February 06, 2017

Thakkali/Tomato Rasam | South Indian Tomato Soup

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Rasam (Tamil),Saaru (Kannada) ,Chaaru (Telugu) is always a part of the main course meal served soon after Sambar Rice and just before Curd rice .It can also be sipped as an appetiser as well.

The Iyengars call this as SaatruAmudhu / SaathuAmudhu literally meaning Nectar to Rice (Amudhu - Nectar and Saatru/Saatham - Rice)

In Tamil Rasam actually means "The Juice". Juice can mean anything,but rasam is now synonymous to the soup prepared with Tamarind juice or Tomato juice as the base or even a combination of the two in set proportion. along with a spice powder (Rasam Powder) made of cumin (jeera),pepper(milagu),red chillies,corriander seeds(dhaniya) and turmeric.

This Rasam Powder can be made in advance and stored in air tight container and used as and when required. Click here for recipe of the rasam powder

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 2-3 generously
Complexity : medium

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©


2 medium sized ripe tomatoes
tamarind- size of 1/2 small lemon
3 teaspoons Rasam powder
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon jeera/cumin
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
1 tsp ghee
fresh corriander leaves chopped
5-6 curry leaves chopped


  • Cut the eye of the tomato and make a cross type slit at the bottom of the tomato 
  • Boil the tomatoes and the tamarind in about 1 cup water until soft .
  • (Alternatively you can also pressure cook the tomatoes in a separate vessel while cooking rice or anything else).
  • Allow it cool and mash well and extract the juice out of the tomatoes + tamarind. 
  • In a vessel,add this extract ,rasam powder,salt and 2 cups of water and bring it to a nice boil.
  • Add the curry leaves when the rasam starts to boil. 
  • Boil until the raw flavor of tomato is lost and you get a nice aroma .Adjust salt if needed.
  • Temper the mustard and jeera in ghee and pour it on the rasam and garnish with corriander.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice paired with some roasted papad and Potato Stir fry.


1 cup dhaniya /corriander seeds
15-20 dry red chillies ( Paandi / gunturu variety - medium spiced)
15-20 dry red chillies (Bedgi/Byadgi variety - mild spice ,mainly for color)
3-4 teaspoons jeera
2 teaspoons pepper corns
handful of curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon methi seeds.
1 tsp haldi powder
1/2 teaspoon hing/asafoetida


  • In a kadai/wok,heat about 1/2 tsp oil and when the oil is heated well splutter the methi seeds.
  • Soon after you get a nice aroma of methi seeds,add the jeera,pepper and curry leaves and roast well till the jeera becomes crisp.
  • Add the dhaniya seeds an saute for about a min or so and then add the chillies and roast well for about 2 min or until the chillies become crisp.
  • (you can cut the chillies with scissors for ease of roasting and grinding)
  • Add the haldi and asafoetida and turn off the stove.
  • Let the spices cool down a bit ,put into the grinder and make a fine powder of it.
  • Store it in an air tight container and always use a dry spoon for increased shelf life.


  1. Such a handy homemade spice mixture to have in the pantry. I once bought ready made one and didn't like it. Now I can make rasam powder at home following your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I regularly make rasam powder at home. It is one of the essentials at home. Now, I must try your version, seems a little change in the measurements.

  3. I have to try this slightly different but delicious variant of rasam podi. next batch mein thoda quantuty i will try ! - Kalyani


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