Indian Garlic Rasam

Rasam means Essence. In the regular Rasam, the essence of cooked Dahl and some specific spices are used. However, in this recipe, Indian Garlic Rasam, the essence comes from a few wonderful, aromatic spices fried and ground, and cooked with the flavor and goodness of Garlic. This item is healthy, delicious and easy to make. It can be used as a stew, a soup or gravy. Please try it and you will not regret it.

Indian Garlic Rasam

Hover over the highlighted Keywords below for Images and/or Description of some of the Ingredients: 
Avocado, Channa Dahl, Cilantro, Coriander, Cumin, Curry Leaves, Fenugreek, Garlic, Hing, Mustard Seeds, Olive Oil, Red Chillies, ~Rice, ~Tamarind, Tomatoes, Toor Dahl, Turmeric, Urad Dahl, Yoghurt

Indian Garlic Rasam

Serves 2 - 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Side Dish
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Region Indian


  • 10 - 20 cloves Garlic (large garlic cloves chopped into thin pieces (see picture))
  • 2 teaspoons Tamarind paste
  • 1 - 2 tablespoon Coriander seeds (For the Spicy Paste)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoon Channa Dahl (For the Spicy Paste)
  • 2 - 4 Dry Red Chillies (For the Spicy Paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns (For the Spicy Paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds (For the Spicy Paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Urad Dahl
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 4 tablespoons Avocado Oil (or Olive Oil, or any cooking oil)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup Cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 6 - 8 leaves Curry Leaves (available in indian grocery stores)
  • 4 - 6 cups Water


  • 1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Asafoetida (Hing) (Hing is very good for health, so I add it when the recipe calls for it.)


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, fenugreek seeds and coriander seeds to the pan. Stir fry with a flat spatula until the channa dahl turns 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 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. Add water until the ingredients are immersed in the water. 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. Very slightly coarse is okay too. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Set aside.

Step 3
Place the sauce pan again on medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons oil.
Step 4

When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds crackle rapidly, lower the heat and add urad dahl. When urad dahl is golden brown, carefully add 4 cups of water.

Step 5

Add the garlic pieces, turmeric, curry leaves and salt to the water. Stir with a large spoon or ladle. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until garlic is soft and cooked well. Don't overcook the garlic.

Step 6

Add tamarind and hing. Cook for 3 minutes. Switch off the stove and let the rasam cool off for 5 minutes.

Step 7

If you add thick ground spice mixture to very hot garlic rasam on the stove, the mixture will form clumps, instead of blending smoothly in the rasam. Therefore, if the ground spice mixture is too thick and pasty, add 1/4 cup water to it and make it thin. Then add the ground spice mixture to the sauce pan with the garlic rasam. If the rasam in the saucepan is still too thick, add 1/2 cup of water at a time. Rasam is usually runny.

Step 8

Turn on the stove to low heat. Add the chopped cilantro. Mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 9

Serve the garlic rasam hot on a bed of plain long grain 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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