Monday, September 7, 2020



The tomato has to be one of the most versatile of vegetables we get in India. Though technically a fruit, it is more often than not counted in the vegetables. North or South, East or West, you will find it being widely used to make a large variety of dishes. 

Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamins C and K, potassium etc and so have numerous health benefits

 Elsewhere in this blog, you will find dishes made with tomatoes such as:- 
Today's recipe is for Tomato Saaru as we call it in the Udupi-Mangaluru parts of Karnataka. It is akin to the "rasam". We used to come back from trips to our native place remembering this Saaru along with other delicacies from that region. 

As this dish does not call for the use of onion or garlic, it is considered a saatvik dish. 

I have adapted this from Tomato Rasam video by the enterprising and entertaining couple, Mr and Mrs Kamath. 

This aromatic Saaru goes great with hot steamed rice and ghee.  

  • Thuar Dal, (Split Pigeon Peas) 1/2 cup 
  • Medium-sized Tomatoes, 3
  • Green Chillies, slit, 2-3
  • Jaggery, grated, 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind, size of marble 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, for garnish, 2 tbsp

To Be Dry Roasted & Ground To A Powder : 
  • Coriander Seeds, 2 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tbsp
  • Asafoetida Powder, 1/2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds, 1/4 tbsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 9
For Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp 
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, broken into halves, 2 
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Ghee, 1 to 1 and 1/2 tbsp

Wash the Thuar Dal and pressure cook in adequate water for 3-4 whistles or till it is done 
Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal and keep aside 
Wash and cut the tomatoes
Soak the tamarind in warm water for about 10 minutes and extract the juice. Keep aside. 

In a kadhai, dry roast the Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Asafoetida Powder, Fenugreek Seeds, and Byadgi Red Chillies on medium heat stirring continuously till the spices turn slightly golden 
When the roasting is almost done, add the curry leaves and sauté 
Allow the roasted ingredients to cool and transfer to a small mixer jar
Grind these roasted ingredients to a smooth powder. Keep aside. This forms the Saaru/Rasam Powder. 

In a mixer jar, blend together the cooked Thuar Dal and the cut tomatoes to form a paste 

Heat a kadhai and add the ground dal and tomato paste just prepared, and 4 cups of water. Mix well
To this, add the slit green chillies, tamarind extract, grated jaggery and turmeric powder. Mix well
Bring this to a boil and cook till the raw smell goes
Now add 3 tbsp of the prepared saaru/rasam powder, salt to taste and mix well
Cook covered for 5 minutes. Mix well and switch off the gas.

Heat ghee in a small pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds
When they splutter add the broken red chillies and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds 

Pour this seasoning on to the Tomato Saaru
Lastly, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves
Serve hot with steamed rice and ghee 

* The remaining Saaru/rasam Powder prepared can be stored for future use - within a week  

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