Thursday 11 October 2012

Onion Rasam | Vengaya Rasam | Indian Style Tangy Shallot Soup

Rasam / Saaru is a watery tangy soup or stew like recipe and is an authentic preparation of  South India. the blend of spices gives wonderful flavors to rasam and makes it healthy too. A big spoon of hot rasam mixed with hot rice and served along with papads and any spicy sides tastes heavenly. There are many types of rasams like the pepper rasam, lemon rasam, lentil rasam (paruppu / dal rasam), chicken rasam, lamb bone rasam etc. South Indians tend to finish of a heavy lunch with some rice and hot piping rasam to ease digestion. Yes! it has many health benefits too, some rasams like pepper rasam, chicken rasam, lamb bone rasam can relieve congestion due to cold and all rasams helps ease digestion. My mom used to serve rasam rice whenever I fell ill, she says rasam is the best during sick days, when and where the body cant focus much on digestion. Here today am going to discuss about a soothing and delicious onion rasam, which is prepared with shallots or pearl onions, you can have this along with rice or serve as soup. It is so easy to make and tasty, yet can be made in just minutes without any fuss. Also shallots are said to be very health rewarding and benefiting infact it makes the rasam taste good too, so try making this rasam instead of the regular one for a twist. Lets see whats required and how to make this variety of rasam. 

Check out my lemon rasam here!!
And for traditional rasam recipe click here!! (How to make Rasam powder is also available in this post)


Serves 8 servings or 3 people 
Total Preparation Time - 15 minutes
  1. Shallots  / Pearl onions / Chinna Vengayam- 10 to 15 (75 grams) 
  2. Tomato - 1 
  3. Tamarind - 8 grams (A big gooseberry sized ball)
  4. Dry red chillies - 3 
  5. Coriander leaves - A handful
  6. Curry leaves - Few 
  7. Garlic pods - 3
  8. Cumin seeds - 1 spoon (4 grams)
  9. Mustard seeds - 1/2 spoon 
  10. Rasam powder - 2 spoon (4 grams) 
  11. Turmeric powder - 3 pinches 
  12. Salt - As per taste 
  13. Water - 600 ml (3 cups) 
  14. Gingelly oil - 3 spoons 


  • Soak tamarind to 600 ml of water and set aside for 10 minutes. Then mash the tamarind well using your fingers and extract tamarind water and set aside. Discard the pulp. 
  • Add the following to a blender and blend into a coarse mixture;
(Coarse Mixture)
1. Shallots - 10
2. Coriander leaves - Few 
3. Curry leaves - Few
4. Garlic pods - 3 
5. Cumin seeds - 1 spoon 
  • Heat a sauce pan or wok and add oil to it. After it heats up add mustard seeds and wait until it splutter. 
  • Now add dry red chillies and saute. 
  • Then add the coarse mixture and saute for 2 minutes. 
  • Now add rasam powder, turmeric powder, tomatoes and saute well for 2 minutes. 
  • Then pour the tamarind water and stir well. 
  • Add salt and cook on high flame. When you find bubbles on the sides of bowl remove from flame. It takes just few minutes, do not boil too much. 
  • Serve!! 

TIP 1: Never let rasam boil for more than 5 minutes after adding tamarind water it will affect the taste of rasam. 

TIP 2: Instead of making a coarse mixture you can add chopped onions also. 

TIP 3: My rasam is not too tangy so if you want a tangier rasam add more tamarind, also check that your tomatoes are not tangy if so adjust accordingly or else it will become very sour. In case the rasam becomes sour add more rasam powder and water to adjust the taste. 

TIP 4: Use Gingelly oil for an authentic flavor but still you can use other vegetable oils too. 

TIP 5: I haven't added peppercorns (milagu) but you can add a spoon of peppercorns while making the coarse mixture. 

Soothing and Delicious rasam is now ready!! Serve hot with rice some vegetable stir-fries and papads or have it plain like soup!!

Award time :)

My Badam Kheer (Badam Paal) has got the best recipe award from Jillu
for participating in;

 "Let party Festive Special Event"

Am so happy and excited!!! Thanks Jillu for the award..
You made my day dear :)
Click here to check out the recipe!!
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  1. Onion rasam is new to me.. but looks delicious and flavorful..

    Divya's Culinary Journey

  2. i love to try.. it looks awesome. how is the taste like? spicy

    1. Hi :) Actually it is not spicy but has a mild tangy touch with cilantro and spices flavor. Do try you will love it :)

  3. iam on a constant hunt for rasam recipes for my 2yr old. this some seems light and perfect for a soothing dinner with a veggie side dish. loved it Divya!

  4. looks yum and love all the clicks, professional yet simple with not many props :)

  5. wow onion rasam never heard before..a new one to try soon..

  6. Hey Divy congrats for your award... wish to get more... n ur rasam tempting me more... its more than enough for me with potato fry...

  7. the small little container..rasam looks real yumm

  8. awesome clicks.. onion rasam looks yummy and delicious :)

  9. Looks very good and nice clicks

  10. Congrats for the award dear...Rasam looks tempting to try...

  11. Congrats for winning the contest !! Rasam looks so inviting...

  12. Yummy Rasam...Very flavorful too.My mom used to prepare this !!!

  13. My heartiest congratulation to you dear. Wish you get many more in future and you deserve it. Fingerlicking good rasam, absolutely delicious.

  14. Wonderful!!! And I love your photos!!!

  15. looks so delicious and inviting.lovely presentation..bookmarked!

  16. Rasam yumm... looking very nice Dear...Presentation is wonderful. I love it.

  17. And Congratulation Divya... A Happy moment for your nice job. You deserve it.

  18. Super flavourful rasam, definitely comforting.

  19. Very nice click with rasam Divya. I like all rasams...onion rasam looks very delicious.

  20. Onion rasam looks delicious and flavorful...Loved the clicks..

  21. this soup come rasam is a grt appetizer to start... Divya nice clicks as usual...

    Inviting to join Ongoing Events
    Let's Party - Prasadam Special
    Taste Of Tropics - Authentic Indian Platter

  22. Rasam with chinna vengayam is something new to me! Well done and very well illustrated! :-) Wanna try soon! :-)

  23. Nice Clicks, I love the Vaali (vessel)...

  24. something new to me...nice clicks...i will try sometime..

  25. I eat quite a bit of rice and posted some information about my rice cooker at:

  26. never made it. have bookmarked it.. will try

  27. tried this.. came out good.. link to my post

    1. Thank you so much Roshini for trying out this rasam... am sure you must have enjoyed this :)

  28. Thanks a lot for the simple and yet delicious recipe. Only a small doubt I have regarding the quantity of coriander leaves .. how much .. 1/2 cup or something like that??

    Keep posting more ..

    1. Hi Vinod, You can add a handful of coriander or add half a cup of chopped coriander leaves along with tender stems.

      Let me give you a tip. Some may like more of coriander flavor, while some may not like much of its flavor. So add according to your wish, also this is onion rasam so you don't need coriander to dominate your rasam, so a handful will be enough.. Do try and let me know your feedback :)

      Thank you!!

    2. Thanks a lot Divya for those tips. That's a Gr8 point u have given regarding the quantity.
      Looking forward for lots of yummy recipes from you.


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