All about Rasams!!

Rasam can be defined as a South Indian soup which is taken along with rice basically. Its made with tamarind water mixed with a variety of spices and lentils. It is known by different names in the different southern states. Its Rasam in Tamil nadu,saaru in karnataka, chaaru in Andhrapradesh. The Aiyengars call it as “saathamudu”. Many restaurants serve mulagatwany soup which is also a kind of rasam. There are so many varieties of rasam though the basic recipe remains the same. As I had a few requests from some friends and readers for the rasam recipe , I thought of compiling into a single post. Find more about rasam here.

First of all , let me provide the recipe of rasam powder which can be prepared in a large quantity and stored for a sufficiently long time and used during any rasam preperation.

Rasam Powder

Ingredients

100 g Coriander seeds/dhania seeds
50 g Tuvar dal
25 g Cumin seeds/jeera seeds
2 tsps black pepper
8 to 9 ( more if you can take the heat) Red chillies
Curry leaves- few leaves(optional)

Steps

  1. Dry roast all the ingredients together. Let it cool and grind the ingredients to a coarse powder.

Readymade packets of rasam powder are commercially available. They are available in a lot of brandnames. I have used MTR rasam powder and I really love the taste, flavour and colour it imparts. Sometimes, even sambar powder can be used for making rasam. That tastes good too!!

There is a special utensil called “eeya chembu” – a lead vessel for preparing rasam and when made in this, the flavour gets enhanced. It does tastes great for sure!!!

As I mentioned above, there are a number of rasam varieties, so I will compile a few basic ones.

1. Pepper rasam-

Ingredients

Tamarind- lime sized lump
2 – 3 tsp Rasam powder
1 tsp Whole pepper- Crushed
1/2 tsp cumin seeds powder
1/4 cup Cooked tuvar dal/masoor dal- th
to taste Salt
Curry leaves- few leaves
Coriander leaves for garnishing
1 tsp Mustard seeds
a pinch Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Ghee

Steps

  1. Squeeze out the pulp from the tamarind. Add the rasam powder, pepper and cumin seeds powder,salt and curry leaves. Allow it to boil till the smell of rasam powder goes. Now mash the cooked dal, add it to the boiling mixture and boil further for 2-3 minutes. Dilute with around 2-3 cups of water /dal water. Boil till it bubbles up(takes around 10-15 minutes. Remove from flame.
  2. Heat ghee for tempering. Crackle the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Add to the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  3. Optional- You can also add chopped tomatoes in this. But accordingly reduce the quantity of tamarind.

2.Pineapple Rasam- This is a kind of festive rasam , the method is almost the same.

Tamarind- A very small lump(because pineapple is going to be tart)

Ingredients

1/2 cup Cooked tuvar dal/masoor dal
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
2 – 3 tsp Rasam powder
1/2 can Pineapple pieces- crushed( Use along with the syrup )
jaggery- a small lump-(optional)
to taste Salt
small pinch Asafoetida
1 tsp Oil/ghee
1 tsp Mustard seeds
Coriander for garnising

Steps

  1. Squeeze out the juice from the tamarind. Add rasam powder, pepper powder ,salt and the crushed pineapple pieces and allow it to boil till the rasam powder smell goes. Then add the cooked dal and boil for 2 minutes. Dilute with dal water. Boil for another 10 minutes. Add jaggery if using.
  2. Heat oil or ghee. Crackle mustard seeds and asafoetida and add it to the rasam.
  3. You can also make this without adding tamarind water using just dal. Dilute it accordingly.

3. Mysore rasam- In this, fresh rasam powder is made and used for the rasam.

Ingredients

Tamarind- Size of a lime
1/2 cup Cooked masoor/tuvar dal
1 1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp Channa dal/bengal gram dal
8 Dried red chillies
2 tsp Oil
5 – 6 Whole pepper
Curry leaves- few leaves
Oil for tempering
1 tsp Mustard seeds
a pinch Asafoetida
to taste Salt
coriander leaves for garnishing.

Steps

  1. Heat oil in a pan and roast the coriander seeds,channa dal and the red chillies. Grind this to a paste along with a few pepper corns.
  2. Squeeze out the juice from the tamarind. Add the salt ,asafoetida and curry leaves. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes. Then add the cooked dal and boil for sometime. Dilute with water or dal water and boil till it froths. Then add the prepared powder and mix well.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and crackle mustard, curry leaves and red chillies. Add to the rasam and garnish with coriander.
  4. You can add tomatoes in the tamarind water and boil along with it, but reduce the amount of tamarind accordingly.

4.Lemon rasam or elumachampazham rasam or limbu rasam

Ingredients

1 cup Cooked Mung dal
2 Green chillies- chopped
1 Tomato- chopped
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
a pinch Asafoetida
to taste Salt
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 Lemon juice- of lemon

Steps

  1. Heat oil in a pan.Crackle mustard , cumin seeds and green chillies. Add the tomatoes. Cook for sometime. Add the cooked dal along with salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Dilute with 2-3 cups of water . Allow to boil till it froths. Remove from flame. Add the lemon juice. Mix well.
  2. I add a tsp of rasam powder in this. But its totally optional.

5. Tomato Rasam- I always make this when I have a bad cold. The ingredients does the magic.

Ingredients

2 Tomatoes- big
half cup Cooked dal- oir little less
2 cloves Garlic
1” Ginger
5 Peppercorns
1 tsp Cumin seeds
3 tsp Rasam powder
to taste Salt
a pinch Asafoetida
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard

Steps

  1. Grind chopped tomatoes, Ginger ,garlic, peppercorns and cumin seeds in a blender. Heat oil in a pan. Crackle mustard seeds. Add the ground liquid followed by salt, asafoetida and rasam powder. Boil for 10 minutes. Add the dal and cook for 2 more minutes.Dilute with 2 -3 cups of water or dal water and boil till it froths.

ย  See a detailed post about tomato rasam here- with step by step pictures)

39 thoughts on “All about Rasams!!”

  1. Wowwwww Such an extensive post on Rasams..I love it. Rasam is undoubtedly one of the comfort food.And so right about the eeya chembu rasam ๐Ÿ™‚ My fav is mysore rasam…Thanks for the rasam powder recipe…

  2. Astounding Sowmya.. Lot about rasams.. Can you post Lemon rasam also here.. The fact about eeya sombu was good.. can you give tips on how to handle it, which is also called “Eeya sombu pazhakarthu” in tamil!

  3. They all look yummy….DH loves them….but I don’t know why I don’t make them…no more excuses for me I have to try atleast one of these….

  4. Eeya chombu rasam has it’s own flavour. I like the MTR powder too. great colour to the rasam. Can just imagine and drool the rasam, sitting miles away.

  5. Thats one delicious post on rasam… You have covered all the popular rasam variations. Rasam made in an eyyachombu is delicious by itself.

  6. all delicious rassams in a page; with rice, it’s my favourite comfort food!!! I didn’t know about the Eeya sombu, nice info!!

  7. Hello SowmyajiIts really great about south indian rasam. I had tested there love it. In Kerala what they call.What is the sequence of taking rice in Tamilnadu. They take with yogurt, sambhar and rasam.Also in future like to see for sambhar complied receipe.regards!

  8. Finally yesterday i tried my hands on Tomato rasam….it was quite indulging….love the awesome info on rasam…wah there are so many rasama…yet to taste….thank you for such an ra-rasam post….

  9. Lovely Post Sowmya.. Am a sucker for Rasams, you must know how much I would have enjoyed this post.. I use home-made powder or sometimes Shakthi/Eastern powder, I personally dont like MTR..! ;)Eeya Sombu, uff, I miss that rasam so much!! Keep going gal ๐Ÿ™‚

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