No Need of Onions!!! · Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Tangy Tomatillo Lemon Rasam.

Tangy Tomatillo Lemon Rasam.
Tangy Tomatillo Lemon Rasam.

Cold weather and rains always make me remember Comfort Foods….Foods that have been a part of our growing up, something that I always took for granted for a long long time. When I went to stay in the hostel for my Masters, I realised the warmth and love that goes in to the food our moms make for us. Nothing that I can have in restaurants can even come close to the lingering fragrance and warmth from food cooked at home with loving hands.

After a festival or function,we would crave for amma`s home made simple pathyam food to cleanse our systems.  I always loved her simple lemon rasam with Beans Curry or Chow Chow Kootu and Appalam. I am not so happy with the tomatoes here in the U.S, as I feel they lack tartness and tang. Yesterday when I saw tomatillos at the local produce store, I bought a pound or two, all the while imaging endless possibilities. Tomatillos can be stored in paper bags and kept in the refridgerator for around 2-3 weeks. The tomatillos have a protective outside husk. Remove the husk and wash before use. Tomatillos are used in many places in teh treatment of fever. I had to make this lemon rasam today, as its been pouring since morning and I suddenly yearned for amma`s cooking…

Tomatillos with husks...
Tomatillos with husks…Pic Courtesy


2 Tomatillos or 1 Tomato

1  Jalapeno  slit vertically.

2 red chillies.

2 1/2  cups of water

4 spoons of cooked Toor dhal.

1 Inch Piece of Tamarind.

1 Tsp Rasam Powder


Curry Leaves.

1 Lemon.


Cilantro / Curry Leaves to Garnish.


  • Chop the tomatillos in to little pieces so it saves cooking time. Dilute the cooked toor dhal in the 2 1/2 cups of water and set aside.
  • In a kadai, add a spoon of ghee and when it is hot, add mustard. When the mustard splutters, add hing, curry leaves, red chillies, slit jalapenos, and finally the chopped tomatillos.
  • Allow to saute for a few minutes till the tomatillos are a little mushy.
  • Add 1 cup  of the dhal water at this stage and allow to simmer. Add salt, hing, Rasam powder and  turmeric.
  • After about ten  minutes, remove in a spoon, a few cooked pieces of tomatillos and crush them with a spoon in a cup. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of toor dhal water to the crushed tomatillos and pour it all back in to the kadai.
  • Allow the whole rasam to simmer and then switch off in about 15 minutes or so. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and curry leaves. Keep the rasam closed.
  • After the rasam has cooled down a bit,  squeeze the juice from the lemon and keep closed again until time to serve.
  • Serve HOT with Beans Poriyal or Pumpkin Poricha Kootu. Alu Fry is always the recommended option!!


  • The same rasam can be made with regular tomatoes too. I add a pinch of  tamarind to the dal water as it cooks.
  • Adjust the tartness based on the sourness of the Lemon/ lime etc.
  • For added taste,  you can zest the lemon a little bit after switching off the stove
  • Add a marble size of jaggery for added taste.

Let me know what you think! Did you try it?

6 thoughts on “Tangy Tomatillo Lemon Rasam.

  1. Hi,
    Rasam is any day comfort food…and wow!Raw tomatillo’s in rasam is new to me. Should try it sometime. Thanks for ur version of Rasam.

  2. all these days i haven’t tried with tomatillos..very tasty rasam..these tomatillos taste like our “naatu thakkali”..

    planning to do it this weekend too…

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