Rasam recipe

Rasam recipe, a traditional, authentic South Indian soup or appetizer made with tamarind

rasam recipe

No South Indian traditional meal or thali is complete without ‘rasam‘. Literally translated, ‘rasam’ means extracted juice or liquid . There are numerous versions of the basic rasam recipe prepared down South with each home cook lending his or her own unique touch to the rasam preparation.

I am sharing
~ an easy, most basic, simple, tasty South Indian rasam for beginners
~ a no fail recipe that can be made even by a 10 year old.
~ a rasam recipe without rasam powder and without lentils.

Rasam, more popularly known as charu, is an integral part of a traditional daily meal in telugu speaking homes. Rasam with rice is a comfort food that I grew up on and continues to be so even today. I am a rasam lover and prepare rasam fresh each day. If any extra rasam is left over, it is sipped as a soup during dinner time. Tamarind is star player that provides the necessary sourness. Each day, I tend to change the flavor profile of the rasam by tweaking the basic rasam recipe. I play around with ingredients like garlic, asafoetida, tomato, coriander leaves, black pepper corns, jaggery and end up making rasam that is different from the previous day and the one before that and so on. Just by adding or omitting a certain spice or herb, the rasam transforms into a unique flavored avatar. ๐Ÿ™‚

south indian rasam recipe
rasam served in a south indian thali

Quite a few of my hindi speaking friends have requested me to share an authentic rasam recipe. If you ask me for a rasam recipe with specific measurements, it is not an easy task since I eyeball the ingredients. I will try my best to share a tasty rasam recipe that works good each time I make it. The thinned down tamarind water is simmered along with turmeric, salt and jaggery that adds a touch of sweetenss and helps cut down the sourness of tamarind and curry leaves which lend an aromatic touch. The liquid is simmered till the rawness of tamarind disappears. I usually hand pound the spices like cumin seeds, pepper corns or garlic that are added to the almost done simmering rasam and finally finished off with a ghee tempering of mustard seeds, red chilis and asafoetida. The addition of asafoetida elevates the flavor profile of rasam by leaps and bounds.

You can add freshly crushed spices and herbs of your choice based on what is available in your pantry at Step 2 in the below mentioned rasam recipe.
– crushed garlic (3-4 cloves) OR
– crushed cumin seeds (1/2 tsp) OR
crushed black pepper corns (7-8) OR
– crushed cumin seeds (1/2 tsp) and black pepper corns (1/2 tsp)
– crushed coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black pepper corns (1/2 tsp each) OR
– crushed garlic (2-3 cloves), cumin seeds (1/2 tsp) and black pepper corns (1/2 tsp) OR
– crushed ginger (1/2″)

The aroma of tangy, spicy, tasty rasam has be to experienced and cannot be described in words. It is best served with warm white rice, dal, pickle and papad. When you are feeling under the weather, rasam warms your soul and opens up your nasal passages and soothes a sore throat. In terms of health benefits, it aids digestion and prevents constipation. Rasam makes for a perfect party appetizer! Fragrant, warming and simply zen!

how to make rasam
south indian rasam

Rasam varieties
Rasam recipe with rasam powder
Andhra charu with black pepper corns
Mysore Rasam
Udupi Tomato Rasam
Pineapple Rasam
Mango Rasam
Nimmakaya Charu (Lemon Rasam)

Follow the instructions to learn how to make rasam that’s easy, simple and tasty

Rasam recipe

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 5

 Main Ingredients:

  •  tamarind


  •   Water - 2 1/2 cups
  •   Tamarind - Indian gooseberry size, soak in 1/2 cup warm water for 10 mts, extract juice
  •   Tomato - 1, small, crushed (optional)
  •   Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  •   Jaggery - 1 tsp
  •   Curry leaves - 6
  •   Coriander leaves with stalks - finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  •   Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp, freshly hand pounded in a mortar pestle
  •   Garlic cloves - 2-3, crushed (optional)
  •   Black pepper corns - 1/2 tsp, freshly crushed
  •   Salt to taste
  •   For tempering:
  •   Oil or ghee - 1 1/2 tsps
  •   Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  •   Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  •   Dry red chilli - 1, tear and de-seed
  •   Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
  •   Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Method for making Rasam recipe

In a vessel, add water, tamarind extract, turmeric powder, asafoetida (1/4 tsp), crushed tomato, jaggery, half of the chopped coriander leaves with stalks, salt and curry leaves. Bring to a boil and cook on high flame for 2 mts and medium high flame for 7 mts.
Add crushed cumin seeds and black pepper corns and bring to a boil for a little less than a minute.
While the rasam is simmering, heat ghee or oil in a small vessel for tempering. Once it turns hot, add mustard seeds and allow to crackle. Immediately add cumin seeds, red chili, curry leaves and asafoetida and turn off flame.
Add this tempering to the boiling rasam and turn off flame. Add remaining fresh coriander leaves, place lid and allow the flavors to meld for at least 30 mts to an hour.
Serve warm with hot rice and papad.


  •   Taste the tamarind water for sourness. Adjust water accordingly. If its too sour, add more water.
  •   At Step 2, you can add spices of your choice.
  •   You can add 2 crushed garlic cloves also along with cumin and black pepper corns. Garlic gives a wonderful flavor to the rasam.
  •   You can add a heaped tbsp of cooked tur dal.
  •   If tomato is not on hand, you can omit it.
  •   Vegans can omit ghee and use oil. The tempering is good with oil too.


Rasam recipe, easy, simple, tasty soup made with tamarind. How to make rasam without dal,without rasam powder. Best authentic south indian rasam preparation
  • Akkta

    Tried this recipe, turned out amazing! Lapped up an entire big bowl for lunch. Tasted like the meals i had in Hyderabad and Bangalore. Tha k you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kamala

    Thank you sis. I will try bhendi fry as you showed.