My foray into rasam making wasn’t very impressive during the many trial and error sessions of my early kitchen days. I would try numerous versions to replicate a flavor that I tasted at my Tamilian friend’s home or at a restaurant in Coimbatore or elsewhere during my travels to Tamil Nadu. Each home has its own version of rasam and trying to replicate a particular flavor wasn’t easy. I am yet to master the perfect ‘rasam’. Today’s recipe is the very basic rasam using home made rasam powder. Hope to blog other versions of ‘rasam’ in future posts.


With its concoction of spices, tamarind and tur dal, rasam is a cold weather favorite, tastes heavenly as well as warms the body and the taste buds. I always look forward to drinking rasam even though I prepare it almost every other day, well, at least 4 days a week. To me, its the best part of the meal. Yes, you read right. My meal would be incomplete without rasam. Even more so, today, since we had a cold, breezy and rainy morning. The aroma of ghee tempered spices is enticing to say the least and as it sizzles its way into the boiling spiced broth, it gives a totally different flavor dimension to the rasam. Fresh coriander leaves improve and enhance the flavor.

This rasam powder recipe should last a month, if you prepare rasam at least 2-3 times a week. Ensure you use fresh spices since the key to a good rasam is in its fresh spices.

How to make rasam powder

Rasam Powder Recipe

Preparation: 215 mts

Serves 4-5 persons

Cuisine: South Indian



little less than 1/4 cup tur dal/red gram dal/kandi pappu

10 dry red chillis

1/4 cup coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp pepper corns

1/2 tsp asofoetida

few curry leaves

1 Dry roast all the dal till red, remove and keep aside. Next roast coriander seeds for 4 mts and remove. Add the remaining ingredients, except asafoetida and curry leaves and dry roast for 3-4 mts on low to medium flame. Remove and cool. Roast the curry leaves till they wilt and turn crisp, don’t burn it. Remove and cool. Grind all the roasted and cooled ingredients along with asafoetida to a coarse powder. Store in an air tight container.

Rasam Recipe

Preparation: 25-30 mts

Serves 4-5 persons

Cuisine: South Indian



1/4 cup tur dal/red gram dal/kandi pappu

1 large tomato, chop into small pieces

big pinch turmeric pwd

2 tsps rasam pwd

tamarind, small lemon size, extract juice in half a cup of water

3/4 tsp jaggery (optional)

few fresh curry leaves

salt to taste

3 cups water

For seasoning/poppu/tadka:

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

pinch of asafoetida/hing/inguva

1 dry red chilli, de-seed and tear

few fresh curry leaves

1-2 tsps ghee

1 In a pressure cooker, place a cup of tur dal, turmeric pwd, pinch of hing and 1 cup of water and pressure cook upto 3 whistles. If cooking over stove top, cook till the dal is soft. Mash dal and keep aside.
2 Heat a deep vessel, add 3 cups of water, mashed dal, chopped tomatoes, tamarind extract, salt, turmeric pwd, few fresh curry leaves, pinch of jaggery and rasam pwd and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 2-3 mts.
3 Heat oil in a pan, add mustards seeds and as they splutter, add red chillis and curry leaves and stir fry for a few seconds. Add asafoetida and turn off heat.
4 Add this to the rasam and combine. Turn off heat and place lid. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with white rice and appadams.



  Prepare time:
 Serves: 4

 Main Ingredients:

  •  tamarind


  • rani

    hi sailu gaaru…nenu mee website chaala rojula nundi choostunnaanu. but eppudu comment cheyaledu. wow…superb…mee recipes anni chaala baaguntaayi even …the pictures are so tempting!!! kidszone kuda update eppudu chestaara ani choostaanu. my nine year old son is a very picky eater, so mee website lo kids recipes kosam choostaanu. chaala useful gaa untunnayi naaku anni recipes. BTW ….rasam recipe kuda try chestaanu. meeru annattu…ee winter lo rasam chesukunte health ki kuda good kada.lastly….all the best from me …sailu gaaru…keep it up.

  • NeelimaVasu

    Hello Sailu, me too same like Rani. your recipes are superb.. i tried many… Sambar powder ela prepare cheyyali anukuntunnanu mee website nundi mail vachindi sambar powder ani..:) appudu anukunna rasam powder kuda sure ga pedataru ani.. ๐Ÿ™‚ you are superb:) naa deggara nundi chinna request..meeru oka sari gulab jamoon instant mix tho ela chestaro try chesi cheppara? i am not sure how to prepare dough with that mix.
    thanks in advance..

  • saritha

    Sailu… Can I come to your house for lunch? Just kidding! I find your blog so inviting, the recipes authentic, the pictures delectable, and your commentary sincere and down-to-earth that I’ve often felt like wanting to actually visit and eat your food.
    Please keep up the good work. By the way, do you have any good pumpkin recipes? Here, it’s fall season in U.S. and I’m looking to cook something with pumpkin.

  • http://alaivani.com Jennifer

    Wow do you get help taking those snaps!? Amazing.

    I also LOVE rasam – it’s good anytime, anywhere!

    I have a doubt- in your kitchen, what’s the difference between sambar powder and rasam powder- and rasam and sambar?

    I ask because, maybe it depends on region too- but I have seen rasam recipes that call for ‘sambar powder’ and some rasam recipes that seem to be loaded with dhal and veggies.

    When I think of rasam I think of a watery concoction, like what you have- with little dhal- mostly for the ‘spice’ of dhal and no veggies.

    I had a friend who made rasam with plenty of dhal, and recently I saw a rasam recipe with veggies in it….

    I am so confused! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I usually take pictures without help. My man friday helps me at times, rarely though. I actually held the ladle of rasam with my right hand while taking the image. It wasn’t easy, but it had to be done. ๐Ÿ™‚

    To me, rasam is a clear, thin, spiced tamarind soup without vegetables. Tur dal and rasam powder are not entirely essential to prepare rasam. There are a variety of rasam recipes based on the region. But vegetables are usually not added to a rasam while sambar is a thick lentil based tamarind stew which calls for the use of vegetables. The difference in both the powders is basically the use of pepper is more pronounced in rasam powder. Hope I could help you understand the difference. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • http://cilantro-cilantro.blogspot.com/ Cilantro

    I am yet to master Rasam but manage to make a decent one. Amma makes the best, I use her Rasam powder but never come close to her. She insisted we have it fresh everyday for good digestion.

  • R.Punitha

    Hi Sailu,
    till now i haven’t added roasted tur dal to rasam podi.
    It is different to me Sailu.
    I’ll try tomorrow itself and rasam is very very tempting.
    Mouth watering. Take care, Bye

  • http://gaurigharpure.blogspot.com Gauri

    My first and last rasam effort was a disaster.. now i am inspired with a series of your posts on sambhar podi, sambhar and now rasam..

    wht intrigued me abt the photo is the way you have served it in long glasses.. novel!

  • Padma

    Hi Sailu,
    I am trying many of your recipes and the output is superb.
    Paricularly, Palak paneer recipe.Thank you so much for the recipes and
    good effort.

  • Anonymous

    Ahh, the ever alluring rasam. How do you make different versions of rasam? Rasam with lime, rasam with peppercorns….
    Sambar and rasam powder recipes are out now. What’s next in line, Sailu?

  • Sridevi

    Hello Sailu garu….i’ve been a regular visitor to ur blog and find your recipes so natural and your expression/explanation is impeccable. tried many of ur recipes and they turned out really well. A small request… can u please blog ‘pala thalikalu’ recipe for me….will be waiting for it….thnx…good going…God bless you.

  • krithiga

    Hi Sailu,

    This recipe is really good..! i am from tamilnadu..i daily prepare rasam..please try my way of rasam too..for sure u will like it..even viewers can try this..

    Thur dal -1 cup, whole dhaniya-2 cups, red chillies-15, jeera-1/4thcup, whole pepper-1/4th cup, curry leaves-1 handful, hing-1 pinch, turmeric-1 teaspoon.

    1. just grind in a coarse powder all the ingredients. (no need to dry roast)

    2. in a vessel add 1tomato and mash them well. along with that add some hing and some water and let them cook for 3mts.

    3. extract tamarind pulp and pour on it..add some salt

    4. pressure cook 1/4th cup of tur dhal along with little turmeric and a pinch of salt.

    5. once the raw smell of tamarind gose, add 1 to 2 tablespoon of rasam powder and let it boil for 5 to 10 mts..u could see the rasam consistency would have reduced.

    6. add this cooked dhal and dilute with some more water and chop coriander leaves on it.

    7. season them with mustard, hing and curry leaves.

    Note..as soon as you finish this rasam, please place a proper lid and close tightly..aroma will retain and give a better taste..good luck..!let me know your comments please..thanks for sharing!

    Appreciate you taking the time to share your rasam recipe with us, Krithiga. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kalyani

    hi sailu, rasam looks tempting & nice picture……

  • http://celebratinglittlethingsinlife.blogspot.com/ Supriya

    Rasam looks very comforting and is a spicy treat..esp in the winters.

  • kovida

    Hi Sailu,

    As u said, each home has its own version of preparing Rasam. My rasam is almost like your’s but I dont add cooked dal. My Mom-in-Law (She is also from ur place-Vizag) adds little crushed ginger while boiling rasam and she seasons it with garlic. Aroma of the rasam is mouthwatering and tastes good when having cold or fever, especially in this season.


  • Kriti

    Sailugaru, mee web site chala bagundi.Mee web site lo best part entantey correct ga meeru cheppinattu chestey, exact photo ee web site lo unnatey vastundi!! Chala bagundi..

  • Sowmya

    Hi Sailu,

    There are many types of rasams prepared. The tamilnadu style which you were looking for is here:

    Rasam powder: 1 cup pepper, 1 cup jeera, 10 red chillies, hing 1/4 tsp, toor dal 2 tbsp, coriander seeds 1 tbsp, 1/4 methi seeds. Dry roast the ingredients seperately and grind when cool and store in an airtight container

    Rasam: Cook dal with lots of water and extract the dal water and keep aside for the rasam and prepare sambar with the dal. Add little salt and tamarind, crush 5 garlic pods with the skin on, mash 1 small tomato, and put in some coriander leaves and leave it for 10mins. Mix with hand and mash till every ingredient has left its flavours. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and add the 1 tsp of rasam powder. Heat 1 tsp of oil or ghee in a pan, add mustard, a pinch of hing curry leaves and add the mixture to the hot pan, bring to a boil and transfer to a bowl. You can add some more coriander leaves. You can add even 1 tsp of lime juice also if needed.

    Prepare like this u will enjoy. Kids will love it.

  • http://forkbootsandapalette.wordpress.com/ sheba

    Tried this out..it was fabulous..and thats from someone who is not too fond of rasam…
    one more thing how do i add my blog url to the aggregator..tried but it didnt work

    Glad to learn you enjoyed the rasam. Right now TOI is on hold due to hiccups. Will announce its revival on my blog and you should be able to leave your feed details in the form at TOI.

  • Suchitra

    Hi Sailu
    Thanks for the recipe. I have prepared the rasam powder and it smells great. I’m going to try your rasam recipe soon. You have mentioned ghee in ingredients for tadka, but in step 3 you have asked to use oil for tadka. Do you make tadka using ghee or oil?

    I loved the idea of serving rasam in cups. I am from Maharashtra and like to have rasam as a soup instead of having it with rice.


    You can use ghee or oil, Suchitra.

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  • krishnaveni

    hi sailaja gaaru mee recipes nenu follow avuthu untanu. Fish fry naaku chaala baga nachindhi. pillalaku school ki pampinchadaaniki snack varieties kaavali. thappakunda manchi varieties vasthayani anukuntunnanu.

  • Priya

    hi,sailu i was tried this rasam it came sooooooooooooooooooooooo tasty thank u very much by priya

  • FS

    HI Sailu .. This is my 1st dish I tried as I am married to a muslim guy who grew up on south Indian delicacies. The dish was a super hit and I impressed my husband with the lip smacking taste. Thank you, this really helped with my 1st impression as a good south indian cook ๐Ÿ™‚