Tamata Chaaru ~ Tomato Rasam Recipe

A bowl of tomato rasam or tamata chaaru. It is a spicy, light Indian version of tomato soup.

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Tamata chaaru is a spicy, light, flavorful South Indian soup. It is a side dish for steamed rice.

A bowl of tomato rasam or tamata chaaru.  It is a spicy, light Indian version of tomato soup.

Theme of the Week

Theme for this week is meal time dishes and I picked one of the staple side dishes from South Indian cuisine. It is a simple and easy tamata chaaru and this is a no rasam powder and no tamarind version. This was my meal long with carrot radish salad few days ago.

What is Rasam or Chaaru?

Rasam or chaaru is a tangy, spicy, South Indian thin soup. Rasam is also called chaaru in Telugu, my native dialect. It is usually prepared with tamarind extract as the main ingredient with or without tomatoes. However, in tomato chaaru, tomatoes are the main ingredients and tamarind is optional, depending on how tart and tangy the tomatoes are.

A platter of carrot radish salad and Thai eggplant curry and tomato rasam with white rice

No Tamarind, No Rasam Powder Tamata Chaaru

Today’s recipe is no tamarind, no rasam powder tamata chaaru. My aunt makes this version. I do not remember the exact recipe but this is a recreation of her version of tamata chaaru.

Boil tomatoes, puree them, boil again along with the seasoning and finish off with tempering. The change I made is, blanch tomatoes, puree and boil with spices and finally temper it. It is as simple as that and tastes pretty good as well. If the tomatoes are not tangy enough, squeeze a few drops of lime or lemon juice. Serve it with rice or drink as soup.

This is a no lentils chaaru, however, I was a little under the weather yesterday and made this chaaru to clear up my sinuses. To increase the nutritional value, I added some powdered toor dal to chaaru. Here is another version of tomato rasam with tamarind extract. Even this is no lentil but one can some powdered toor dal.

A bowl of tomato rasam or tamata chaaru.  It is a spicy, light Indian version of tomato soup.

Tamata Chaaru or Tomato Rasam Recipe

5 from 3 votes
A bowl of tomato rasam or tamata chaaru. It is a spicy, light Indian version of tomato soup.
Tomato Rasam or Tamata Chaaru
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Tomato rasam is a thin, spicy South Indian soup serve with rice
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: Quick & Easy Recipe, Tomato Chaaru, Tomato Rasam
Servings: 3
Main Ingredients
  • 2 medium to large or 250 grams Vine Ripe Tomatoes
  • 3 cups Water
  • ¼ - ½ tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 Curry Leaves
  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • Cilantro or Kothmir
  • ½ small Onion chopped, opt
  • Few drops of Lime Juice, opt
Spice Blend
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • ¼ tsp or 20 Black Peppercorns
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3 tsp Oil
  • 1 Red Chili broken into two
  • 3 Curry Leaves
  • ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • ½ tsp Ginger Garlic Paste or Crushed Garlic
  • ¼ tsp Fenugreek Powder opt
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
  1. Take water and washed tomatoes in a pot and bring to boil.
  2. Once the skin of the tomatoes begins to peel off, remove from water, remove the skin and puree tomatoes. Pour puree back into boiled water. Alternative is roughly cut peeled tomatoes, put them back in boiled water and blend using an immersion blender.

  3. Grind all the ingredients listed under spice blend and add it to tomato puree mixture.
  4. Add chili powder, curry leaves, ginger garlic paste, kothmir sprigs and onions (if using) to tomato puree mixture and boil for about 10 minutes or until raw smell of tomatoes and spices is gone.

  5. Meantime, make the tempering by heating oil in a pan.
  6. When oil is hot, add red chili, mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and ginger garlic paste.
  7. Once seeds splutter, add turmeric and turn off the heat.

  8. Pour it over tomato chaaru, cover and let boil for couple of minutes.

  9. Taste rasam and adjust seasoning. For a tangy rasam, squeeze some lime juice. Squeeze lime juice just before turning off the flame or after turning off the flame.

  10. Garnish with kothmir and keep the rasam covered until ready to serve.
  11. Serve hot with steaming rice.
Recipe Notes
  • Tomatoes - I use vine tomatoes but any variety should work. If the tomatoes are not tangy, add some lime juice
  • Spice Blend - i normally do not roast spices but one can do so and then make a fine powder for a variation.
  • Lentils - I prefer not to use any lentils in this rasam. But if one wishes, grind toor dal along with rest of the spices listed under spice blend.

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A bowl of tomato rasam or tamata chaaru.  It  is a spicy, Indian version of tomato soup.  It is served with rice or can be consumed as is.

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners are doing this BM#95

8 thoughts on “Tamata Chaaru ~ Tomato Rasam Recipe

  1. It is one comforting food. I use lemon instead of tamarind too but was wondering about the absence of rasam powder until I saw the spice blend. That is pretty much what we use to make rasam powder. I have seen some making the rasam powder fresh each time they make rasam, just the way you did. I think this way the rasam would be more flavorful.

  2. My comforting food, i can survive for many days with a bowl of rasam rice. My all time favourite and that whole platter is seriously very balanced and healthy to please some hungry tummies easily.

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