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Lemon Rasam

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.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Course: Side Dish, soups stews
Cuisine: south indian, tamil
Servings: 8 servings


For Spice powder:

  • tsps Cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp Peppercorn
  • 1 ~ 2 Green Chilies

For Lemon Rasam:

  • 2 tbsp Toor dal
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 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.
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