Tamatar Shorba (Indian-Style Tomato Soup)

Tamatar Shorba Recipe

(serves 4 as a main dish)

This recipe can easily be made vegan.  Simply replace the ghee with the oil of your choice (I'd recommend peanut oil or coconut oil) and leave out the milk.  If you also prefer your tomato soup on the creamy side, substitute with plain almond milk or plain soy milk.

The soup is wonderful served hot, but is equally delicious served cold.  It also freezes beautifully.  If you plan to freeze the shorba, do not add any milk.  You can add this when you re-heat, if desired.  The shorba should keep for at least 6 months if frozen properly.  


  • 2 tbsp. ghee (substitute oil, if making vegan)
  • 8 whole peppercorns
  • 3 small bay leaves
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon, broken
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/2 tsp. ground garam masala
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 2 1/4 c. peeled roma (or plum) tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1" piece of ginger, grated (about 1.5 tbsp.)
  • pinch of chili powder (I used cayenne), to taste
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 c. milk, optional (omit if making vegan--I used 2% in my version)
  • 1 handful fresh coriander (cilantro)--leaves and stems
  • 4 cups water
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh coriander (cilantro), ground black pepper and additional oil for garnish


  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  In a different pan, melt the ghee and add the peppercorns, bay leaves, clove, cinnamon and garam masala.  Fry the spices until they begin to release their aroma, being careful not to burn them. Add the onions and stir. 
  • Cook the onions about 5 minutes, until they begin to turn translucent   Add the garlic and cook a minute more, until the garlic no longer smells raw.  Tip in the tomatoes.  
  • Stir everything together and bring to a boil.  Once the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to break down.  
  • Add the boiling water to the tomato mixture and stir in the grated ginger, nutmeg, sugar, chili powder and toss in 1 tsp. of salt.  Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes before transferring the mixture to a blender.  Add the fresh coriander leaves and stems. 
  • Blend until the shorba is a very smooth consistancy.  Add milk, if using, and blend to mix.  If the shorba is still a little chunky, you may want to pass it through a fine sieve before finally transferring the shorba into a clean vessel.  I used the same dutch oven in which I boiled the water.  Check the soup's seasoning and add extra salt, if necessary. 
  • Serve garnished with fresh coriander leaves and freshly ground black pepper.  If you want to get really fancy, you can drizzle a small amount of oil on the surface of the soup.
original recipe/photos @ http://myfancypantry.com/2013/05/04/tamatar-shorba-indian-spiced-tomato-soup