There’s no better time than this week to share this easy, nutritious and wintery recipe for this Indian version of tomato soup locally known as Tomato Rasam/Saaru! The timing is perfect because this recipe packs a punch of flavorful spices that hits the spot on a cold wintery day.
With a full serving of protein from lentils, this recipe can also be a meal replacement if you are really into cutting calories. Check out all the exciting details here….
What is rasam?
South Indian cuisine Rasam is a thin soup made with tomatoes, dal and other spices like mustard, cumin, and turmeric. One other aspect that makes this recipe special is that unlike most recipes for rasam, this recipe does not need any store-bought rasam powder.
You generate all the flavors from the handful of ingredients that you initially add. Moreover, you can tone down the spice level to your preference by reducing the amount of green chili you add to the recipe.
In a few simple steps, you get an easy, nutritious and incredibly tasty rasam!. With the Instant Pot, you can literally prepare this recipe in less than 30 minutes. Pair the rasam with a slice of toasted bread and you have got yourself a great tasting appetizer! But, back where I come from in South India, it is common to pair this with steamed rice and crispy papad.
My kids prefer to have this with steamed rice and potato chips on the side. You have got to try it to believe how good it is!
I prepare this recipe often when I am running short on time to cook. Combine the simplicity of this recipe, with the efficiency of an Instant Pot and this recipe, can be your new favorite when it comes to a quick meal option. For the benefit of my readers that do not (yet) own an Instant Pot, I am sharing the stovetop and instant pot versions today.
Instant Pot Tomato Rasam
For as long as I have owned the Instant Pot, this was the first time I tried to prepare this recipe with it and it came as a pleasant surprise as to how easy it really is. There is no sauteing involved and apart from the pan you will need to temper the rasam, it is essentially a one-pot dish. Here’s the step by step directions.
First step- Add all the ingredients to the inner pot.
The second step – Add water at the end and cover the lid and pressure cook mode for 10 minutes. Release the pressure naturally.
Third step- Once the pressure is released, open the IP lid Mash the contents well to bring all the flavors together.
The fourth step – Meanwhile, do the tempering separately over the stop top. Heat the tempering pan or Kadai and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and urad dal. As the mustard seeds start to splutter, add it to the rasam.
Stovetop tomato rasam
Traditionally rasam is cooked in a pot on low flame. For the stovetop method, you begin by cooking the Toor dal in a pressure cooker separately with 1 cup of water. You could also cook them in a pot of boiling water. However, this will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
As you cook the lentils (Toor Dal), you also cook the tomatoes, ginger, green chilies and turmeric in a pot with 2 cups of water. Once it is cooked, add salt and cooked Toor dal/ pigeon pea with water. At the end add tempering and cilantro leaves. You can add more water and make the rasam thinner if you like.
Tomato rasam without rasam powder
Like I mentioned in the beginning, this rasam recipe needs no rasam powder! When you are out of rasam powder or if you are looking for a freshly inspired rasam, try this recipe instead. The origins of this recipe go back to my home state of Karnataka.
Rasam made with dal
This Tomato rasam made with Toor dal as the choice of lentil. You could also go with other equally nutritious options such as Masoor Dal. The procedure is exactly the same with the only exception of cooking time. Masoor Dal tends to cook faster than Toor Dal and hence you may have to reduce the pressure cooking time duration.
A few other Instant pot recipes you may like…
Here are the recipe details….
Tomato Rasam - Instant Pot Dal Rasam
Instant pot Directions:
- Add all the ingredients (except lemon juice and cilantro) to the inner pot.
- As the second step, add water and cover the lid. Use the ‘pressure cook’ mode and set for 10 minutes.
- At the end of 10 minutes of pressure cooking, release the pressure naturally.
- Once the pressure is released, open the Inner Pot lid and mash the mix to get an even distribution of flavors.
- Meanwhile, do the tempering separately over a stovetop. Heat the tempering pan and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, and 1 red dry chili. As the mustard seeds start to splutter, add asafoetida and curry leaves.
- Add this tempering to the rasam.
- Finally, squeeze a tablespoon of lemon juice and sprinkle the cilantro leaves over the mix to garnish the rasam.
- Cook the Toor dal with 1 cup water in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release gradually and then mash them. Place it aside.
- Alternatively, you could also cook the Toor dal in a pot with 1- 2 cup of water until its soft and smooth.
- In a different pot, cook the tomatoes, chilies, ginger, and turmeric together until tomatoes are soft. Once it starts to boil, add the cooked dal and salt followed by chopped cilantro.
- In the end, add the tempering mix and lemon juice.
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