Lemon Rasam is a South Indian soup made with dal, tomato and lots of lemon. Freshly made spice paste gives this brothy soup a nice kick and lots of flavor.
Rasam is a quintessential side dish to most South Indian meals. It is a brothy soup that is typically made with dal (lentils). In many households, rasam podi or the spice powder is made fresh and that adds lots of flavor to the dish.
Nimmakaya Charu | Lemon Rasam:
Today’s rasam is made with tangy lemon juice and freshly ground spice paste. There are just 3 ingredients in the spice powder:
- Cumin seeds
- Green Chilies
The ingredients are ground to a coarse texture and added to the charu/ rasam while boiling.
Difference between Andhra Rasam and Tamil Rasam:
Rasam in Andhra is called charu/ chaaru. It is generally made with tomato and tamarind. Dal is usually not added to rasam which makes it very brothy and is usually eaten along with a thicker dal.
But this Tamil Nadu version of rasam uses a little bit of dal for thickening. A freshly ground spice powder along with sambar powder is used to flavor the rasam. This gives a nice spicy taste to the dish.
Lemon juice is added to make the dish tangy instead of tamarind. It is a very comforting and yummy dish that is perfect to serve with any South Indian meal.
Other Ingredients needed:
Toor dal is added to the rasam to make it thick and add protein. Finely chopped or pureed tomatoes are also added for tanginess and freshness. Lemon juice is the key ingredient that is highlighted by the spice paste.
This lemon rasam Recipe is adapted from Nalini’s blog. This is a comforting dish that reminds of home and mom’s cooking. The rasam itself will warm you inside out and will tickle the taste buds. Serve with steamed rice and a vegetable curry for a filling and delicious meal.
For Spice powder:
- 1½ tsps Cumin seeds
- ½ tsp Peppercorn
- 1 ~ 2 Green Chilies
For Lemon Rasam:
- 2 tbsp Toor dal
- 2 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- ⅛ tsp Fenugreek seeds/ Menthulu
- ¼ tsp Asafoetida/ Hing
- 1 Dry Red chili
- 8 ~ 10 Curry leaves
- 2 Medium Tomatoes, finely chopped or ground to a paste
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- ½ tsp Sambar powder
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- To taste Salt
- 2 tbsps Cilantro, finely chopped
Make Spice Paste:
- Grind the ingredients for the spice paste coarsely.
Make Lemon Rasam:
- Cook dal until mushy. Add ½ cup water, mash well and keep aside.
- In a bowl, add the chopped/ ground tomatoes, freshly ground spice powder, sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt. Stir in the cooked toor dal and cilantro.
- In a small saucepan, heat oil, add the mustard and fenugreek seeds and once the seeds start to splutter, add asafoetida, dry red chili and curry leaves.
- Add the tomato-toor dal mixture and bring to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice.
- Sprinkle some cilantro and cover the pot and let sit for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot with steamed rice and curry.
- Toor dal can be used in a pressure cooker/ Instant pot or simply boil the lentils with enough water until cooked through and mushy.
- Toor dal can be subbed with Red Lentils that are readily available in grocery stores.
- It is best to make the spice paste fresh before making the rasam.
How to serve this Lemon Rasam:
Serve the rasam with hot steamed rice. Here are a few more recipe ideas to serve for a yummy South Indian meal: