Tomato saar is an authentic Maharashtrian version of the famous Tomato Soup. This tomato saar is mildly spiced, sweet & tangy in taste. This saar is made using fresh ripe tomatoes and coconut milk along with herbs and spices. This is a healthy, no onion no garlic and vegan recipe.
Tomato saar is a tempered soup that is a sweet, spicy and tangy version of Indian style tomato soup. Fresh ripe tomatoes give a beautiful tanginess to this dish and the addition of coconut milk gives a subtle sweetness that helps balance the tartness of tomatoes.
This saar comes from the coastal region of Maharashtra and is also made in Goa and Karnataka. Tomato saar is a simple, quick and easy soup that is famously paired with plain steamed rice, vegetable pulao and with famous Masale bhat.
Unlike tomato soup, a tempering of cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chilli is given to tomato saar. Instead of cornstarch or cream use of coconut is done to enhance the taste and consistency of this saar.
If you love tomatoes then this is the recipe that you must try! In my childhood, Sunday was specially reserved for this luscious and delicious tomato saar as a change from the usual meals. Served with steamed rice along with popadums this was our most favourite vegetarian Sunday special lunch.
Everyone in the house from my grandparents to my younger brother, all used to cherish this Sunday special menu. It was like a tradition in our house! 😊 Miss those good old days!
This tomato saar is deeply comforting, light on the stomach and does not involve cream, milk or cornstarch. This also makes a perfect soup for kids and weight watchers.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and are natural antioxidants. In Indian cuisine, tomatoes are used as a base for many recipes hence at home we always have tomatoes stocked in our pantry throughout the year. Hence it becomes so much easy to make this delicious saar for a quick supper or for busy or lazy weekdays!
A bowl full of hot tomato saar makes a perfect meal or snack during winters or cold rainy days. Apart from grown-ups, this saar is loved by kids too.
To make this traditional and authentic tomato saar, try to use red ripe tomatoes instead of orange they tend to have the right balance of tanginess and sweetness that helps in balancing the flavours of the saar.
You may also use canned tomatoes here, but the taste would differ.
I have used storebought coconut milk here but you can add a cup of scraped coconut while blending the tomatoes or you may as well skip it altogether if you do not like coconut.
Tomatoes: I have used fresh red ripe tomatoes. I have blanched them in water for about 10 minutes and then pureed them in a blender and sieved (strained). You can use canned tomatoes here but the taste would differ a lot.
Coconut Milk: I have used storebought coconut milk here but you can use 3 tablespoons of freshly scraped coconut and blend it along with tomatoes.
Herbs & Spices: To give a nice depth of flavour I have tempered this saar with cumin seeds, dry red chilli, curry leaves, hing (asafoetida) and red chilli powder. You may also add cumin powder or crushed black pepper powder too.
Oil: I have used a tablespoon of rice bran oil for tempering.
Seasoning: Salt & Sugar. The quantity of sugar depends upon the sourness of the tomatoes. You may also add brown sugar or jaggery in making this tomato saar.
Water: To adjust the consistency of the saar.
Let’s see how to make this authentic Tomato Saar with simple staple ingredients in your home kitchen.
Serves: 2 Persons
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cooking level: Easy
Taste: Sweet, Tangy & Mildly Spicy
- 7 medium tomatoes slit into a crisscross pattern on bottom and blanched, peeled
- 100 ml coconut milk or 3 tablespoon freshly scrapped coconut
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
- 1- 2 dry red chillies
- Salt to taste
- 4-5 tbsp sugar (adjust as per sourness of tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp oil
- Cilantro to garnish
- Now before we blanch the tomatoes, I normally make a crisscross slit on the bottom side of the tomatoes so it becomes very much easy to peel off the skin once they are cooked.
- In a saucepan blanch red ripe tomatoes using water for about10-15 minutes so they are soft and cooked.
- Let the tomatoes cool to room temperature, peel of the skin before they go into the blender.
- Once cooled, add tomatoes in a blend and without using water blend to a fine paste. (If you are using freshly scraped coconut, add that now along with the tomatoes and blend).
- Strain the puree to get a nice silky texture to the saar.
- Add water as per the consistency of the soup you require.
- Add coconut milk red chili powder, salt and sugar. Mix well and place the mixture on a low flame.
By that time, let’s prepare tempering (phodni / tadka):
- In a tempering bowl, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle.
- Add curry leaves, asafoetida (hing) and dry red chilli. Turn of the gas.
- Now pour this tempering (phodni / tadka) on the tomato saar and mix well.
- Let the saar come to boil. Keep the flame on low otherwise the coconut milk might curdle.
- Tangy, spiced, sweet Maharashtrian Style Tomato Saar is ready.
- Garnish with coriander leaves/cilantro and serve hot as it is or with steamed rice, pulao or masale bhat or tondli bhat (tendli rice / Ivy Gourd Rice).
Using coconut milk or scraped coconut is optional here.
I have used coconut milk here, but you can used fresh scraped coconut instead. Blend the scraped coconut along with tomatoes and sieve the pulp.
You may also use spices like cumin powder or black pepper powder for extra taste.
Always use red ripe tomatoes for making this saar.