Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

South Indian Rasam Recipe

 Published 2008-Feb-10   Updated 2017-Jul-03

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Spicy Rasam, Chaaru, Saaru, Kabir, Tomato Rasam, Pepper Rasam, South Indian Soup)

Rasam is a south Indian curry/soup usually had with rice. It is made with tamarind, tomatoes, pepper, cumin, garlic, lentils etc. It is called saaru or chaaru in Telugu and Kannada. In the traditional 3 course south Indian meal, it is usually had as a second course with sambhar being the first course and curd being the grand finale.

There are many different types of rasam based on the ingredients used. But the basic recipe remains the same, the recipe that is given below. The additional ingredient is added to the basic rasam to enhance and change its flavor. Some of the variations of south indian rasam recipes that I am familiar with are:

Types of Rasam

  1. Basic Rasam (See Recipe Below)
  2. Poodu (garlic) Rasam,
  3. Pineapple Rasam,
  4. Mango Rasam,
  5. Milagu (Pepper) Rasam/ Milagu Saaru,
  6. Neem Leaf Rasam,
  7. Neam Flower Rasam,
  8. Ginger Rasam,
  9. Lemon Rasam - sourness comes from lemon juice instead of tamarind juice,
  10. Paruppu Rasam/ Pappu Saaru - made with lentils,
  11. Chettinadu Kozhi (Chicken) Saaru/ Rasam- made with chicken broth/stock instead of water,
  12. Tomato Rasam/ Saaru - with tomato puree as main ingredient,
  13. Mysore Rasam- a fragrant soup made with fried grams/dals,
  14. Jeerige saaru - made with cumin,
  15. Coconut Rasam,
  16. Carrot Rasam - Boiled and crushed carrot is added to the rasam,
  17. Beetroot Rasam - Boiled and crushed beetroot is added to the rasam etc.

Recipe For Basic Rasam


  • Tamarind- lime sized
  • Tomato - 1 (finely chopped or crushed)
  • Green Chilly - 1
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp 
  • Water - 3 cups 
  • Salt - to taste 
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 7 leaves 
  • Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp 
  • Coriander leaves (cilantro) – handful (chopped)

Rasam Powder (Masala) Ingredients

  • Black Peppercorns - 3 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Toor Dal - 1 tsp
  • Red Chilly - 1 or 2  
  • Garlic - 3-4 cloves (crushed)
  • Curry leaves - few

Rasam Ingredients


  1. Coarsely grind all the items under ‘rasam powder ingredients’. I prefer to add the garlic while making this rasam powder. Some people crush and add the garlic separately.

    Rasam Steps

  2. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of warm water for 5 minutes to extract the tamarind juice.

    Rasam Steps

  3. Heat little oil in a pan and pop the mustard seeds and curry leaves.

    Rasam Steps

  4.  Add the rasam masala, crushed green chilly and chopped tomato. 

    Rasam Steps

  5. Let it cook for couple of minutes until the tomatoes become soft and juicy. A nice aroma of the roasted spices will come.

    Rasam Steps

  6. Now add tamarind juice, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt, finely chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and about 3 cups of water.

    Rasam Steps

  7. When the rasam is about to boil, you will see it foaming. Switch it off at this stage before it comes to a full boil.

    Rasam Steps

  8. Transfer to a serving dish and keep it covered with a lid to retain its aroma until you are ready to serve.

    Rasam Steps

Serving Suggestion

  • Plain white rice with rasam and paapad is an excellent combination.  It can be served with some simple poriyal or vegetable fry or some non veg dry preparations. You can also serve it as a warm soup.

More Tamarind Based Curries

Neem Flower Rasam (Veepam Poo Rasam) Neem Flower Rasam Beetroot Rasam Beetroot Rasam Carrot Rasam Carrot Rasam Manathakkali Uppadan Manathakkali Uppadan
See more rasam recipes...

You May Also Like

Post a new comment

2000 Characters left
Your name will be displayed next to your comment.
Email will NOT be displayed publicly.
Cancel       Save Comment

Comments (9)

Person   ()
yummy , and easy to made
Person   ()
Person   ()
Thank you.
Person   ()
Person   ()
thank you.
Person   ()
nice recipe!
Person   ()
Thank You.
Person   ()
rasam is my favourite veg soup, particularly with boiled gram dal
Person   ()
hmm.. yummy!!

Post Comment

 Published by on and last updated on 2017-07-03.