Spicy Tamarind Rasam Cooking Recipe

Spicy Tamarind Rasam Cooking Recipe

A rasam is more generally served as an accompaniment to rice in the southern parts of India, but here I present it as a soup. A garnish of roasted garlic can add a great finishing touch. It is possible to buy rasam powder if you don’t want to make your own. This soup can charge up the taste buds, can help clear a blocked nose and soothe the throat of many a garlic-lover, it can be a snack…all in all, my aim is to have you try it out!


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 15-20 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons split pigeon peas (toovar dal/arhar dal), soaked
  • 1 medium-size tomato, diced
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind pulp
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

For the rasam powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6-8 black peppercorns
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon split Bengal gram (chana dal)

For the tempering

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

Spicy Tamarind Rasam Cooking Recipe

Cooking Method

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Saute the garlic cloves for a minute, then remove and set aside.
  2. Boil 600ml water in a deep pan. Add the pigeon peas and diced tomato and cook, covered, until soft. Mash and reserve.
  3. To make the rasam powder, dry roast the cumin seeds, peppercorns, chillies, coriander seeds and chana dal in a non-stick pan until lightly browned. Cool and grind to a powder.
  4. Put 600ml water in a pan with the tamarind pulp, along with the salt, asafoetida, turmeric and rasam powder. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the raw tamarind smell disappears.
  5. Add the mashed dal to the pan and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and return to the boil.
  6. For the tempering, heat the oil in a pan, then add the mustard seeds, chillies and curry leaves and saute until the seeds splutter. Add to the boiling rasam. Cover immediately to trap the flavours and serve piping hot.

Chef’s tip: You can pound the garlic cloves very lightly before adding to give a better and stronger flavour. You can also pressure-cook the garlic separately and then add to the rasam. Increase or decrease the garlic according to your personal preference.

358 kj; 85 kcals; 4g protein; 4g fat; 0.4g sat fat; 10g carbohydrates; 2.6g sugar; 1.3g fibre; 255mg sodium

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