Delightful Lemon Rasam

Delightful Lemon Rasam

Rasam means Essence. Since the essence of the Dahl (lentil) alone is used, along with spices that are aromatic, this “soup”, “sauce” or “gravy” is refreshing, tasty, flavorful and healthy. The difference between this Lemon Rasam and the Regular Rasam is that some of the spices used are different, even though they are just as healthy.

Apart from being used almost daily as part of a routine meal in South India, Rasam is widely used when someone is under the weather with a cold, upset stomach etc. It has a variety of other uses as a complement to other dishes too. It is not really that difficult to prepare. Try this one at least once!

Delightful Lemon Rasam

Hover over the highlighted Keywords below for Images and/or Description of some of the Ingredients: 
Avocado, Black Pepper, Cilantro, Cumin, Curry Leaves, Green Chillies, Hing, Lemons, Mustard Seeds, Olive Oil, Rice, Serrano Pepper, Tomatoes, Toor Dahl, Turmeric, Urad Dahl

Slide Show :

Delightful Lemon Rasam

Delightful Lemon Rasam

Serves 4 - 6
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Indian Gravy, Side Dish, Soup
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve at Room Temperature, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Region Indian


  • 1 cup Toor Dhal (cooked well, and mashed thoroughly. See Recipe on this site in the)
  • 2 - 4 Tomatoes (cut into small chunks)
  • 1 Green Chilli (serrano pepper, cut into chunks or sliced lengthwise)
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Small Fresh Ginger (piece, peeled)
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper (fresh ground)
  • 1 Fresh Lemon (1/4 cup lemon juice)
  • 2 - 4 teaspoons Cumin Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Hing (asafoetida)
  • 3 - 4 teaspoons Salt
  • 6 - 8 leaves Curry Leaves
  • 1/8 cup Cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Cooking Oil (olive, avocado or any other)
  • 8 cups Water


Serving Suggestions:

1) Serve hot, even though it will taste great in room temperature or even cold.
2) You can soak your Urad Dahl Vadai in hot Rasam. It will be delicious.
3) You can eat it like a soup with a little bit of cooked rice.
4) You can drink it by itself like a soup in a cup. Add half a teaspoon of ghee or clarified butter to make it milder and less spicier to drink.


1) You can reduce or increase salt and spices according to your taste.
2) You can use half of cup of cooked toor dahl, if you want the Rasam thinner.
3) You can use less water if you want the Rasam thicker.


Step 1

Cook toor dahl really well. (Recipes available on this site. See under 'Indian Basic' Category). Mash thoroughly. Set aside.

Step 2

Place a medium to large, deep saucepan on medium heat. Add oil.

Step 3

When oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle rapidly, add the green chillies and half of the tomato chunks. Stir fry for about 20 seconds. Then add 3 cups of water.
Note: If you don't want the Rasam spicy hot, use just a small piece of green chilli.

Step 4

Add the ginger, hing, turmeric, curry leaves and 2 teaspoons of salt.

Step 5

Add 2 teaspoons of cumin. Add 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Step 6

Let the Rasam cook for about 5 minutes. Set it to low or simmer.

Step 7

In the meanwhile, transfer the toor dahl to a deep bowl. Add 2 cups water to the bowl. Mash the mixture with a heavy ladle or spoon. Add 2 more cups of water and mix well.

Step 8

Pour just the liquid part of the mixture, as much as possible, from the bowl into the saucepan on the stove. If some of of the thicker toor dahl mixture also falls into the saucepan, that is fine. "Rasam" means "Essence". The idea is to add just the essence of the toor dahl and not the half-cooked or unmashed toor dahl. This is what makes this dish like a soup that you can either drink by itself, or eat with rice.

Step 9

Add 1 more cup of water to the bowl. Mash well. Pour just the liquid part of the mixture, as much as possible, from the bowl into the saucepan on the stove.

Step 10

Repeat Step 9 until only the unmashed, big pieces of toor dahl remain in the bowl. Then discard these.

Step 11

Add the rest of the chopped tomatoes and cilantro to the saucepan. Add 1 more teaspoon of salt. Add half of the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly.

Step 12

Taste a little. If you like, add more salt, lemon juice, cumin and black pepper according to your taste preference. Mix well.

Step 13

Leave the saucepan on low heat until the Rasam foams up at the top as a layer. As soon as this happens, switch off the stove. Do not let the liquid boil and spill out of the saucepan.

Delightful Lemon Rasam
Step 14

Serve the Rasam hot, even though it will taste great warm or even cold.

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