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Rasam is a delicious South Indian soup made from tomatoes and toor daal.

It’s easy to make, takes less than 30 minutes and has everything I love: spices, tomatoes and lentils

Now, you ask me what makes a soup South Indian rather than North Indian. Here are the few ways that North Indian food differs from South Indian food:

South Indian food uses rice (to make dosas and idlis), mustard seeds, curry leaves, rice and coconut oil whereas North Indian food uses cumin seeds, coriander leaves, mustard oil/ ghee and wheat (to make roti, parathas, pooris). Toor is the main daal in South India whereas North Indians don’t have one daal as a main daal.

I know this is an oversimplication in the myriad ways that North and South Indian cookies differ from each other but this gives you a rough idea.

I mostly cook Punjabi food at home but on occasion I will cook South Indian food and Rasam soup made from tomatoes is my absolute favourite.

This was a recipe shared by a lovely lady from South India and I think this is one of the best rasam recipe I have ever tried and I am holding on to it tight!

Give it a try! I bet you will love it.

Rasam: South Indian tomato soup
Course Appetisers, Dinner, Lunch, Soup, Supper
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories/Serving 107kcal


Tomato Soup

  • 300 gram tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup toor daal
  • 1 inch tamarind pulp can use lemon juice if tamarind not available
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida hing
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 7-8 curry leaves better to use fresh leaves but dry ones will do if you can't find fresh leaves
  • Salt to taste

Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp chana daal
  • 5-6 whole black pepper
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 tbsp coconut grated


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil can use any other vegetable oil if coconut is not available
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 10-15 curry leaves better to use fresh leaves but dry ones will do if you can't find fresh leaves
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves finely chopped


Make Spice Mix

  • Roast the channa daal, grated coconut, black pepper, coriander seeds and red chilli on slow heat until the channa daal is slightly browned and the spices are fragrant
  • Coarsely ground the spices

Make Soup

  • 30 minutes before cooking, boil the tamarind in 1/2 cup of water and then set it aside. Once it has cooled down, add another 1/2 cup of water and strain to remove the tamarind pulp
  • If the tomatoes are large, then you can quarter/half them but if they are small, you can use them whole. I normally use small tomatoes which are slightly larger than plum tomatoes, so I use them whole
  • Set the pan with four cups of water on heat. Once the water comes to boil add tamarind water, tomatoes, toor daal, hing and turmeric powder
  • Bring it to boil, close the lid and then simmer on low heat for 5-6 minutes
  • Add salt and spice mix and cook covered for another 4-5 minutes

Make Tempering

  • Heat the oil in a thick bottom pan
  • Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves
  • As soon as the seeds stop sputtering, add the tempering to the soup
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve!


Drink as soup or serve with coconut chutney and hot idlis for a full meal!
Tried this recipe?Mention @Incredible.kitchen or tag #myincrediblekitchen!

3 Replies to “Rasam: Tomato & Lentil Soup”

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