Tomato rasam recipe – Rasam is a daily affair at home for dinner on most weekdays. Rasam, a vegetable stir fry with rice and ghee makes a comforting meal and is easy to prepare as well. Tomato rasam is light on the stomach and aids in digestion and hydrates the tummy. Hence I prefer to make it quite often.
Though there are many varieties of rasam that are made at home. This one is regularly made since it is easy, a good amount of tomatoes are consumed.
This south Indian style tomato rasam is named as tomato charu in my mother tongue telugu and is almost the same as tamil nadu style rasam.
To make this tomato rasam, you can make instant powder that I shared in this post. Any readymade powder or homemade rasam powder can also be used.
The color and taste of your charu depends on the kind of powder used. Some of the ingredients are optional and you can skip them.
This tomato charu recipe is simple, easy and you can also do your other cooking or kitchen chores while this is simmering. It can also be made in bulk and refrigerated for 2 days.
You can also serve this to babies from 8 months, just skip the red chilies and use little pepper powder.
Tomato rasam or tomato charu recipe
Tomato rasam recipe | Tomato charu | How to make tomato rasam
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for tomato rasam
- 1½ to 2 cups tomatoes ripe & red – chopped or pureed
- 2 to 2½ cups water (can use more to make thin charu)
- 1½ tablespoons ghee or clarified butter or oil
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ½ teaspoon mustard
- ¾ teaspoon cumin or jeera
- 1 pinch methi seeds (fenugreek, skip if you don’t have)
- 1 Pinch asafoetida or hing
- 1 dried red chili broken
- 4 large cloves garlic crushed (more if desired)
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric or haldi
- ¼ cup coriander leaves chopped finely with stems
- 1 tablespoons jaggery (optional, use more as needed to suit your taste)
- 1 teaspoon tamarind or paste (optional)
To roast & powder or use 2 tsps rasam powder
- 1 to 2 red chili broken (less spicy kind)
- 1 teaspoon cumin or jeera
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon methi seeds or fenugreek (skip if you don’t have)
- 1½ tablespoons coriander seeds or daniya
- 1½ tablespoons chana dal (optional, use if you like slightly thick rasam)
How to make the recipe
Making tomato rasam powder
- Skip this section if you have ready rasam powder.
- To make instant powder, on a low heat dry roast chana dal (optional) till deep golden & aromatic.
- Then add coriander seeds, methi seeds, red chili and pepper corn too.
- Fry until aromatic. Add cumin to the hot pan and fry till aromatic.
- Cool them and make a fine powder. Keep this aside.
Preparation for tomato rasam recipe
- Heat a pot with oil. Add cumin, mustard & methi seeds.
- When they begin to splutter, add red chili and hing.
- Add curry leaves and fry for a min.
- Next add pureed or chopped tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Salt helps to cook tomatoes faster.
- Fry for about 2 minutes. Cover and cook.
How to make tomato rasam
- Tomatoes should turn mushy and soft.
- Add the crushed garlic, tamarind, rasam powder and jaggery. Then mix well.
- Pour water & bring it to a boil. Then simmer for 3 to 5 mins or until thick.
- Taste the rasam and add more jaggery, tamarind, salt as needed to suit your taste.
- I make it sweet, sour and slightly hot. To add more heat sprinkle some crushed pepper.
- Add coriander leaves and simmer for 1 to 2 mins.
- Turn off the stove. Keep the pot covered.
- Serve tomato rasam with rice or just serve it as an appetizer in your meal.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
To make instant tomato rasam powder
Skip this if you have ready rasam powder.
Dry roast dal till golden, add coriander, methi, pepper, red chili.
When they begin to smell good and add cumin & fry till aromatic. Cool this and make a fine powder.
The color of your rasam powder may vary based on the red chili quality or quantity.
Preparation for tomato rasam recipe
Firstly rinse and chop or puree tomatoes. Update : I puree them most times as my kids do not like the skin of tomatoes in the rasam. Taste wise yes it does make a difference. You can also mash them for quick cooking. Set these aside.
1. Add oil to a hot pot. When the oil turns hot enough, add cumin, mustard and fenugreek. When they crackle add hing and red chili.
2. Next add curry leaves and fry for a minute or two. You can add garlic at any stage.
3. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric too. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes again.
4. Cook covered.
5. Tomatoes turn mushy.
How to make tomato rasam recipe
6. Pour water and add rasam powder too. Adjust more or less as needed. You can also add the powder first and then mix well. Later pour water.
7. Next allow it to boil. You can skip tamarind if your tomatoes are very sour. If using just rinse a small piece of it and add it directly. You can also add tamarind pulp as needed. I sometimes use a bit of jaggery, around 1 tsp grated. You can also use it to bring down the pungency of other ingredients used.
8. Allow to boil and simmer till the rasam slightly thickens by the powder. Add chopped coriander leaves and pepper powder. Off the stove.
Serve tomato rasam with rice and a simple vegetable or curry.