How to Make Indian Rasam

If you are a fan of Indian cuisine, you might have heard about a popular South Indian soup called Rasam. Rasam is a tangy and spicy soup made with tamarind, tomatoes, and a blend of spices. It is not only delicious but also packed with flavors that will leave your taste buds wanting more. If you want to learn how to make Indian Rasam, you’re in the right place!

To make Indian Rasam, you will need a few key ingredients such as tamarind pulp, tomatoes, lentils, and a variety of spices like cumin, black pepper, and turmeric. The first step is to prepare the lentil stock by boiling lentils in water. Once the lentils are cooked, you can strain and set aside the stock.

  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and dried red chilies for tempering.
  • Add curry leaves, crushed garlic, and ginger for additional flavor.
  • Next, add finely chopped tomatoes, tamarind pulp, and the lentil stock.
  • Season with turmeric, red chili powder, and salt to taste.
  • Allow the rasam to simmer for a few minutes until the flavors meld together.

Once the rasam is ready, you can garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and serve it hot with steamed rice or enjoy it on its own as a soup. The tangy and spicy flavors of Indian Rasam make it a perfect comfort food for any day.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Indian Rasam



  • 1 cup tamarind extract
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rasam powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • Few curry leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Add tamarind extract, chopped tomatoes, rasam powder, turmeric powder, and salt to a pan with water. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, heat ghee and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, curry leaves, and minced garlic. Sauté until the spices release their aroma.
  3. Add the sautéed spices to the pan with the tamarind mixture and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Once the rasam reaches a desired consistency, remove it from heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  5. Serve hot rasam with rice or as a soup. Enjoy the delicious flavors of this traditional Indian dish!
Steps Ingredients
1 tamarind extract, tomatoes, rasam powder, turmeric powder, salt
2 ghee, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, curry leaves, garlic
3 None
4 coriander leaves
5 rice or as a soup

By following these steps and using the right ingredients, you can easily make delicious Indian Rasam at home. Enjoy the rich flavors and warmth of this traditional dish!

Ingredients for Indian Rasam

  • Tamarind pulp: This tangy ingredient is the base of the Rasam and gives it its characteristic flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are used to add a rich and slightly sweet taste to the Rasam.
  • Black peppercorns: These provide a subtle heat to the Rasam and enhance its overall flavor.
  • Cumin seeds: Cumin seeds are toasted and ground to a powder, adding a warm and earthy flavor to the Rasam.
  • Mustard seeds: These are often tempered in oil and added at the beginning of the cooking process to release their nutty flavor.
  • Curry leaves: Curry leaves are an essential ingredient in many South Indian dishes, and they add a distinct aroma and flavor to the Rasam.
  • Garlic and ginger: These two ingredients are finely minced or grated and provide a pungent and spicy taste to the Rasam.
  • Turmeric powder: Turmeric adds a vibrant yellow color to the Rasam and has numerous health benefits.
  • Coriander leaves: Fresh coriander leaves are added at the end as a garnish, providing a fresh and herbaceous flavor.
  • Red chili powder: This spice adds a fiery kick to the Rasam, but the amount can be adjusted according to your preference.

These are just the main ingredients for Indian Rasam, and you can customize the recipe to suit your taste by adding other spices and ingredients. Rasam is typically served with steamed rice, but it can also be enjoyed as a soup on its own.

Preparing the Base for Indian Rasam

Preparing the Base for Indian Rasam

To begin, you will need to soak a cup of lentils, such as toor dal or split pigeon peas, for about 30 minutes. This will help soften the lentils and ensure they cook evenly. Once soaked, drain the lentils and rinse them thoroughly.

In a large pot, add the soaked lentils along with water and bring it to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and let the lentils simmer until they are soft and fully cooked. This can take about 20-25 minutes.

Pro tip: To save time, you can also use a pressure cooker to cook the lentils. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking lentils in a pressure cooker.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the tomatoes by blanching them in hot water for a few seconds, then transfer them to a bowl of cold water. This will make it easier to remove the skin. Once cooled, peel the skin off the tomatoes and chop them into small pieces.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. Allow them to splutter and release their flavors. Then, add chopped onions and sauté until they turn translucent. Now, add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become soft and mushy.

Pro tip: You can also add garlic, ginger, green chilies, and other spices like turmeric and asafoetida at this stage for added flavor.

Transfer the cooked lentils to a blender and blend until you get a smooth puree. Pour this lentil puree into the pan with the cooked tomatoes and onions. Add water to adjust the consistency of the base. Season the base with salt, tamarind pulp, and Rasam powder, a blend of spices including coriander, cumin, black pepper, and red chili powder.

  1. Stir everything together and let the base simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning as per your preference.
  3. Your flavorful base for Indian Rasam is now ready to be used in various Rasam recipes.
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