Udupi Tomato Rasam

Udupi Tomato Rasam ~ Udupi Vegetarian Recipes

udupi tomato rasam
Udupi Tomato Rasam

Udupi tomato rasam is a perfect winter fare with its aromatic, soothing and warming flavors. I realised that I am yet to blog Amma’s signature tomato rasam and I’m not sure how I missed it. Meanwhile I am sharing another favorite rasam with tomato that has its origins in Udupi which is famous for Sri Krishna temple.

While travelling to Karnataka I always look forward to savor authentic traditional Udupi cuisine. I love Udupi style of vegetarian cooking which is purely saatvik where onions and garlic are a no-no. My family and I were fortunate to relish traditional Udupi food at a dear friend’s wedding and the food served was an absolute treat to the senses and a delight to the palate. Saatvik food at its best!

udupi saaru podi recipeudupi rasam powder
Saaru Podi ~ Udupi Rasam Powder

Udupi tomato rasam has ripe red tomatoes, cooked tur dal, saaru podi or rasam powder and tamarind as its main players other than the finishing touch of tempering of spices and garnish of coriander leaves. Fresh coconut is also used by most Udupi home cooks. It is the saaru podi which sets this flavorful rasam apart from the everyday rasam. It is a lovely warming soup to sip on a cold dull day or if you are sick with a nagging cough or cold.

Udupi Tomato Rasam

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 5

 Main Ingredients:

  •  tomato


  •   Cooked tur dal - 1/2 cup
  •   Tomatoes - 2, large, mashed lightly
  •   Tamarind - soak medium lemon sized ball in 1/2 cup warm water and extract the juice
  •   Water - 4 cups
  •   Saaru/rasam podi - 2 1/2 tbsps, heaped
  •   Green chilies - 2, slit
  •   Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  •   Jaggery - 1 tbsp
  •   Salt to taste
  •   For tempering:
  •   Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  •   Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  •   Red chilies - 1, tear into pieces
  •   Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  •   Coriander leaves - 2 tbsps, finely chopped
  •   Oil or ghee - 1 tbsp (preferably coconut oil)
  •   For Saar/Rasam podi:
  •   Red chilies - 7-8
  •   Coriander seeds - 2 tbsps
  •   Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  •   Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  •   Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
  •   Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  •   Grated coconut - 1 1/2 tbsps (optional)
  •   Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp

Method for making Udupi Tomato Rasam

First make the rasam/saaru podi/powder. Dry roast fenugreek seeds on low flame till it turns light red. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Dry roast mustard seeds on low flame for 4 mts. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Next dry roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds for 4-5 mts on low flame or till it emits a nice aroma. Dry roast curry leaves and red chilies on low flame till the chilies turn crisp. Remove to the bowl and set aside. Allow to cool. Add asafoetida and grind to a slightly coarse powder. Set aside.
In a stainless steel bowl, add water, tamarind extract, salt, turmeric powder, green chilies, chopped tomatoes, jaggery and curry leaves. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 7 to 8 mts or till the raw smell of tamarind disappears.
Add the cooked tur dal, rasam powder and grated coconut and continue to cook on medium high for another 6-7 mts. Reduce the flame and add fresh coriander stalks.
While the rasam is simmering, prepare the tempering. Heat oil or ghee in a small pan, add mustard seeds and as they splutter, add urad dal, red chilies, curry leaves and asafoetida. Once the dal turns red, pour the tempering to the simmering rasam.
Add fresh coriander leaves and turn off flame. Place lid and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving with warm rice.


  •   If using grated coconut, dry roast for 5 mts on low flame and grind with rest of the ingredients.
  •   I added grated coconut directly to the simmering rasam in step 3.


Udupi tomato rasam is my favorite rasam and a delight during the winter months. Tomato saaru recipe is a classic among authentic Udupi vegetarian recipes.
  • Madhurima

    Looks tempting. Udupi version is different to tamil one. ? Tamil one has black peppercorns. Will try this. .

    • Sailu | Indian Food

      Yes, it is slightly different in terms of the rasam powder used.

  • Jen*

    Finally I now know what “Udupi” means…I have been going to a restaurant in Chicago for more than 20 years called “Udupi” and never knew…We are hooked on South Indian food but do not know the distinctions between Tamil and Andhra very well. Is it mostly the garlic and onions? But I am hooked on your recipes and learning.Made medhu vadhai (from a mix alas) but made my Sambaar and coconut chutney from first principles. Very happy hubby…that is all…

  • Saritha

    Sailu, This recipe is yummy and authentic! My husband is a Udupi native, and I have the same recipe handed down to me from my mom. They call it “devasthana saaru” translated as “temple saaru” as it is served during temple community meals. Thanks for posting this ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anu

    Sailugaru, why fry each podi ingredient separately?

    • Sailu | Indian Food

      The frying time for each ingredient differs. If you fry all at the same time, few ingredients will be well roasted while few will over roasted or under roasted.

  • Shwetha Narayan

    I tried this Rasam today and it was a great hit.. thank you so much for this great recipe!!

  • Yashwini N

    thank you for your wonderful recipe, i have tried it came out nice thanx.





  • Heena

    Very nice and perfect recipe!!! It’s just yummy and awesome … With medu vada too !! Thanks ????

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  • padma k

    Today I made this and came so good, everyone loved it. Thank you sailu garu for the wonderful recipe

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