Rasam, Saar & More: 4 Indian Tomato Soups You Need For Winters
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Very few soups are as versatile as a tomato-based one. Not only is it comforting but can also accommodate several flavours at once. The natural tanginess of tomatoes is perfect for broths since they can be played up with herbs and microgreens. Not to mention, it’s more palatable and digestible than other soups. In colder weather, when the body may prioritise conserving energy for warmth, easily digestible tomato soups are more appealing. 

However, instead of a tomato mushroom soup or a classic Spanish tomato soup recipe, why not explore some homegrown tomato soup recipes? Indian tomato-based broths can be flavourful and can even be garnished in interesting ways, be it with cream, yoghurt or tadkas. Here are some great Indian tomato-based soups: 

Tomato Shorba 

The flavorful and comforting soup originated in North India and is famed for its rich tanginess. The word "shorba" is of Persian origin and refers to a soup or stew. In the context of Indian cuisine, shorba typically denotes a thin, spiced broth. It’s usually made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and a blend of aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, and black pepper. 

Some recipes may also incorporate dal to enhance the texture and nutritional content. To prepare tomato shorba, the tomatoes are often blanched, peeled, and then pureed. The broth is then flavoured with a tempering of spices and aromatic ingredients to achieve a fullness in taste. 

Tomato Rasam 

Though rasam can be made with different veggies, tomato rasam is one of the most popular renditions, since the natural tanginess in tomatoes adds to the flavour of rasam. Besides tomatoes, the key ingredients in tomato rasam include tamarind juice, black pepper, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, garlic, turmeric, and asafoetida. 

The preparation of rasam involves boiling the tamarind juice, tomatoes, and spices together to create a flavorful broth. The tempering, known as "tadka" or "tarka," is an essential step in rasam preparation. It involves heating oil or ghee and adding mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chilies. 

Tomato Saar 

Tomato Saar is a traditional South Indian broth made with tomatoes, coconut, and spices and it’s a staple in Konkani cuisine. The word ‘saar’ typically refers to a thin, tangy soup and its basic preparation involves cooking tomatoes with a coconut-based paste and a tempering of spices. The soup is thicker than most soups and has a curry-like consistency. Although fresh tomatoes are best for making saar, homemade or canned tomato puree can also work since it offers a similar consistency 

Tomato Kadhi 

Kadhi, in general, is a yoghurt-based gravy thickened with besan. Adding tomatoes can introduce an interesting twist, enhancing both the flavour and colour of this classic dish. It also offers the broth a fresh burst of freshness and acidity. The natural tartness adds a layer of complexity to kadhis and also meshes well with the creaminess of yoghurt. 

It typically involves whisking yoghurt and besan together to form a smooth mixture which is then cooked on low heat. It’s crucial for the besan to lose its raw taste. And tomatoes should only be added after that. Tomato kadhi can also be topped off with a tadka featuring hot ghee or oil and adding mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, and dried red chilies. Tomato Kadhi can be enjoyed with steamed rice, roti or coconut rice