I've been trying to crack this Cream of Tomato recipe for many decades now that is served in almost all Indian five star hotels and professionally managed kitchens. At the end when it's served, it has a strong and the most fragrant aroma of garlic, cilantro stalks, nutmeg, etc but does not necessarily feel 'garlicky'.

Here's my recipe to start with:

  1. Add oil+butter in a pan with black pepper corns. Add crushed tomatoes, garlic and cilantro stalks. Let cook for 15-20 minutes. Blend and then strain.
  2. Start again with butter and nutmeg powder.
  3. Add all purpose flour and then some milk and let cook for a couple minutes.
  4. Pour the blended/ strained tomatoes. Let cook for 10 minutes. Test salt/ white pepper.
  5. Serve.

What can I do at the end to get the garlic aroma in soup? Thanks and best wishes.

  • Welcome to the site! Asking for recipes is off topic on this site, so this question will likely be closed. If you have a recipe that doesn't work for you feel free to edit your question and post the recipe, asking specific questions about how to get the result you want.
    – GdD
    Sep 17, 2020 at 18:38
  • Done. I didn't realize that my question was tantamount to having asked for recipe and neither did I realize that asking for a recipe itself was off the table as well.
    – OldSchool
    Sep 17, 2020 at 20:01
  • @OldSchool I don't see a recipe added to your question. Can you check it?
    – Kat
    Sep 17, 2020 at 20:22
  • 2
    If it's served in almost all the 5-star hotels, someone probably has already leaked it, if not outright published it. If not, you could try getting a night job. ;)
    – Obie 2.0
    Sep 17, 2020 at 21:07
  • 2
    I’ve never been to India so haven’t experienced the soup you describe. Looking at recipes online though, I see it is often served the with croutons. Is it possible that the croutons are fried in oil flavoured with garlic, coriander etc so that they act like a tempering, fragrancing the soup?
    – Spagirl
    Sep 18, 2020 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


This is mere theory/guesswork, but I wonder if they might do it like a tadka [tarka] you add to dall [lentil] recipes?

Fry garlic & other spices in oil, then pour over right at the end. Stirring in is optional, for presentation effect.

Here's a link to a rather elaborate tadka method, including smoking charcoal which sounds fabulous, though I've never tried it myself

Alternatively, my own 'cheat' to punch up the garlic in a dall recipe is to add powdered garlic right at the end. This punches up the fresh 'garlickiness' a lot, with very little effort. It has a tendency to go lumpy if you're not careful, so mixed in as a slurry is the easiest way to avoid that.

As to the coriander/cilantro, I can think of no method to get the bright, fresh smell & taste into a soup just before serving other than to make a quick purée & stir it in. I'm sure you would be able to spot the bits of bright green, though, done this way, but coriander really doesn't keep that bright flavour more than a few minutes once heated.

  • Thanks for your detailed view. Cilantro I can probably manage by using stock water that has excessive cilantro stalks. I am going to try the garlic powder suggestion sometime soon and write back here. Thanks again ..
    – OldSchool
    Sep 20, 2020 at 18:24
  • They also might've used cilantro / coriander root. It has a very strong flavor (without being overly soapy), but you have to go to an asian grocery store (or talk to a gardener) to find it.
    – Joe
    Oct 20, 2020 at 18:39
  • @Joe - Yeah, supermarkets always chop the roots off. My local supplier doesn't. I have to say, though, that I've never understood this "soapy" thing people say when talking about coriander/cilantro. Maybe it's a regional issue. Where I live [UK] supermarkets sell stuff you've to crush before you can smell it [grown in UK]. My local Turkish store you have to keep it in a bag, it's so punchy and magnificent [grown in Turkey]. Neither would I quantify as 'soapy' in any respect.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 20, 2020 at 18:43
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    @Tetsujin : it's believed to be a genetic thing (OR26A). There are some chemical compounds in cilantro that not everyone can taste, and most people who can taste it find it to be really, really nasty.
    – Joe
    Oct 20, 2020 at 19:30

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