Hot and Sour Tomato Broth with Shrimp

Hot and Sour Tomato Broth with Shrimp

Hot and Sour Tomato Broth with Shrimp, Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day by Padma Lakshmi. Photography by Ditte Isager.

Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day by Padma Lakshmi

Inspired by her travels to some of the most secluded corners of the planet, Padma Lakshmi shares the origins and secrets of her latest recipes for simple to prepare, international cuisine.

She makes it easy to delight your guests with savoury and sweet dishes such as Keralan Crab Cakes, Fresh Green Beans with Lentils and Coconut, Krispy Fried Chicken, BBQ Korean Short Ribs, and Chocolate Amaretto Ice Cream. By introducing a host of enticing flavours and spices, an everyday kitchen is transformed into a global one.

Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet is both a culinary and personal scrapbook of Padma’s life, highlighted by dazzling photography and evocative personal stories about her lifelong connection to food and cooking. From appetizers to entrées, soups to desserts—Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet is perfect for anyone who wants cooking to be easy, elegant, and unforgettable.

Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day is available at and


When I was a child and in bed with a cold or flu, the women in my house always made a traditional South Indian soup called rasam. There are many variations, some with lemon, others with cumin, some with lentils or garlic or a mix of these. I always loved this soup but thought it lacked a bit of substance for the Western palate, and so I’ve made this version with shrimp. It’s still quite a light soup, and it’s sure to cure you of all your ailments.

I sometimes add some rice noodles when I’m feeling too sick to cook a whole meal. The fragrant blend of cilantro, cumin, and tamarind clears the head and soothes the aches and pains we suffer during flu season. It’s light enough to serve in the summer, too, when tomatoes are at their peak. There are several ingredients—fenugreek seeds, asafetida powder, jaggery, and black mustard seeds—that you may not have in your pantry. All these can be bought at an Indian or Asian grocery. The taste of this broth is well worth the effort to get these items. They will keep in your cupboard for months, and you’ll be well-stocked for many other recipes.


2 1-ounce knobs (2 golf ball–size pieces) of tamarind pulp(see page 66)

12 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp Juice of 1 ripe lemon


1½ tablespoons vegetable oil

¾ teaspoon black mustard seeds

¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

20 fresh curry leaves

3 cloves sliced garlic

½ teaspoon asafetida powder

2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes

1 to 2 fresh minced green chiles

½ teaspoon sambar curry powder (or Madras curry powder)

½-inch piece of jaggery (brown cane sugar or palm sugar)

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Soak the tamarind pulp in 6 cups of very hot water (bring it to a boil and then pour it over the tamarind) for 20 minutes and crush it with the back of a spoon to make a pulp.
  2. Marinate the shrimp in lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside in the fridge.
  3. In a deep soup pot, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek, cumin seeds, curry leaves, and garlic, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop and crackle out of the pan, add the asafetida, tomatoes, and green chiles. Stir for a couple of minutes and then add the curry powder. Be careful as the mustard seeds will pop out of the pan!
  4. After 4 to 5 minutes, when the tomatoes have started to wilt and become soft, pour in the strained tamarind gravy.
  5. Stir in the jaggery piece and the fish sauce, and heat for about 10 minutes. Make sure the jaggery dissolves completely. Adjust salt, if needed. Once the oil begins to separate, and little pools of oil form on the surface, add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp!
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve piping hot in bowls.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Hachette Book Group.

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