Tamatar Shorba

Shorba - Indian spicy Soup : Playful Cooking

Flavor packed with warm spices, Tamatar Shorba  is an Indian tomato soup that was introduced by the Mughals. It is typically prepared with only tomatoes, but I like to add one red pepper and then roast it for maximum flavor burst.

The weather is nippy and we are officially in soup season. Also after the food indulging vacation in India, I needed some light meals in my weekly menu. Tamatar Shorba it is!

Tamatar Shorba or Tomato Shorba

The history of shorba goes way back to ancient Persia. In the word ‘Shorba’, Shor‘ refers to as ‘salty and ‘Ba‘ means a ‘stew dish cooked with water.’

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

Tomato Shorba - Spiced Tomato Soup | Playful Cooking #soup #tomato #foodphotography #indianrecipe #tomatoshorba

What spices goes in Tamatar Shorba ?

I am sure we all have our version of spices that goes in the shorba and this is what I like to add:

Typically shorba is prepared by adding everything in a big pot and slow simmering it away until it’s cooked.

I like to roast the tomatoes as it brings out the sweetness. Along with the tomatoes, I added some red peppers (shimla mirch) because the combination always works.

Spiced Tomato Soup | Playful Cooking #soup #tomato #foodphotography #indianrecipe #tomatoshorba

How do prepare Tamatar Shorba or Tomato Shorba ?

It is by far the easiest soup to make any time of the year.

  • Cut tomatoes and red pepper into wedges and place in an ovenproof dish. Add few smashed garlic too. Roast at 375F for 40 minutes.
  • Blend the softened veggies until it’s smooth.
  • Cook the puree in ghee along with the warm spices.
  • Serve with a drizzle of heavy cream (optional) along with fresh black pepper.

Spiced Tomato Soup | Playful Cooking #soup #tomato #foodphotography #indianrecipe #tomatoshorba

Can you freeze Tamatar Shorba ?

YES! Make a big batch and freeze it for lazy days. Thaw and re-heat before serving.

Pair this soup with :

Focaccia Bread with Tomato Rosemary Lemon

Roasted Garlic and Cilantro Bread

Rustic White Bread

No Knead Bread – QUICK and EASY

Here are MORE SOUP RECIPES to try

tomato shorba 01

Tomato Shorba - Spiced Tomato Soup

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Flavor packed with warm spices, Tomato Shorba is an Indian tomato soup that was introduced by the Mughals. It is typically prepared with only tomatoes, but I like to add one red pepper and then roast it for maximum flavor burst.


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 red pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • heavy cream to drizzle at the end (optional)
  • black pepper for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Cut the tomatoes and red pepper in wedges and place it in an ovenproof dish.
  3. Smash the garlic cloves and add to the same dish.
  4. Drizzle the oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix it around and place in the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 40 minutes.
  5. Once it cooled after roasting, pour everything from the dish to a blender and blend to a smooth puree.
  6. In a heavy bottom pan add the ghee. Once it’s melted, drop the bay leaves. Crush the dried fenugreek leaves and sprinkle that too.
  7. Pour the puree from the blender and mix it around.
  8. Sprinkle the cumin powder, black pepper and coriander powder give a mix. Pour the water and ½ teaspoon salt. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve the tomato shorba warm.

 Spiced Tomato Soup | Playful Cooking #soup #tomato #foodphotography #indianrecipe #tomatoshorba

Did you enjoy this Tamatar Shorba? Share your creation by tagging @playfulcooking on Instagram with the #playfulcooking and I will re-share in my story!

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Comments are closed.

  • Sharmila
    January 14, 2013 at 7:37 PM

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

  • Debjani
    January 14, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    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 Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      January 15, 2013 at 5:36 PM

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

  • Richa
    January 14, 2013 at 7:53 PM

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

  • dishesfrommykitchen
    January 14, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    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
    January 14, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    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! 😀


  • chinmayie @ love food eat
    chinmayie @ love food eat
    January 14, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    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
    January 14, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    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.

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 14, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Stunning, I love all these flavors!

  • Mallika
    January 14, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    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
    January 14, 2013 at 10:05 PM

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

  • Rosa
    January 14, 2013 at 11:10 PM

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



  • Dana
    January 14, 2013 at 11:54 PM

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

  • Gabriela
    January 15, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    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 Saxena
      Kankana Saxena
      January 15, 2013 at 5:37 PM

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

  • nisha
    January 15, 2013 at 3:49 AM

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

  • Arch
    January 15, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    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 !

  • Vijitha Shyam
    Vijitha Shyam
    January 15, 2013 at 8:19 AM

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

  • Soma
    January 15, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    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
    najla koya
    January 15, 2013 at 8:56 AM

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

  • krishna
    January 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    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
    January 15, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    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.

  • Sneh | Cook Republic
    Sneh | Cook Republic
    January 15, 2013 at 3:01 PM

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

  • Eha
    January 15, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    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.

  • thyme (Sarah)
    thyme (Sarah)
    January 15, 2013 at 7:45 PM

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

  • Lail | With A Spin
    Lail | With A Spin
    January 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM

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

  • Yasmeen @ Wandering
    Yasmeen @ Wandering
    January 16, 2013 at 2:33 AM

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

  • Ella-HomeCookingAdv
    January 16, 2013 at 7:04 AM

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

  • vanamala
    January 16, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Lovely pics….and soup too

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie
    January 16, 2013 at 8:07 AM

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

  • Sylvie @ GitK
    Sylvie @ GitK
    January 16, 2013 at 1:43 PM

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

  • Radhika @ Just Homem
    Radhika @ Just Homem
    January 17, 2013 at 6:38 PM

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

  • Krithi
    January 18, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    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
    January 18, 2013 at 2:24 PM

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

  • Nami | JOC
    Nami | JOC
    January 18, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    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. 😉

  • a farmer in the dell
    a farmer in the dell
    January 20, 2013 at 2:46 PM

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

  • anita menon
    anita menon
    January 22, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    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!

  • reese@SeasonwithSpic
    [email protected]
    January 29, 2013 at 8:06 AM

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

  • Margot
    February 6, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    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.