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.
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.
How to make Tomato Saar
1. Rinse 250 grams (3 medium-sized) tomatoes well in water. Then, quarter them and keep aside.
2. In a pan, bring 1.5 cups water to a rapid boil.
3. Add the quartered tomatoes.
4. Cover the pan and simmer on low to medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or till the tomatoes are tender.
5. The tomatoes have to get softened. Let the tomatoes cool down to room temperature or become warm.
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).
7. Keep the reserved stock aside.
Make Tomato & Coconut Paste
8. Add the cooked tomatoes to a high-speed blender or grinder.
9. Also, add ½ cup fresh grated coconut, 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped green chilies and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.
10. Without adding water, grind to a fine and smooth consistency.
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.
12. Add the reserved stock.
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.
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.
15. Season with salt as per taste.
16. Add ½ teaspoon jaggery or sugar. You can add less or more as per your taste.
17. Mix very well and keep the pan on a stovetop on low to medium heat.
18. Bring to a boil. Then, turn off the heat, cover, and set aside.
Temper Tomato Saar
19. In a tadka pan or a small frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Keep the heat to a low.
20. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.
21. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
22. When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds.
23. Let the cumin seeds also crackle.
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.
25. Turn off the heat. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 pinch asafoetida (hing). Mix well.
26. Now, pour this tempering into the Tomato Saar.
27. Cover the pan with a lid for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the tempering flavors to get infused.
28. Then, stir and mix well.
29. Add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and mix again.
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.
- 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.
- The quantity of green chilies can be altered, as per your requirements.
- 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.
- You can add either jaggery or sugar in this dish. The quantity can be adjusted accordingly.
- Water also can be added as required, depending on what consistency you want in your saar.
Tomato Soup Recipe (Homemade & Easy)
Tomato Chutney Recipe (2 Ways)
Tomato Curry (Tamatar Curry)
Tomato Rice Recipe | Quick Thakkali Sadam
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more veetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
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.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
For tempering tomato saar
Prevent your screen from going dark while making the recipe
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.
- 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.
Tomato Saar Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 127 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
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%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 250µg63%
* 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.