe the dreadfulness of feeling under the weather.

Tomato recipe after an autumn dessert a few days ago? Well, there’s a reason for everything. We actually scored tomatoes on the vine a few days ago. Can you imagine the excitement of harvesting fresh tomatoes when it’s almost October?

We couldn’t believe it as well.

I hope you get to enjoy some tomatoes though it’s officially fall! Whether you are fine or under the weather, I’m sure adding a little spice into life won’t hurt 😉

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  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup small yellow lentils, soaked
  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 fresh chilies, slitted
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp tamarind juice/lemon juice
  • 1.5 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup hot water


  1. Heat a medium saucepan. Once heated, add cooking oil.
  2. Sprinkle in mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Wait until mustard seeds sputter before adding finely chopped onion.
  3. Fry onions until fragrant for about 2 minutes before adding pinch of turmeric powder, soaked yellow lentils, tomatoes, chilies, curry leaves, ginger and garlic paste.
  4. Cook everything for about 5 to 7 minutes or until tomatoes are soften.
  5. Add salt, tamarind juice, vegetable broth and water. Simmer on low & covered for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve hot in a mug for sipping or over rice with some greens and pan-fried seafood.

Off to continue sipping and resting in the hopes of getting the sickly edge off. It has been a hellish day and I hope the nausea would just calm soon. I hate to throw up in a bucket. Sorry, but that’s the reality.

How are you enjoying the last bits of summer produce?


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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Alyssa (Everyday Maven) September 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM

I hope you feel better soon! This soup looks like a fantastic cure-all.
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) recently posted..Double Greens + Orzo Soup {Vegan}

2 Rosa September 28, 2012 at 6:39 PM

So comforting! Perfect when you are feeling not fit… Hope you’ll get better soon.



3 amy @ fearless homemaker September 28, 2012 at 8:07 PM

So sorry that you’re feeling under the weather. =( I bet this soup will do just the trick to make you feel better. Soup is ALWAYS what I turn turn when I don’t feel well. Tomato soup just happens to be one of my favorites + this version looks amazing! =)
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4 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 2:41 AM

Amy — oh, thanks hon. I already feel so much better 🙂

5 Hotly Spiced September 29, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Sorry to hear you haven’t been well, Kiran. I do hope you are on the mend. What a gorgeous looking soup and I can see this would be the perfect fare for when you’re feeling so low xx
Hotly Spiced recently posted..The Specialty Generation

6 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Charlie — thank you dear, I’m feeling so much better now. xo

7 Charul Ajmera September 29, 2012 at 1:54 AM

Tomatoes are my favorite. I can put them in everything. Give me a dessert with them and I will try it happily. Love rasam.
Hope you are feeling well now.
Charul Ajmera recently posted..Good ol’ Sandwich

8 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Charul — I love your enthusiasm on tomatoes 🙂

9 Carolyn Chan September 29, 2012 at 3:16 AM

That would be such a warm and comforting soup to capture the last of the yummy summer flavours!
Carolyn Chan recently posted..Menya Musashi @ Raffles City

10 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Carolyn — 🙂

11 tania@mykitchenstories.com.au September 29, 2012 at 3:24 AM

I have to make this it looks so good and just rings the right bells with me. Did you put it with the fish and rice cause that just looks delicious. BEEEEEUTIFUL photos x
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12 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Tania — yes! I love rasam served with fried fish and vegetables 🙂

13 Parsley Sage September 29, 2012 at 5:16 AM

Seems like lots of us are under the weather right now 🙁 I had to stay home on Wednesday cause I was near death. I could have done with some of this spicy soup. I see the sneaky lentils…they’re my FAVORITE!
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14 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Parsley Sage — near death?!? Are you OK dear?

15 Parsley Sage October 4, 2012 at 9:15 AM

I may have been exaggerating a bit 🙂 But I was definitely hit with the snot machine stick. Much better now!
Parsley Sage recently posted..Restaurant Week 2012: Guy Harvey’s

16 Choc Chip Uru September 29, 2012 at 7:30 AM

Way to spice up your delicious life 😀

Choc Chip Uru
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17 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Uru — 😀

18 Asmita September 29, 2012 at 8:37 AM

Hi Kiran,
Hope you feel better soon. This rasam looks so comforting and perfect for this weather.
Asmita recently posted..“Doodhi ka Halwa” or White Gourd Pudding

19 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Hi Asmita — thank you my friend, I feel much better 🙂

20 Jen @ Savory Simple September 29, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Feel better soon! Tomato soup is one of my favorite comfort soups when I’m under the weather.
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21 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Jen — thank you, dear 🙂

22 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen September 29, 2012 at 4:49 PM

I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well, rest up and eat plenty of soup!
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen recently posted..Chocolate Dipped Nut Bites

23 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Sylvie — thanks dear, I’m feeling so much better!

24 chinmayie @ love food eat September 30, 2012 at 2:24 AM

Tomato rasam is perfect comfort food anytime of the year 🙂 I am been on a major spice kick these days and the sound of rasam is making me crave it 🙂
chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..‘Healthier Apple Crisp’ Using Leftover Bread & Introducing ‘No More Leftovers’!

25 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Chinmayie — 🙂

26 Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb September 30, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Howdy Kiran!

I like the ingredients you have added here. The soup is new to me, I never knew there was a southern tomato soup. I always see everybody only sipping chai iin those lands. Time that I go to see the south !

I got excited mostly because of the tamarind, I just love that stuff, and our tree is having so many. mhm….
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27 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Hi Helene — can I say how jealous am I that you have a tamarind tree 😉

28 Simply Life September 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM

oh this looks incredible! hope you are feeling better soon!
Simply Life recently posted..Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage & Sharp Foods

29 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Gina — thank you, I am feeling so much better 🙂

30 PolaM September 30, 2012 at 11:12 PM

This soup looks delicious! I love the mix of spices and tamarind.
PolaM recently posted..#WorldOnAPlate: Lunch box Italian style

31 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 6:28 PM

PolaM — thank you!

32 Raymund October 1, 2012 at 3:25 AM

I love the flavours in that soup
Raymund recently posted..Egg Pie

33 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Raymund — thanks buddy 🙂

34 Julia | JuliasAlbum.com October 1, 2012 at 4:54 AM

The soup looks delicious and comforting – I hope it helped you feel better. 🙂
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35 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Julia — thank you, I feel so much better 🙂

36 Deb October 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

What a magical tomato soup! The addition of the fragrant and warming spices makes for a robust fall recipe. In my area we will have tomatoes to harvest until the first rains, usually in the beginning of November!

37 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Deb — thanks dear. And wherever you live, its nice to have tomatoes in season until Nov. I’m a little jealous 😉

38 Nami | Just One Cookbook October 1, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Our whole family is a huge tomato fan and I’m delighted to see your tomato soup recipe! We definitely need nice warm soup to survive in cold weather (not that I live in such cold place… I don’t… lol but it’s painful to go through cold weather as I get older…)
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39 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Nami — I agree with you completely, about cold and age 😉

40 Shumaila October 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Yeehaw to you too!!
That meal on the plate looks heavenly. Love rasam!
Shumaila recently posted..Garam Masala Tuesdays: Chicken Tikka Pizza

41 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Shumaila — lol, thanks dear 🙂

42 Nash at Plateful October 1, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Care to share? I’m also feeling a little under the weather and this’s exactly what I want–I so love rasam! Hope you are feeling better, xx
Nash at Plateful recently posted..Nutella Instant Iced Coffee, aka Homemade Mocha Frappuccino

43 Kiran October 3, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Nash — oh, I hope you are feeling better now. xoxo

44 foodwanderings October 1, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Hi Kiran, This rasam is absolutely sensational with the tamarind. Love all the spices you added to it to give it so much depth and dimension!

45 Cass @foodmyfriend October 1, 2012 at 10:14 PM

What incredible flavours Kiran 🙂 Such a lovely recipe. Your tomatoes look lovely and firm. They are very expensive here at the moment – about $12kg!
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46 Kitchen Belleicious October 1, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I hate getting sick. Hope you feel better but if this soup doesn’t make you feel better than i don’t know what well! Love it

47 Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) October 1, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Hope you’re feeling better! This soup would certainly make me feel good if I were feeling under the weather. So full of flavor!
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48 Nava Krishnan October 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Our favorite soup, the rasam. My other half can have rasam everyday and yet don’t complain. Sometimes he is so tired of eating the new dishes I try out and practically begs for the humble rasam and fried fish.
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49 Melanie @ Easy Recipes With Pictures October 2, 2012 at 10:19 AM

This soup looks like a great comfort food! Hope you are feeling better!
Melanie @ Easy Recipes With Pictures recently posted..Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

50 Jeanette October 4, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I just love the sound of this Indian spiced tomato soup – must try!
Jeanette recently posted..Skinny Hot Spinach Dip Recipe

51 Viviane Bauquet Farre October 5, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Feel better soon, Kiran! I’m certain that this soup will help. Thank you so much for these informative and beautiful posts – I always come away learning something about Indian cuisine from your site.
Viviane Bauquet Farre recently posted..Fresh muesli with apples, currants and toasted almonds

52 Monet October 8, 2012 at 6:34 PM

We made this the other night and it was just perfect 🙂 Thank you for sharing it!
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53 White Magpie October 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM

I am waiting for the day when technology will enable me to put my hand into the puter and get the soup out..Till then I hold me breath.

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