Welcome Winters with a bowl of Piping Hot Tomato Shorba
Image Credit: Shorba is different from soup | Pexels

Amateurs will tell you that there’s no real difference between a soup and a shorba, but today’s recipe will prove otherwise. Though used interchangeably, soup is served as a starters dish, while shorba can be served before or during the main course. Moreover, only the broth is served in a shorba dish, while a soup dish may or may not contain pieces of meat or vegetables. With winters just around the corner, it’s time to dredge up a popular shorba recipe that isn't just warm and delicious, but also adds nutrition to your morning diet.

What is tomato shorba?

The term ‘Shorba’ originates from the Middle East where it is called Shurbah, which means soup in Arabic. Tomato Shorba is a flavourful brothy dish made from tomatoes and coriander stems, and flavored with ginger, garlic and several other spices. Traditionally, the dish contains meat, but Indian renditions stick to veggies to appease the vegetarian palette. 

How to prepare tomato shorba?


  • 4-5 Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 10-12 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1/2 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp Gram Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 cup Coriander Stems (chopped)
  • 1/2 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Water (as required)

Tomato shorba | Pexels

  • First, you need to prepare the tomato puree.
  • Rinse and chop four to five tomatoes. You can remove the tomato seeds while chopping, but it's not necessary.
  • Put the chopped pieces in a blender or mixer, and blend them without adding any water. Make sure the texture is smooth and contains no residues of tomato skin.
  • Next, we move on to the bigger battle; to cook the tomato shorba.
  • Heat some oil in a pan and add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 
  • Let the cumin seeds splutter and then add half a teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste
  • Stir and saute the ‘Gigi’ paste for a few seconds, then add the tomato puree 
  • Add 1 tej patta. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes on a low to medium flame.
  • Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and black pepper powder, and mix the puree very well
  • Add 2 cups of water or veg stock to the spiced puree 
  • Simmer tomato shorba on a low to medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes
  • Season the shorba with salt, and mix it well 
  • Continue cooking the tomato shorba on a low to medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes
  • Switch off the flame and lastly add 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  •  Mix and serve hot and piping tomato shorba to the hungry bunch

Goes without saying, but tomato shorba uses tomatoe as its primary ingredient, coupled with veggies or/and meat of your choice. Before going into the preparations, make sure the tomatoes are not too sour or unripe. You may or may not use cream, but hefty quantities of coriander is a must. Some people like to accompany the shorba with jeera rice or a pulao, but you can also serve it as a soup dish.