Tomato Garlic Rasam….the spicy, tangy, soupy Indian curry made with blushing red ripe tomatoes and flavoured with lots of garlic. When I say a lot, in the actual sense there is a whole lot of garlic in this rasam recipe. The aromas of garlic mingle with the warmth of homemade rasam powder to create a sapid bowl of tomato rasam.
What is rasam?
For those of you who are not familiar with this magical soupy curry from Tamil Nadu, one, let me give you a brief introduction. Rasama is a thin, spicy Indian style soup prepared with vegetables mainly tomato, herbs and lots of spices. It is usually served with steamed rice along with other main-course Indian food recipes or it is enjoyed as an appetizer just like a bowl of soup. A piping hot rasam is an excellent homemade remedy for cold, cough or a bad throat plus it aids in digestion as well. Along with deliciousness, it has tons of ayurvedic health benefits as well.
Can I make tomato rasam without rasam powder?
There is no finger-licking good rasam possible without rasam powder. Either you can use the store bought rasam powder or follow my secret homemade rasam powder recipe to make your own batch. The soul of any good tomato rasam is this spice mix called rasam powder. It has lentils (dals), whole spices, red chillies and asafoetida. All these ingredients take tomato rasam to another level of deliciousness. So I can never dream of making any kind of rasam without rasam powder.
Tomato Garlic Rasam Recipe…
The whole tomato rasam making affair from grinding rasam powder to peeling garlic and finally mopping the curry with hot steamed rice, in itself is an appetizing experience, which I always savour. And let me be honest, nothing can beat the comforting bowl of a tomato garlic rasam on a bad day. Whether it is a cold, harsh evening, a rainy day or a bad throat, there is a nothing a steaming bowl of tomato rasam cannot fix.
This rasam recipe is not one of those which I learnt from the family recipe journal or any regional cookbook. This recipe was humbly penned down by the house-help with another bunch of recipes as a parting gift while leaving Bangalore. Tomato Garlic Rasam was one of her forte Indian food recipes, the taste of which still lingers in our memory. She had no accurate measure of the ingredients for the rasam recipe, someday she will add more of garlic while on some occasions a fistful of chopped fresh coriander leaves. But each time her tomato garlic rasam had different flavour profile equally delectable than the previous one. In short, she never followed a set rasam recipe, but the end result always revolved around the same core – a striking looking curry with succulent flavours.
The best way to serve tomato garlic rasam is with simple steamed rice with a plentiful of ghee. Or you can serve it with chicken Chettinad, fish fry and rice. Either way, it is only going to give you the much-required comfort.
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Tomato Garlic Rasam Recipe
- 500 gram red and juicy tomato chopped
- 5 - 6 garlic cloves roughly smashed
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- an inch piece of ginger peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon Rasam Powder see recipe here
- 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
Ingredients for Tempering Rasam:
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 2 to 3 sprig of curry leaves
- a pinch of asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 5 garlic cloves fine chopped
- To make the Tomato Garlic Rasam, in a pressure cooker (buy it here) add the chopped tomato along with garlic cloves, black peppercorns, grated ginger and salt. Add 4 Cups of water, close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook the tomato for 1 or 2 whistles over medium heat. Turn off the gas.
- Let the steam release naturally from the pressure cooker, open the lid and let the tomato mixture cool down.
- In a mixer (buy it here) or blender, grind the tomato mixture to smooth consistency.
- Heat a saucepan (buy it here) over medium heat and add the pureed tomato mixture. Add the turmeric powder, rasam powder, red chili powder and let it simmer over medium heat while you prepare the tempering.
- For tempering, heat ghee in a tadka pan (buy it here) over medium heat, add the mustard seeds, once they start to crackle, add the chopped garlic cloves and asafetida. Fry for a minute or till garlic turn light brown in colour.
- Add the curry leaves and again fry for a minute. Turn off the heat.
- Pour the tempering over the simmering tomato garlic rasam. Stir to combine.
- Bring the rasam to a thorough boil once and then simmer for 10 minutes or so. To thin down the consistency of rasam, add little water.
- Garnish Tomato Garlic rasam with half a bunch of chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve Tomato Garlic Rasam warm with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.