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How To Make Tomato Rasam

How To Make Tomato Rasam

Tomato Rasam Recipe. Alfred Prasad, Head chef at Michelin-starred Tamarind in London's Mayfair shows how to make his special Tomato Rasam, a stimulating thin soup of tomatoes flavoured with coriander, garlic and peppercorns. It's a hot South Indian dish that is great with another dish, as a starter, or on its own. Devour our Tomato Rasam recipe.


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Step 1: You will need

  • 4 Tomatoes
  • 4 tsp split yellow lentils
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 6 Peppercorns
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • to taste Salt
  • 1 bunch of Coriander
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch of Asafoetida
  • 4 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp tomato paste
  • 800 ml cold water
  • 1 sharp knife
  • 2 non-stick pans
  • 1 sieve
  • 1 cup
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 pestle and mortar

Step 2: Lentils

The lentils will form a stock for the tomato soup

Put 4 teaspoons of split yellow lentils, also known as Toor Dal, into a bowl, and pour in some cold water. Swirl them around. This will wash any dust from the lentils. Repeat this a couple of times. Rinse and add to the large saucepan

Add 800ml of cold water, and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Garlic

Crush 4 cloves of garlic with the flat part of a knife.

Step 4: Grind

Put the garlic into a mortar. Add a sprinkle of peppercorns and a sprinkle of cumin seeds. Use the pestle and mortar to roughly grind the mix.

Step 5: Add ingredients

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the garlic, peppercorns, and cumin seeds to the pan and stir for 1 minute. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer.

Step 6: Coriander

Chop the leaves using a sharp knife, and put the stems to one side.


Wash the coriander after you've chopped it. Put the leaves into a bowl of cold water and swirl them around for about 30 seconds. The freshest leaves will float to the top. Remove these from the bowl and leave to drain.

Step 8: Curry leaves

Turn the heat up. Add three sprigs of curry leaves to the saucepan.

Step 9: coriander stems

Add the small bunch of coriander stems

Step 10: Tomatoes

Use a sharp knife to chop 4 tomatoes up into small chunks. Add to the pan. Stir for 30 seconds then reduce heat.

Step 11: Add lentil stock

Sieve the lentil stock into the pan

Step 12: Chilli powderand turmeric

Add 1/2 a teaspoon of red chilli powder

Then add 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric powder, and stir again.

Bring to the boil, then turn it down to simmer for 10 mins.

Step 13: Simmer

Cover the pan, and leave to simmer for 15 minutes over a low heat, until the tomatoes are soft. Check the pan occasionally, and stir to stop burning.

Step 14: Tempering

In a separate non-stick pan, heat up 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on a high flame to start to make a tempering.

Temperings are a combination of spices in oil, added to soups or sauces at the end of cooking to add a final boost of flavour.

After about a minute, when the oil is very hot, add 1/2 of a teaspoon of mustard seeds.

When they start to crackle, add one sprig of curry leaves, and a pinch of asafoetida.

Keep stirring.

Step 15: Strain

Strain the soup into the tempering. Press down well with a spoon to ease out all the soup. Bring to the boil over a very hot flame.

Step 16: Tomato Paste

Add half a teaspoon of tomato paste to add some colour

Step 17: Salt

Add half a teaspoon of salt

Step 18: Garnish

Sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves onto the soup.

Step 19: And Serve