Tomato Dal Rasam

Rasam, a great appetizer. South Indians have it as part of their main course mixed with rice. However, it could also be taken as appetizer before the start of meal. That’s how most of friends prefer to have it.

What is Rasam? A soup prepared using tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, chili pepper, pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings. Nowadays, all the seasonings required are combined and ground beforehand into Rasam powder, which available commercially, though I prefer to prepare it too at home. It is eaten with rice or separately as a spicy appetizer.


Tomato Rasam

Health benefits

  1. Rich in Antioxidants due to ingredient Tamarind
  2. Easily digestible when mixed with Rice and is recommended during weakness or fever
  3. Good baby food – Rice mixed with Rasam and mashed is a very good baby food.


Toor Dal – 1 – 11/2 tbsp
Tomato – 2 medium sized or 1 big sized
Rasam Powder – 1 heaped tbsp
Hing – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 big pinch
Coriander leaves – 7-8 sprigs
Tamarind extract – 1 tbsp (if using tamarind, amla sized ball)
Water – 2-3 cups
Salt to taste

To temper
Oil/Ghee – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Garlic – 7-8 pods


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

  1. Wash the Dal well and take it in a small pressure cooker along with 2 cups of water.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes along with hing and turmeric powder.
  3. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or until the Dal is mushy.
  4. Once the pressure is released, mash the Dal and tomatoes well with the back of a ladle.
  5. Transfer to a vessel and keep it on medium flame adding thick tamarind extract/juice and salt to taste (If using tamarind, soak tamarind in ½ cup of water and extract the juice). If required, dilute it with water for a pouring consistency.
  6. Meanwhile, finely chop coriander and crush the garlic using a mortar and pestle.
  7. Switch off once the rasam becomes frothy and rises up. Do not let the rasam boil as boiling will spoil the taste.
  8. Heat a tadka pan; add 1 tsp of oil or ghee. Add in the mustard seeds, let them crackle.
  9. Add the crushed garlic, curry leaves and Rasam powder.
  10. Add in more hing if you like the flavour at this stage. Give a quick stir and add this tempering to the Rasam.
  11. Garnish with finely chopped coriander.Always keep the Rasam covered with a lid until serving. This ensures that the flavours are infused well.

Drink it as soup or serve it along with hot rice, ghee and appalam or any vegetable.