Monday, July 18, 2022

Tomatillo Rasam

This is a delicious rasam (South Indian spiced broth) made with tomatillos and spices. This can be served as a broth to sip, or with cooked grains for a hearty meal with veggies on the side. For a vegan option, use oil for tempering the spices.

Tomatillos are also called Mexican corn husk tomatoes. These look like green, unripe tomatoes wrapped in papery husks. They are more acidic in flavor than a regular tomato. They are usually green but can ripen to yellow, red, or purple. It is important to remove the husk before using them as it is toxic. Dehusking leaves the tomatillo sticky but can be washed off. The popular green salsa is made with these tomatillos. The bright and bold acidic flavor of the tomatillos is great for making rasam too. 

It is easy to roast these tomatillos in the oven. These can be pan roasted too. Roasting helps peeling and bringing out the flavors. Once roasted, peel, mash and mix in water. This replaces the tamarind that we regularly use for rasam. Next time, do not stop with green salsa, try this rasam too. 

Most of the Mexican flavors include cumin and this Pepper Cumin Powder is a perfect choice to make this rasam and this recipe uses it. Regular rasam powder can also be used in place of this powder and this gives a different flavor profile to the rasam. 

This tasty tomatillo rasam can be served for any day. It is great for everyday meal with rasam rice and veggie curry like avarakai or eggplant curry. This rasam  is a perfect one to make for a feast too! Try this for your next festival instead of regular rasam.

This rasam is also easy to make. Once the roasting is gone, it hardly takes about 7-8 minutes for it to be ready. I dry roasted them for 20 minutes at 400. They can be broiled or roasted on a pan. Flame roasting adds to the smokiness and I love that flavor.

Rasam, south Indian spiced broth,  is addictively delicious when served with a steaming bowl of rice. I am sharing this as a part of the A-Z series “Rasam” for Blogging Marathon. Here are the quick links to the rasam recipes I have shared for  the theme. 

R - Rhubarb Rasam


Roasted Tomatillos - 1/3 cup, about 4-5
Water - 1 and 3/4 cups
Cook 1 tbsp dal in quarter cup water
Salt - 1 tsp
Pepper cumin powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/8 tsp
Cilantro - 2 tbsp


Ghee/oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/3 ts
Cumin - 1/3 tsp
Red chili - 1 or2, torn
Asafetida - 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Cut the tomatillos in half, place them on a baking tray with cut side facing down. Roast for 

Remove from the oven. Cover and keep it aside. When cool, peel the tomatillos and mash the pulp.

Pressure cook toor dal in quarter cup water and mash. Set aside. 

Add a cup of water, tomatillos, turmeric, pepper cumin powder, bring it to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the mashed toor dal, salt, and the remaining water . Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the flame.

Heat ghee/oil in a pan, add the dried red chilies and mustards seeds. When it splutters add the cumin, asafetida, and curry leaves. Fry for 30-40 seconds.

Add the tempering to the rasam. Garnish with cilantro. 

Serve with cooked grains and veggies. 


  1. I usually make kootu with tomatillos, but rasam is a great idea too!

  2. Now that is a wonderful rasam, made with a non-Indian ingredient. Sounds very flavorful...

  3. As Rajani mentioned, I always make dal or chutney but rasam sounds just as flavorful