Tomato Saar Recipe

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Call it a curry or call it a soup-like curry. Whatever you call it, the fact that this lovely Tomato Saar made with fresh tomatoes, coconut, and the choicest of spices is going to woo your taste buds in the first sip, is true. A special from the coastal region of Maharashtra or the Konkan, the Tomato Saar recipe is basically a tangy, soupy curry to put it as a whole. A vegan, no onion, no garlic recipe here awaits you. You must try it, to come to terms with its awesomeness.

tomato saar served in a blue rimmed white ceramic bowl with text layovers.

About Tomato Saar

It is not wrong if you say that there are myriad ways in which tomato curries are prepared across different regional cuisines in India.

This Tomato Saar recipe is one of those many humble, yet absolutely praiseworthy curries that must be given its due respect. A typical way of serving this dish is with steamed red rice or white rice.

Back in time, I had a certain cookbook on Indian cuisine and it is from that book that I adapted this recipe.

I have been making it with this particular Tomato Saar recipe for many years now. And I must say that it is finger-licking fabulous when paired with steamed rice. 

If you ask me, I would call this Tomato Saar as a very close relative of the Tomato Rasam.

Tomatoes are one of my favorite vegetables to turn into tasty dishes. No wonder, I am a big fan of both the tomato rasam and this saar made with tomatoes.

This Tomato Saar recipe uses fresh coconut, the subtle sweetness of which balances out the tanginess of the juicy tomatoes beautifully.

Although the saar tastes fab with steamed rice, you can consume it as a soup as well. Or serve it with a veggie side dish like.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Tomato Saar

Cook Tomatoes

1. Rinse 250 grams (3 medium-sized) tomatoes well in water. Then, quarter them and keep aside.

quartered tomatoes.

2. In a pan, bring 1.5 cups water to a rapid boil.

boiling water in a pan.

3. Add the quartered tomatoes.

quartered tomatoes added to the boiling water.

4. Cover the pan and simmer on low to medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or till the tomatoes are tender.

simmering tomatoes till they turn tender.

5. The tomatoes have to get softened. Let the tomatoes cool down to room temperature or become warm.

softened tomatoes.

6. Then, strain the tomatoes using a strainer, so that seeds are removed from the stock.

Alternatively, you can purée the tomatoes separately, strain the purée and then grind coconut, chilies, and cumin seeds separately.

Since, I do not strain the tomato purée, I grind everything together (step 8 below).

straining cooked tomatoes.

7. Keep the reserved stock aside.

reserved stock.

Make Tomato & Coconut Paste

8. Add the cooked tomatoes to a high-speed blender or grinder.

cooked tomatoes added to a grinder jar.

9. Also, add ½ cup fresh grated coconut, 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped green chilies and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.

fresh grated coconuts, chopped green chilies and cumin seeds added to the tomatoes in the grinder jar.

10. Without adding water, grind to a fine and smooth consistency.

grind the ingredients to a smooth paste.

Make Tomato Saar

11. Now, take the tomato-coconut paste in a pan. I have used the same pan in which I cooked the tomatoes.

prepared tomato-coconut paste added in a pan.

12. Add the reserved stock.

adding the reserved stock to the paste.

13. Add ½ cup water in the grinder or blender jar. Swirl and rotate the jar, so that the tomato-coconut paste stuck at the sides and bottom of the jar gets mixed with the water.

water added to the grinder jar.

14. Now, add this water to the pan. You can add water as required. You can add an overall of ½ to ⅔ cup water.

water from the grinder jar added to the pan.

15. Season with salt as per taste.

adding salt to the pan.

16. Add ½ teaspoon jaggery or sugar. You can add less or more as per your taste.

adding jaggery to the pan.

17. Mix very well and keep the pan on a stovetop on low to medium heat.

ingredients mixed well in the tomato-coconut paste and pan kept on stovetop.

18. Bring to a boil. Then, turn off the heat, cover, and set aside.

boiling the tomato saar.

Temper Tomato Saar

19. In a tadka pan or a small frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Keep the heat to a low.

heating oil in a small pan.

20. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.

adding mustard seeds to the hot oil.

21. Let the mustard seeds crackle.

mustard seeds crackling in hot oil.

22. When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds.

adding cumin seeds to the hot oil.

23. Let the cumin seeds also crackle.

cumin seeds crackling in the hot oil.

24. Next, add 8 to 10 curry leaves and 1 dried red chili (broken and seeds removed). Fry for a couple of seconds till the red chilies change color. Take care not to burn them.

curry leaves and broken and deseeded dried red chili added to the oil.

25. Turn off the heat. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 pinch asafoetida (hing). Mix well.

turmeric powder and asafoetida added to the hot oil after switching off the heat.

26. Now, pour this tempering into the Tomato Saar.

pouring the prepared tempering in the tomato saar.

27. Cover the pan with a lid for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the tempering flavors to get infused.

tempering added to the tomato saar.

28. Then, stir and mix well.

tempering stirred well in the tomato saar.

29. Add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and mix again.

chopped coriander leaves added to the tomato saar.

30. Serve Tomato Saar hot with steamed rice accompanied with a side veggie stir-fried dish like Potato Fry, tendli fry, raw banana fry or Capsicum Fry.

tomato saar garnished with coriander leaves and served in a blue rimmed white ceramic bowl with text layover.

Expert Tips

  1. The best flavors and color in this recipe will be with the use of well ripe, red tomatoes. Avoid using tomatoes with a sour or overly tangy taste.
  2. The quantity of green chilies can be altered, as per your requirements.
  3. For a more classic version, you can use coconut oil for making the tempering. Also, the overall quantity of the oil can be reduced to 1 tablespoon.
  4. You can add either jaggery or sugar in this dish. The quantity can be adjusted accordingly.
  5. Water also can be added as required, depending on what consistency you want in your saar.

More Tomato Recipes To Try!

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tomato saar recipe, tomato curry recipe

Tomato Saar Recipe

Tomato Saar is a tangy curry made with tomatoes, coconut and spices. This recipe comes from the coastal region of Maharashtra. It is best had with steamed rice. 
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine Maharashtrian
Course Main Course
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

For cooking tomatoes

  • 250 grams tomatoes or 3 medium tomatoes or 2 cups quartered tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups water – for cooking tomatoes

For coconut paste

  • ½ cup coconut – grated and fresh
  • 2 to 3 green chilies – chopped or 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped green chilies
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds

More ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon jaggery or sugar
  • salt as required
  • ½ to ⅔ cup water to be added later

For tempering tomato saar

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 red chili – broken and seeds removed
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

For garnish

  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves – chopped

Instructions
 

Cooking tomatoes

  • Rinse tomatoes well in water a few times. Then quarter them. Keep aside.
  • In a pan bring 1.5 cups water to a rapid boil.
  • Add the tomatoes. Cover the pan and simmer on low to medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes till the tomatoes are tender.
  • The tomatoes have to get softened. Let the tomatoes cool at room temperature or become warm.
  • Then strain the tomatoes using a strainer, so that seeds are removed from the stock. Keep the reserved stock aside.
    Alternatively you can purée the tomatoes separately and then strain the purée. Then grind coconut, chilies and cumin separately. Since I do not strain tomato purée, I grind everything together.

Making tomato-coconut paste

  • Add the cooked tomatoes in the grinder jar. Also add the fresh grated coconut, chopped green chilies and cumin seeds.
  • Without adding water grind to a smooth and fine consistency.

Making tomato saar

  • Now take the tomato and coconut paste in a pan. I have used the same pan in which I cooked the tomatoes.
  • Add the reserved stock.
  • Add ½ cup water in the grinder jar. Swirl and rotate the jar, so that the tomato-coconut paste stuck at the sides and bottom of the jar gets mixed with the water.
  • Now add this water in the pan. You can add water as required. You can overall add about ½ to ⅔ cup water.
  • Season with salt as per taste.
  • Add ½ teaspoon jaggery or sugar. You can add less or more as per your taste.
  • Mix very well and keep the pan on a stove top on low to medium heat.
  • Bring the tomato saar to a boil. Then turn off the heat. Cover and keep aside.

Tempering the saar

  • In a tadka pan or a small frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Keep the heat to a low.
  • Then add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds. Let the mustard seeds begin to crackle.
  • When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds.
  • Let the cumin seeds also crackle.
  • Then add 8 to 10 curry leaves and 1 red chili (broken and seeds removed). Fry for a couple of seconds till the red chilies change color.
    Take care not to burn them.
  • Turn off the heat and add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 pinch asafoetida. Mix well.
  • Now pour this tempering in the tomato saar.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and allow the tempering flavors to get infused in the saar for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Then stir the tomato saar. Add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Serve Tomato Saar with steamed rice accompanied with a side veggie stir fried dish.

Notes

  • You can add less or more green chilies.
  • You can reduce the oil to 1 tablespoon for tempering. 
  • Add water as required to adjust the consistency you prefer.
  • Instead of jaggery, you can use sugar. Add according to taste.
  • Use ripe and red tomatoes for making saar. Avoid tomatoes that have a more sour taste.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Tomato Saar Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 127 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Sodium 379mg16%
Potassium 235mg7%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 722IU14%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.04mg3%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.03mg2%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 24mg120%
Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%
Vitamin C 68mg82%
Vitamin E 3mg20%
Vitamin K 8µg8%
Calcium 28mg3%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 250µg63%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 18mg5%
Phosphorus 37mg4%
Zinc 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Tomato Saar post from the archives first published in August 2017 has been updated and republished on August 2023.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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5 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)

10 Comments

  1. In the Android app star option doesn’t work.. I’ve marked so many recipes with star and none of them visible in favorites list.. I’ve tried many of ur recipes and it came out very good.. keep up the good work..

    1. there is some problem with the favorites list and we are looking into this. thanks for the positive feedback on the recipes.

  2. Venkatesh B’lore: Dasan/Amit thanking you. Tamato saar is very simple and excellent tangy and sweet it is different taste once again thank you.

  3. Just made it. It is awesome.
    I am from Eastern European background and all these flavours and techniques are absolutely new for me. Thank you for sharing you experience. It is impossible to fail following your instructions.

    P.S. Recipe rating does not work as well as print option. It is only on this page. All other pages are OK

    1. Thanks Natalia for your positive feedback and for informing me about the recipe rating issue. I don’t know why it didn’t worked for you. I just checked from two different systems and it is working fine now. Happy cooking.

  4. hi

    the print function of your blog does not work anymore. And that is a very petty because I print a lot of your great recipes