Saturday, March 24, 2007

Paruppu Rasam (Dal Rasam)

Ah! Rasam. The feeling of warmth that this flavored water gives cannot be expressed with words. "Pepper Water" the Brits called it, no one can deny they are good at spotting good things and adopting them as their own. I hear Indian Food goes as British food these days. May be I am exaggerating a little bit.

I am a recent convert and like all recent converts I am serious about my Rasam. My mom, dad and brother all loved their rasam. I never much cared for the watery stuff. But when you are in foreign soil changes come over you that are hard to explain. So when I ventured out to make rasam, it took a while to make a really tasty rasam. I collected recipes followed them religiously but they never tasted good. So after several trial and errors and experiments I think I do make good rasam. But the Verdict has to come from the tasters themselves I guess.

1. 2-3 tbsp Toor Dal cooked soft with plenty of water
2. 1 tomato chopped rougly
3. 1 tbsp chopped onions
4. 2 garlic pods sliced and pounded
5. 2 red chillies split and seeds removed
6. Seasonings - cumin,mustard, few methi seeds, a pinch of asfoetida and curry leaves
7. 2-3 sprigs of corriander leaves
8. 1 tsp oil, 1/4 tsp ghee
9. 1 cup of tamrind pulp from 3 grape tomato sized tamrind.
10. 1 tsp of turmeric powder

1. 2 tsp cumin
2. 1 tsp corriander seeds
3. 1/2 tsp pepper (more or less depending on taste)

pound the above using a mortar and pestle or a rough powder

1. Heat the oil and ghee in a pan and when hot add the seasonings
asfoetida, cumin, curry leaves, methi seeds and the mustard seeds.
2. When the mustard starts to pop add the chillies and onion and when it starts to brown add the garlic and saute,
3. Add the tomatoes and turmeric powder and cook till the tomatoes are mushy,
4. Now add the tamrind pulp and let it come to a boil,
5. Now add the Mashed toor dal and enough water.
6. When it starts to boil add the powdered cumin-corriande-pepper powder mixture.
7. Add enough salt and the fresh corriander and switch off when white bubbles appear on the surface.

Serve with White Rice or as a soup.


  1. rasam with rice and papad is realy a comfort food. i like ur recipe and the blog too.enjoy blogging.

  2. Shall try this because I love Rasam but never made at home.
    And please don't tell me Indian food is known as British Food, they don't go beyond the curry do they ?

    Did you hear the Ritz, Boston being taken over by Taj and there was a short interview on NPR ( a month or 2 back) and they said now we have to do the curry right.

  3. Looks and sounds delicious, ISG. And coming from you, I'm sure it is! Will give this a try... maybe it'll melt the snow outside!?! :)

  4. Maneka thanks for stopping by yes Rasam is comfort food at its best.

    Sandeepa, my bad what I meant was British have taken to calling Indian "their" food, I was trying to be diplomatic when I said adopt it can easily be substituted with "steal". True I have a hard time trying to tell people that "curry" is a leaf and not a dish. Nope did not hear the news about Taj.

    Try the rasam, if you like the taste you should make it.

    Linda give it a try, about the snow I am not sure but it will warm your insides guaranteed.

  5. Hi ISG,
    Rasam and Rice is always comfort food to me. Rasam looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  6. My words exactly Indo!! Ah! Rasam!! Comfort food and a drink fro me.Thanks girl:)

  7. MT - I haven't had this version of rasam, can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing :)

  8. So true, I could never achieve the same taste as my mom when it comes to rasam. I have given up trying and blamed it on the ingredients that we get here. May be I ought to give another try taking you as my inspiration.

  9. I have heard my grand ma say that if ur rasam tastes good ,u are really a very good cook. Its not not easy to make good rasam. Though the preparation seems simple it takes a while for u to make it tasty, and though rasam is made in many homes in south India the taste differs.
    I do not add onions in rasam.. otherwise almost same preparation.

  10. i got rasam powder from amma and my MIL:) so its very simple when it comes to making rasam. sometimes for experimenting i make fresh powder:) ultimate comfort food. rice, rasam and papad...ahhhh...

  11. Dear ISG, There are versions and versions and versions of this soup - if we may call it that - at the expense of sounding Brit :). Onions in rasam - now that sounds definitely different. I also like garlic in my rasam. Your recipe - with onions and freshly ground powder looks very interesting and I will be trying it out soon.

  12. Dear ISG, looking at your blog name I crawled here thinking that, the blog name sounds so different and might not be and Indian blog. But was so happy to see the Paruppu Rasam from my Birth place Tamilnadu. Thanks for some great tamil recipes.


  13. hi. I loved your blog. Would like to get in touch with you. Please mail me at

  14. i am a big fan of ur kollu rasam and now another one..u are right, rasam is the quintessential indian soup.

  15. MT thanks, coming from a Rasam expert that is indeed high praise.

    Asha yuppo, super drink.

    Mandira, I think you meant me, thanks

    KA there is truth to that too, but sure do try and let me know.

    Prema, adding onions to rasam, I learnt from MIL, MIL adds it mom does not add it.

    Sia sure comfort food that no other can beat.

    Pritya sure there are too many versions to even keep track of. Yes onions, learnt from MIL, do try and let know. A request to you, if you do have a Blog please leave your URL I can't get it from your name. thamls

    Shrami Welcome! Thanks and enjoy the recipes.

    Shaheen yes kollu rasam is another delight altogether but let us put it this way simpler.

  16. Latha, thanks. This blog is moderated so feel free to communicate through the comments. I am reluctant to start an email conversation without being sure.

  17. I love rasams...especially Tomato Rasamm..its perfect to soothe a sore throat, that's when I usually have it, this dal rasam is also something I like adding Jaggery to it though to have a sweet and sour taste.


  18. first time here. hopped from Sandeepa's blog! Love your rasam...I am a big rasam fanatic - i blog on, and mostly about rasam...That's the only thing that comes out tasting pretty good from my kitchen - pepper rasam, paruppu rasam, lemon ginger rasam...I can go on and on...anyways, nice to visit your blog and will frequent from now on!

  19. Tried your recipe - rasam came out very well! Thanks!

  20. Indo. made this rasam again yest. don't know if i told u before, my hub loved it!!!

  21. Deepti sanesi5/26/10, 6:03 AM

    Hi ISG,tried this rasam today and it tasted good.Thanks.


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