Tomato Rasam

This soup is also known as the Thomas’s “sniffle-kicking” soup. There’s enough garlic in a bowlful to kill a cold, and several vampires . . . The pepper, asafoetida, cumin, turmeric, and tomato will help clear up any inflammation in the sinuses. Leftover soup or this future cold remedy will keep in the freezer for up to a month..




Roasted tomato-onion mixture:

12 ripe tomatoes, whole

½ onion, rough chopped

1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, melted over low heat



¼ cup sesame oil

2 teaspoons split urad dal

2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds 

2 whole dried cayennes, rough crushed

12 curry leaves


Fresh spice blend:

3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped

10 garlic cloves, smashed with a mallet or a flat knife

3 tablespoons black peppercorns, smashed or rough ground

2 teaspoons salt


Ground spices:

¼ teaspoon turmeric 

½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground 

½ teaspoon ground fenugreek 

1 teaspoon asafoetida 


1 cup cilantro leaves (divided, save half for garnish)


3 cups water


Crowning flavor: 

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon chaat masala

½ cup cucumber, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spread tomatoes and chopped onion in a single layer. Drizzle with coconut oil. Roast for 20 minutes.

2. Tadka: Heat sesame oil in a soup pot. When the oil starts shimmering, add urad dal. As it starts to brown (about 30 seconds), add mustard and cumin seeds. Shield yourself with a lid as seeds will start popping immediately. Add dried cayennes and curry leaves.

3. Add the fresh spice blend, ground spices, and half the cilantro leaves. Sauté for one minute or until fragrant.

4. Add the roasted tomato-onion mixture and water, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Check seasoning. Blend to a broth consistency (add more water, if needed). Heat well before serving.

Crowning flavor: Stir lemon juice and chaat masala into the rasam. Ladle the rasam into pretty teacups. Garnish with chopped cucumber and the remaining cilantro leaves.



Chana dal is high in fiber, low in fat, and very low on the glycemic index—both heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly. Although it looks like the split yellow pea, chana dal is the split kernel of a variety of garbanzo called Bengal gram and stays firmer when cooking.

Disappearing Leftovers: Add water, Winter Squash and Pearl Onion, or any veggie leftovers for a dal-icious soup!