Garlicky Peppery Delicious… Rasam

05 Nov

The weather has definitely gone cold here and I can feel Winter fast approaching. Well, with the way temperatures have gone south, it already feels like Winter. These days, it is almost like we have only 2 seasons these days – summer and winter, whatever happened to spring and fall, I wonder! All I want to do these days is to snuggle on the couch with a throw thrown over me and vegetate like a couch potato. For a Wintery day, what is better than having lip-smacking good, peppery rasam!

Rasam is a light lentil-tamarind-tomato based South Indian dish that can be eaten as is like a soup or with rice accompanied with pappadum or a dry veggie side-dish. Rasam is usually a sour dish and its sourness mainly comes from tomato with a little help from tamarind or lemon. Rasam is the go-to dish when you are under a bout of cold or fever, as it is not as lentil-heavy as sambhar and very soothing for the throat.

Pepper Rasam

Grind to a paste:
Black Peppercorn – 1 Tsp
Coriander Seeds – 1 Tsp
Tuvaram Paruppu (Toor Dal) – 2 Tsp
Red Chilli – 1
Jeera – 1 Tsp
Tamarind Paste – 2 Tsp
Garlic – 4 cloves (optional)

In a heavy-bottomed vessel, add a tsp of ghee and mustard seeds; let it splutter. Add the ground paste, salt (start with about a tsp and adjust according to taste), a glass of water and 1 chopped tomato. Let the whole mixture boil well, for about 15 minutes on medium-high or till the raw smell of the spices disappear. Add more water while boiling, so that the consistency is thinner than a regular sambhar.

Voila! Hot, Spicy Rasam that can be had as is like a soup or with rice is ready!


Posted by on November 5, 2008 in Cooking, Desi, Traditional cooking


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

11 responses to “Garlicky Peppery Delicious… Rasam

  1. sachita

    November 5, 2008 at 6:42 AM

    I almost forgot that you live in bay area and was going to say the weather has gone cold here too.:)
    the recipe is lovely, esp wen it doesn’t involved boiled toordal.

  2. mahimaa

    November 5, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    wow.. super combi.. pepper and garlic. yummy rasam.

  3. Apar

    November 5, 2008 at 7:47 PM

    I would have this minus the garlic…but that is just me 😀

  4. Happy Cook

    November 5, 2008 at 9:21 PM

    I love rasam, i love them just with plainrice nothing else.Your bowl of rasam looks really yummm

  5. Dinesh

    November 6, 2008 at 12:16 AM

    I love Rasam. That should be a T-Shirt slogan. Rasam sadham with Chips or Kadalai or Papad is the best food any day. Once a while I keep it simple and have this for dinner, it feels great. Especially in Winter like you said.

    Can I place an order the T-shirt as well? My favorite is Rasam sadham with okra curry or mixture. – A-kay

  6. Lakshmi

    November 6, 2008 at 1:11 AM


    Made Pepper rasam yesterday but it involved boiled toor dal. Will try your method one of these days. I love Pepper rasam, so good to have multiple ways of doing it 🙂


    Let me know how it turns out – I like this way as I don’t have to have boiled toor dhal inorder to make rasam. – A-kay

  7. Mitr

    November 6, 2008 at 2:10 AM

    The rasam looks thick enough without the toor dal, will try it out soon.

  8. Lakshmi

    November 11, 2008 at 8:27 PM


    Tried out this rasam yesterday. It is one amazing rasam! All of us loved it 🙂

    This one is a keeper.


    Glad you all liked it 🙂 You can make milagu kozhambu with this same base too – just shallow fry the paste (thick) in oil. Comes out very well, actually! – A-kay

  9. Lakshmi

    November 13, 2008 at 12:51 AM

    Wow! Two birds one stone 🙂 What do you add to the milagu kuzhambu? Is it on the same lines as vethal kuzhambu?

    The comment space is a little too small to explain 😛 You have given me idea, I will post the milagu kozhambu recipe soon. – A-kay

  10. sandhya

    November 13, 2008 at 6:17 AM

    Thanks for this recipe. It looks great. Here’s my question for you. My mother-in-law brought some homemade rasam podi for us when she visited this summer and since I didn’t grow up making rasam, I have a hard time getting it right. What’s your suggestion in terms of proportions? Any other tips are welcome!

    Just sent out an email, as the comment was getting too long. – A-kay

  11. Mads

    March 16, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    Finally I cooked rasam like it should be :). Thank you so much A-kay. This was simple and quick. Can you pls. post kara kolumu recipe, that is one dish I love and never get it right.


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