Garlic Rasam with a Twist

Rasam means Essence. In the regular Rasam, the essence of cooked Dahl and some specific spices are used. In the Garlic Rasam, the essence comes from a few wonderful, aromatic spices fried and ground, and cooked with the flavor and goodness of Garlic. However, this Garlic Rasam recipe has a twist. The spicy paste has a couple of extra ingredients that, in my opinion, add to the color and flavor of the Rasam.

This item is healthy, delicious and easy to make. It can be used as a stew, a gravy or a condiment to use with certain suitable main dishes. Adjust the spices as you like. But please try it and you will not regret it.

Garlic Rasam with a Twist

Hover over the highlighted Keywords below for Images and/or Description of some of the Ingredients: 

Avocado, Channa Dahl, Cilantro, Coriander, Cumin, Curry Leaves, Garlic Cloves, Hing, Mustard Seeds, Olive Oil, Red Chillies, Rice, ~Tamarind, Tomatoes, Toor Dahl, Turmeric, Urad Dahl, Yoghurt



Garlic Rasam with a Twist

Garlic Rasam with a Twist

Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Condiment, Indian Gravy, Side Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Region Indian


  • 10 - 20 cloves Garlic Pieces (Peeled)
  • 2 teaspoons Tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons Coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Channa Dahl
  • 2 teaspoons Urad Dahl
  • 2 Dry Red Chillies
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Hing
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • Avocado Oil (or Olive oil, or any cooking oil)
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Rice Flour (to thicken the Rasam)


  • 1 - 2 cup Cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 10 - 12 leaves Curry Leaves (Kadi Patta)


Serving Suggestions:

1) Serve hot.
2) Serve as a gravy or stew over a bed of hot steamed rice, or as a side dish, or a condiment.


1) Increase or reduce the spices, salt and tamarind according to your preference.
2) You can skip grinding the curry leaves and cilantro along with the other dahl's and spices.


Step 1

Place a sauce pan on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is hot, add the channa dahl, red chillies, black peppercorns, and coriander seeds to the pan. Stir fry with a flat spatula until the channa dahl and urad dahl turn golden brown. Do not fry too much. Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Turn off the stove. Transfer the contents to a small bowl. Set aside and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

Step 2

Place the stir-fried ingredients in Step 1 in a blender. Save 6 curry leaves, and add the rest to the blender. Save 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and add the rest to the blender. Add 2 teaspoons of rice flour too. Then add water until the ingredients are immersed in the water.

Step 3

Grind until the paste is smooth. If necessary, add water a little at a time to make the grinding easy. It is okay if the mixure becomes a little runny, as long as the ingredients are ground well, as much as possible. Slightly coarse is okay too. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Set aside.

Step 4

Place the sauce pan again on medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds crackle rapidly, lower the heat. Carefully add 4 cups of water.

Step 5

Add the garlic pieces, turmeric, 6 curry leaves, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir with a large spoon or ladle. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until garlic is soft and cooked well.

Step 6

Add 1 teaspoon tamarind and hing. Cook for about 3 minutes. Taste a little, and if you like the sauce more tangy, add 1 more teaspoon tamarind and cook for another minute.

Step 7

Add the ground spice mixture to the sauce pan. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix thoroughly.

Step 8

After adding the ground spice mixture, if the sauce is like gravy, don't add any more water. But if it is too thick, add 1 cup water and mix well. If it is still too thick, add more water, but half a cup at a time. Rasam should be like gravy, not too thin, not too thick. See picture.

Step 9

Add 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Mix well. Garnish with 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro.

Step 10

Serve hot on a bed of plain long grain Rice or Basmati Rice, with a side dish of stir-fried vegetables and/or Raita (a salad of yoghurt and finely chopped cucumber and/or tomatoes). Recipes for Raita and Vegetable side dishes are available on this site.

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