Delicious Tomato Rasam using garden fresh chillies

If you have a glut of fresh chillies to harvest, food writer and allotmenteer Jojo Tulloh suggests making this spicy Indian soup. 


In a season that should be hot and sultry, ransacking the spice cabinet seems like the right thing to do. Added to which, if you’ve grown your own chilli peppers, you might be wondering what to do with them. The chilli-heavy cuisines of India and Indonesia are a good match for this month’s crops and the recipe below is a great accompaniment to an outdoor meal.

Tomato rasam

Tomato rasam, or pepper water, is a spicy Indian soup to be eaten with rice or alongside dry curries. Serves four as a side dish, or two with rice.

• 1tbsp olive oil
• 4 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
• 1tsp cumin seeds
• ½tsp black peppercorns
• ½tsp turmeric
• 1tsp mustard seeds
• 10 fresh curry leaves
• 1 medium onion, finely sliced
• 4 fresh red chillies, deseeded and sliced
• 2tbsp tamarind paste
• 200ml water
• 3tbsp fresh, chopped coriander
• Salt to taste

Blend together the tomatoes, garlic and ginger. In a pestle grind the cumin and peppercorns, add the turmeric and set aside. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop add the curry leaves, onion and chillies. When the onion has browned, add the ground and dried spices, stir for one minute, then add the tamarind paste (see above left) and tomato mixture. Add the water (you should end up with a watery-looking soup) and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add salt to taste and stir in the fresh coriander before serving


Words Jojo Tulloh

Image Sarah Young


This article was taken from a longer feature in the August issue of Gardens Illustrated (250). 



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