Tamatar-Shimla Mirch Shorba (Spicy Indian Soup)

Shorba - Indian spicy Soup : Playful Cooking

Each country has their own version of soups and stews that can be as easy or as difficult, as effortless or as complicated. But there is one common fact that is universal across them. Soup is comforting; it warms us and keeps our spirit high even when the day is gloomy!


What I am sharing today is an Indian Spicy soup that is a perfect treat for the season.


Here is the break down of the recipe title: Tamatar is tomato, Shimla Mirch is bell pepper and Shorba is what we call soup in India. The history of shorba goes way back to ancient Persia. Along with many beautiful dishes, Mughals also introduced Shorba to Indian cuisine during their time. Like all Indian dishes, this soup too is prepared with warm spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon and garam masala that makes it not only flavorful but also robust.


The end result is always delicious, just delicious.


Shorba - Indian spicy Soup : Sunshine and Smile


This is my take on shorba, which I must say, may not be traditional enough!


Ideally tomatoes are not roasted before making the soup and peppers are not normally added. If you know me, you also know how I like to add little twists to an old classic and make it my very own. People might say, why change something that is already so beautiful? And I agree to that, but isn’t food blogging also about experimenting and trying out new flavors and new techniques.


Tomatoes and Red Pepper : Sunshine and Smile


Well, the important thing is to have a pleased tummy and this soup does exactly that for us! It’s winter when tomatoes and red peppers are not at their best form. Roasting helps in releasing the juices that brighten up the flavor and makes it more luscious. The red pepper gives a kick, which balances wonderfully with the tangy tomatoes and the blend results in a gorgeous saffron color, which only makes it more tempting.


This has been our favorite soup for a while now irrespective of what the season is and how warm or cold the night might feel.


Shorba - Indian spicy Soup : Sunshine and Smile


If you enjoy Indian food, you will enjoy this spicy soup too. We added extra freshly cracked pepper on top just before we dunked our bread in it. But do not hesitate to spoon some cream at the end or yogurt, if that’s what makes you happy. I do that at times!


Tamatar-Shimla Mirch Shorba

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Tamatar-Shimla Mirch Shorba


  • 2 large tomatoes, cut in half or quarter
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in half
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • salt
  • oil


  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Layer the tomatoes and red peppers in a baking tray. Place smashed garlic on top, drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle some salt & pepper and let it bake for about 40 minutes.
  • Once cooled to room temperature, throw roasted tomatoes, pepper and garlic in a food processor and puree it. I didn’t remove the skin, but feel free to do so.
  • In a deep pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and drop cinnamon stick along with the bay leaves.
  • Once it starts to release the aroma, drop the puree from the food processor. Give it a quick mix and pour 1 cup water along with a pinch of salt, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala powder. Bring the heat down to medium and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally in between to check on the thickness of the soup.
  • Add grated ginger, chili powder and check for salt. Add any, if required. If the soup looks too thick, add little it more water and let it simmer for 5 more minutes.
  • Add chopped cilantro give it a stir. Check for salt once again.
  • Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaves.
  • At this stage, feel free to add some cream or yogurt, if you want or serve it plain with some bread.


Shorba - Indian spicy Soup : Sunshine and Smile


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Sharmila says:

That looks gorgeous! The perfect thing for this near freezing weather we’re having.

Debjani says:

I think you should seriously consider looking for a publisher. Your recipes paired with photos are an absolute treat!
Those shiny buttered rolls are as tempting.

Kankana says:

You are extremely sweet and always so kind Debjani 🙂 Thanks a lot!

Richa says:

gorgeous pictures Kankana.. i love this simple spiced up shorba. so pretty:)

I love shorba..it is such an Perfect bowl for this coooooooold weather. WIsh to enjoy this hot bowl sitting in the couch… Lovely pictures Kankana !!!

Siri says:

Pass me the whole bowl. Will ya? For the kind of gloomy, chilly weather we have here, that soup looks very comforting and appetizing. Visual treat for my sore eyes! 😀


Normally I would be eating at least 2-3 kids of soups a week this time of the year. Surprisingly I haven’t made too many soups this year. This spiced up version looks amazing though.

Archana says:

Lovely recipe and pictures too. I love the picture where the vegetables have some dew on them. They look so gorgeous..Keep them coming Kankana.

Stunning, I love all these flavors!

Mallika says:

Alas! I do not have an option to click the like button here on all the above comments, else I would surely have done that Kankana! I love the way your soup looks, simple and rustic with those torn breads and crumbs around. I almost feel like licking the soup off my screen! Dead gorgeous!

Reem says:

Kankana, your pics makes me smile… Like huge smile!!!!
And this soup… DROOOOOLLLL

Rosa says:

A flavorful and comforting soup! I love everything about it.



Dana says:

Most of the ingredients are available from my vegie garden now, but it is too hot Down Under for this wonderful recipe.

Gabriela says:

Gorgeous photos! In my home country – Romania, we have also this thick soups that you call shorba, and what we call cioba (when pronounced, is pretty much the same) that I love. Your version is very nice, and I will give it a try, as my boyfriend really enjoys Indian food.

Kankana says:

Thanks Gabriela 🙂 And you should definitely share the cioba recipe. I would love to try it!

nisha says:

sooo pretty…love all the pics kankana.. and it certainly is soup weather this side of the pond

Arch says:

Love the look of that shorba…You must continue that photography tutorial for us who drool over your pics and still can’t take good shots !

That looks so comforting for this weather. Can you pack this for my lunch? 🙂

Soma says:

Beautiful pictures again. It’s been dull, rainy and gloomy here from yesterday. Your soup was just the prefect thing to have a warm feeling.

najla koya says:

Stunning shots!! Couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.. Perfect comfort food!!

krishna says:

its very cold over here.. so this spicy soup is going to be very much enjoyable.. may be i’ll cook it tomorrow.. today i’ve already cooked carrot soup..:)

Sonali says:

Great recipe.I am a great fan of soups and even more of tomato soup.I am sure the roasted bell pepper and the masalas will give a spicy twist to the usual one.A must try recipe for sure.

beautiful soup K! I have always made mine with just tomatoes and I think the capsicum is a wonderful addition 🙂

Eha says:

With our tomato season in full swing here Down Under can’t wait to try this recipe so simple but obviously so full of flavour.

Beautiful soup…I would love to give a try. The colors are so rich and pretty!

Exaxtly what I need while fighting a soar throat. Great clicks as always.

I adore the tomato-pepper combination, and of course the cinnamon and garlic. So comforting and such a beautiful color!

This soup looks yummmy:) I love the colors and the taste is for sure rewarding.

vanamala says:

Lovely pics….and soup too

What scrumptious flavours in your soup! And as always lovely photos Kankana. Thanks for sharing.

I’ve been on a soup kick lately and a little spiciness sounds like just the thing to warm up.

Love the warm tone of the pictures kana..
Red bell pepper and tomatoes roasted create a robust flavor. Love the combo any day..

Krithi says:

I made this for dinner last night Kankana.. So delicious and rich. It was bit spicy for my palate so I added some yogurt to even it out. Overall, simple to make and a superb soup.
On a side note, I should agree with Deb, you should start looking for a publisher. your pics are awesome!

Melka says:

Hi, I’ve just found your blog. I love it! Beautiful photos and great recipies. Hugs:-)

Nami | JOC says:

While husband is gone I rely on soup and stew dishes… yet looking at your soup, I feel like I haven’t had good soup like this yet! Gorgeous clicks, Kankana. Just like pages from food magazine. I wish there are more pages to flip through. 😉

It is freezing here in Oregon. This lovely soup will be the perfect thing to make tonight. I love how simple the ingredients are.

come to you space such a long time. Its so refreshing to see such splendid colours. The photography is amazing. Love the recipe. Have to make it!

Gorgeous soup, Kankana! I can drink this up in seconds after a long hard day at work.

Margot says:

I just wanted to say that you have different kind of Shorbas, because you don’t find Shorba Only in India. Countries like Algeria, Morocco etc also have their kind. So you might wanna try all the Shorba soups there are, because the Algerian one is Pretty delicious too.