Thursday, January 7, 2021

Lemon Rasam (without store bought rasam powder)

Lemon Rasam is one of the many varieties of rasam made in South India. This recipe does not use any store bought rasam powder instead we will be using fresh ingredients to make the rasam mix. The sourness in rasam is generally got by adding tamarind, but in this variety we replace tamarind with lemon juice. Always add the lemon juice to rasam after turning off the stove and setting aside rasam for 5 minutes. Boiling the lemon juice will lead to bitter taste and also removes the nutritional benefits of lemon. Cooked and mashed tur dal is optional in rasam. I prefer to add them since it gives a slightly thicker consistency.

Lemon rasam is perfect for cold winters. The pepper corns, garlic and lemon are very soothing for you when you are suffering from cold and cough. They are light for your stomach and perfect after you had a heavy holiday meal.

  1. Tur dal - 1/4 cup
  2. Tomato - 3 no.
  3. Garlic cloves - 5
  4. Green chili - 2 
  5. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  6. Pepper corns - 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  8. Coriander leaves/Cilantro - 5-7 sprigs
  9. Lemon - 1 
  10. Salt to taste
For Tempering:
  1. Sesame oil - 1 tablespoon
  2. Dried red chili - 2
  3. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  4. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  5. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  6. Hing/Asafetida - 1/8 tsp

  1. Wash and soak tur dal in water for atleast half an hour. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Once taken out from the cooker, mash the dal well to a smooth consistency and set aside.
  2. Take a teaspoon each of cumin seeds and pepper corns in a pestle and mortar and crush to form a rough powder. If you do not have pestle and mortar, you can even use a chutney jar of mixer grinder to crush it. Pulse it for 3-4 times to get the right consistency.
  3. Heat a saucepan and add a tablespoon of sesame oil, splutter mustard seeds followed by 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, dried red chilies, hing, turmeric powder and curry leaves.
  4. Then add the crushed garlic, slit green chilies and diced tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes turn mushy.
  5. Add the cooked and mashed dal, stems of coriander leaves and salt to taste.
  6. Boil the rasam for 5 minutes. 
  7. Add the crushed pepper and cumin powder and turn off the stove. Leave it covered for 5 minutes.
  8. Finally add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. 
Serve hot lemon rasam with boiled rice.

"Hot Pot" was the theme for the Dec "Shhhhh Cooking Secretly" event. The theme was suggested by Priya Iyer of "The world through my eyes". Do check her blog for a collection of delicious recipes. I have bookmarked her "Indian Style Burger | Burger with Sweet Potato Patty" to try it soon.

My partner for Dec month is Renu Agrawal Dongre who blogs at 'Cook With Renu'. Her blog is a collection of healthy guilt free recipes. Checkout her 'Spiced Candied Mixed Nuts' and 'Whole Wheat Kale Brownies' for some of the nutritious snack recipes. Renu suggested lemon and garlic as my secret ingredient and I made this lemon rasam. I gave her Spring Onion and garlic and she made a delicious and creamy Vegan sweet corn soup. Do check visit her blog to get the recipe. 


  1. I loved it .. Occasionally I make Tom yum soup which I find quite similar to south indian rasam in consistency and principle.

  2. Lemon Rasam is an all-time favourite at our place, and this looks absolutely perfect. I'd love to dig in with some steamed rice and a simple poriyal. Beautiful recipe!

  3. I love trying out a variety of rasams as it is a regular feature in our house. Lemon rasam sounds interesting. Will make and relish it soon.

  4. I love sipping on rasams especially when its a bit cold. Anu your lemon rasam is a must try recipe. So soothing and flavoring especially to ward off colds and coughs.

  5. Winters are pretty harsh here in Mohali and I make rasam and soups every other day. Your lemon rasam sounds so soothing and flavorful !

  6. Lemon rasam looks very tasty, it's one of our favorite rasam recipe at home. Freshly crushed pepper and cumin powder adds more aroma and taste to rasam.

  7. My favourite variety of rasam. Adding lemon gives rasam such a lovely tangy flavor. I can drink your bowl of rasam by the gallons. Beautifully made.

  8. Lemon rasam is so flavourful and Delish. Love the tangy rasam in this cold weather. Beautifully done.

  9. O ocassionally make lemon rasam and it is flavoursome. It is ideal food for the winter season. Nice presentatoion.

  10. I love rasam in all flavours and colours :-). I can just sip on it and especially in this cold weather. Thanks for the recipe, another add in my Rasam collection

  11. Lemon Rasam looks so delicious and comforting.. it is perfect for this cold and chilly weather.. loaded with immune boasting ingredients it is a lip smacking treat.

  12. comfort food at its best .. just made it last weekend. will try ur version with garlic next time...

  13. Warm bowl of lemon rasam is always so soothing and comfort food. With freshly pounded cumin and pepper it is even more flavorful.