Shyma's Spicy, Tangy Tomato Rasam

I don’t know what’s the connection between yoga and South Indian food, but ever since I’ve started practicing, nothing satisfies me more than a bowl of curd rice or a crispy dosa. And I’m not alone - every yoga master who’s visited the studio (where I teach) counts South Indian food as his favourite. So when I saw a pot of delicious rasam bubbling away on fashion designer Shyma Shetty’s Insta stories, I just had to get the recipe. I always knew that Shyma’s one heck of a talented designer - she is the co-founder of Huemn - and a wonderful illustrator, but she cooks too? Ah-mazing. 
Here’s the recipe in her own words.

Spicy, tangy tomato rasam (Tomato Saaru colloquially) is one of my favourite comfort foods. It takes all of 10 minutes to whip up and is great with papad and rice. Like all kids, I think my mom is the best cook in the world (: and this is one of the few traditional dishes she hasn't veered too far away from in her version. This is the Mangalorean version. There's a Tamilian version that I like too that uses tamarind.

Should we start?

I usually chuck these in a blender first:

  • 4 red ripe tomatoes 
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 6-8 garlic pods
  • 1" of ginger
  • 2-3 green chillies (depending on how spicy you want it).
  • A small bunch of coriander.

Once it's a paste, put it in a vessel to boil ( you can add some water if you want it to be more rasam consistency. I put about half a glass which is lesser than normal because I like it to be less runny). Add salt + turmeric powder (1/4 tsp) Adjust spices according to taste.


  • Heat 1 tbsp of desi ghee in a wok
  • Add 1 tsp of mustard seeds, a bunch of curry leaves (which I LOVE so I usually go overboard), one red chilli, 6-8 pods of sliced garlic pods.
  • In the end, add a tsp of zeera (cumin seeds).
  • Remove from flame an pour it over the boiled tomato gravy, which should be simmering on low flame right now.