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Rasam | Authentic South Indian style Rasam | Tamilian Brahmin

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Adjust Servings:
For Rasam Powder
1tbsp Desi Ghee
8-9nos Dry red chillies
1 tsp Methi dana (fenugreek)
(split gram) – 1 tbsp Chana dal
Cumin seeds) – 1 tbsp Jeera
(Black pepper) -1 tbsp Kalimirch
(Coriander seeds) – 3 tbsp Dhaniya
(Curry leaves) - few sprigs Kari Patta
For Rasam
(seedless) - 100gms Tamarind
Plain Water or Toor dal water - 8cups
(Turmeric) – 1 tsp Haldi
1cup Tomato puree (fresh)
1tbsp Gur (Jaggery)
to taste Salt
For Tempering
2 tsp Desi Ghee
1tsp Heeng (asafoetida)
Curry leaves - few sprigs
Dhania Patta (Coriander leaves) – handful

Rasam | Authentic South Indian style Rasam | Tamilian Brahmin

South Indian Style Rasam Powder & Rasam Recipe

  • Suitable for vegetarian

Basic South Indian Tomato Rasam

  • 40mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy


  • For Rasam Powder

  • For Rasam

  • For Tempering



Rasam comes from a Sanskrit word called “Rassa” which means extract. Rasam is an extract of spices and tamarind water. In the South Indian states, rasam is prepared differently by different communities. 

My recipe here is a Tamilian brahmin style of rasam that is made without garlic or onions. Another distinguishing characteristic of the Tamilian style of Rasam is the use of dal water. Toor da is boiled and once the dal settles to the bottom the water from the dal on top is used to flavour rasam. Other ways of making rasam use water instead and also flavour rasam with garlic.

The tadka or tempering in a rasam is always done in ghee esp with Iyers and it gives a great tasting rasam. In olden times the rasam would have at least 1cm of ghee floating on top of it but long gone are those days as more and more people are conscious of calories. 

It is also believed that rasam is much older than sambhar. Try some of our Sambhar recipes:

Easy Sambhar

Arachuvitta Sambar



For Rasam Powder

Heat ghee in a pan, add dry red chillies and on low heat toss them for a minute. Add methi seeds, chana dal, jeera, kali mirch, dhaniya and tons them all on low heat. Cook them for about 2mins. Add curry leaves and mix them. Remove to a plate to slightly cool it off.

Add these in a mixer grinder and grin them into a powder. No water needs to be added. Rasam Powder is ready.


For Rasam

Soak tamarind in 1lt of warm water, mash it with your fingers and keep aside for half hour. Now strain the tamarind and squeeze out the juice from he pulp. Discard the pulp and retain the tamarind water. In a deep pan add tamarind water along with 8cups of toor dal water.



The Tamilian Brahmin style of making rasam uses water obtained from boiling toor dal (split pigeon peas). In case you do not want ot use toor dal water just replace it with equal amount of water.


Sprinkle some turmeric and get to a quick boil. Once it starts to boil add freshly made tomato puree, gur and salt. Bring it to a boil again and simmer for 3-4mins.
To the boiling rasam add the rasam powder. You may want to add only half of this powder for a less spicy rasam. For a strong and spicy rasam you can use the entire rasam powder.
Simmer for 5 mins and remove any scum that comes to the surface. Add more water if the rasam is getting too thick, at the end of the day Rasam is like a thin soup.


For Rasam Tempering

While it is simmering heat a fresh pan and add ghee. Once it is hot sprinkle heeng and mustard seeds. Once they pop add curry leaves. Stir and immediately add this tempering to simmering rasam. Cook for another 2mins and add handful of chopped coriander.
Serve hot piping rasam with appalam papad or any other variety of papadum.

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Having served the world with his delicious delicacies, Chef Kunal Kapur is revered by every food connoisseur. An all-in-one Indian celebrity chef, restaurateur, and media personality, Kunal Kapur has helped all of us get a taste of his cooking secrets through his cookbooks.

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