Tuesday 27 March 2012

Rasam | Tamarind Soup | Tamarind Rasam | Puli Rasam

Rasam is a typical South Indian recipe prepared with tamarind extract. For those who are not familiar with rasam, it is a soup like dish that has a watery consistency and tangy flavor. It is served with rice at the end of a meal or even suits a comfort food. No veggies are need just a handful of spices makes the magic soup a delicacy. There are different types of rasams/chaaru prepared in every south Indian home you can find some other rasam recipes here. The reason rasams are served at the end of a meal is because it has spices like cumin, pepper and ingredients like garlic, that promotes digestion even after a heavy meal. Instead of aerated drinks it is  better option to switch over to rasams to aid digestion. Even when you have a fever, rasam suits you better, it can help relieve congestion due to cold and even gets rid of nausea. Now lets see how to prepare this south Indian authentic rasam recipe. 


  1. Tamarind - 1 inch size ball
  2. Tomato - 1 (optional)
  3. Coriander leaves - A handful
  4. Rasam powder - 2 spoons (if you don't have rasam powder check the tip at bottom of the post)
  5. Curry leaves - Few
  6. Dry red chillies - 2
  7. Pepper balls - 1 spoon
  8. Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1 spoon
  9. Garlic pods - 2
  10. Mustard seeds - 1/2 spoon
  11. Gingelly oil/Any cooking oil - 3 spoons


  • Grind the following; It should be a coarse mixture not paste;
      • Coriander + Curry leaves + Cumin  seeds/Jeera + Pepper balls + Garlic pods. (do not add water)

  • Soak tamarind in a cup of water and leave it aside for 10 minutes. After that, mash it well with you fingers and extract the juice. Discard the pulp. 
  • Now, in the prepared tamarind juice drop a small tomato and mash it using hands and leave it aside. (You can add tomatoes like this or just chop and add them, mashing adds a nice flavor to rasams) 
  • Place a pan on flame and add oil, splutter mustard seeds, then saute dry red chillies until it turns slightly brown. 
  • Then add the prepared coriander mixture and saute for a minute on low flame. 
  • Now add rasam powder (see tip 6) and salt mix well. 
  • Then add the tamarind juice, 400-450 ml of water, mix well and set the flame to high mode. 
  • Wait until rasam starts to boil, when you are able to see bubbles forming switch off the flame. This may take a minute or two depending on the quantity. 
  • Serve hot with rice!!!
TIP 1: Never over cook the rasam it will lose its flavor.

TIP 2: Rasam should not be too tangy, it must just have a mild tangy flavor.

TIP 3: Tomato is optional but if you like tomatoes you can just add it by mashing it with your hands. Chopping is not necessary.

TIP 4: Instead of grinding coriander you can just add chopped coriander leaves into the rasam, just before removing from flame. You can add the coriander stem also.

TIP 5: You can either de-skin the garlic pods or add them as it is.

TIP 6: If you don't have rasam powder follow the below instructions to prepare it;
  • Add the following into a blender and grind it into fine powder;
Toor dhal/Split pigeon peas/Lentils - 1 spoon
Asafoetida -  a pinch
Coriander seeds - 1 spoon
Pepper and cumin seeds - 1/2 spoon each
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 spoon
  • After grinding sieve it and store the fine powder in an airtight container for future use.

South Indian rasam is now ready!! 

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