Rasam Recipe with Lemon (Tamil Cuisine)
For a person making Rasam on a regular basis, you would think I would have posted the recipe like AGES ago now, wouldn't you? Right? aaah..no wrong!  The reason - err...ahem..I have no clue of my Sambar or Rasam measurements. No seriously! If you threw that "you are so regular in cooking it then how don't you know the measurements" logic at me, I am going to throw back the same logic back and say - "That's why!". I sound confusing sometimes, don't I? Sigh! The thing is I am so used to throwing this and that together in the name of "sambar(s)" and "rasam(s)" that whenever I think I should blog the recipe I am like..."mm..well some other time". To actually sit and take note of what I do seemed like lots of work. Needless to say, they taste a little different each time (albeit good enough that my husband has never missed a second serving..)
Rasam Recipe with Lemon (Tamil Cuisine)
Oh before I bore you to death with more blah(s) about my eye balling talent, let me introduce this to all those who are wondering what the heck is this "Rasam". It is a South Indian spiced broth (with variations galore) that's enjoyed along with steamed rice as part of a (mostly) 3 meal course with this being the 2nd course. The rice is mashed well with fingers (yes, we eat with our fingers - CLEAN fingers), then this broth is added to it and mixed well to resemble a soupy consistency and enjoyed.

  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 3 people
  • For the Broth
  • 1 large Tomato, chopped into quarters
  • 1/4 cup Pigeon Peas (toor dal)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 heaped tbsp Rasam powder (see Tips)
  • Salt to taste
  • For Garnish/Tempering
  • few Curry leaves
  • few Cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (hing powder)
  • 1 Lemon (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • Ghee or oil for tempering
You can use home made Rasam Powder, Store bought powder or the one I have used the recipe for which is here. If you do not have a ready made powder in hand, please refer to the original Lemon Rasam recipe for the powder to be used in this recipe. The amount of powder used will vary depending upon the powder and your taste buds. For us, we find 1 tbsp is sufficient.
1. Take the Pigeon peas in a small vessel along with 1 cup water and turmeric.
2. Pressure cook it for 10 minutes or so. I do it for 2 whistles.

While the lentils cook, in another pan/vessel take 4 cups water. Add the tomato along with curry leaves and salt. I love curry leaves and hence as you can see have been generous with them :) You can tear up the leaves to so that they impart more of their flavor.

4. When the water starts boiling and the tomato is soft, add the Rasam powder. You might need less or more depending the type of the powder and taste. Let it boil for another 2 minutes.
5. Add the cooked lentils to the broth.
6. Cook in low-med heat and when you spot those cute bubbles along the sides,
7. prepare the tempering. In another skillet, add 1-2 tsp of ghee and add mustard seeds. Even though Ghee is optional, the taste that it imparts to rasam is special. I would personally not skip it. Once the seeds starts popping, switch off the flame and then add the asafoetida.
8. Now pour it down to the rasam.
9. Give it a good mix and add in cilantro leaves. Let the rasam come to room temperature. You do not want to add Lemon juice when its hot.
10. Once its temperature is down, add in the lemon juice. It will vary again as per your taste. But add it enough to be able to taste the lemony flavor when you sample the broth.
Usually I cut the lemons and bring them to the table. My husband and I squeeze it right on to our plates when we are in our Rasam course. But whatever works for you :) Enjoy it with steaming rice.

Rasam Recipe with Lemon (Tamil Cuisine)

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Recipe Reference

recipe adapted from chef in you member vasantha's lemon rasam

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1 Member Reviews

By Lisa on Sep 28, 2011

First Thankyou very much for the great recipe. First I made this RAsam with Garlic.It came out well. But today I made without garlic and tuar dal. But the taste was excellent. The lemony flavour is the main thing. Thanks a lot b'coz my husband is a Rasam lover and at least thrice in a week I have to make Rasam. Earlier it was very difficult for me to make rasam with tamarind b'coz extracting the Tamarind pulp is very difficult. Now it is very easy.


By Hema on Jun 7, 2019

Thank you for the recipe tried today and enjoyed it with Colosasia fry :)

By Padmini on Aug 20, 2016


By Lemon Rasam | Culinary Pins on Jan 1, 2014

[...] Lemon Rasam Tweet (function() {var po=document.createElement('script');po.type='text/javascript';po.async=true;po.src='https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js';var s=document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(po,s);})(); <> Embed @  Email Report Recipe Source: http://chefinyou.com/2011/08/lemon-rasam/ [...]

By Garlic Rasam Recipe | thefashioncafe.co on Sep 21, 2013

[...] And you can flavor the rasam with a number of things, not just garlic. For variation try Chef In You’s lemon rasam, or Mahanandi’s coriander rasam, or my grandmother’s killer pineapple [...]

By Garlic Rasam Recipe - The best veggie recipes from around the net. - Veggie-Recipes.net on Sep 9, 2013

[...] And you can flavor the rasam with a number of things, not just garlic. For variation try Chef In You’s lemon rasam, or Mahanandi’s coriander rasam, or my grandmother’s killer pineapple [...]

By Neeraja on May 26, 2013

Very yummy rasam!!! I add, instead of lemon, some tamarind and the taste will be yummy too:)

By zmom on Jun 11, 2012

Looks Great, will try. But can u post a Tamarind Rasam, My husband is from Anderah, and loves Tamarind Rasam.

By Neha on Jan 18, 2012

I am a Maharashtrian, married to a Madrasi. Was trying to make a deliciuos, and Authentic Rasam since 3 years, finally nailed it today... A Big Thanks to Chefinyou.

By Neha on Jan 18, 2012

I am a Maharashtrian, married to a South Indian. I have been trying to prepare a delicious Rasam since 3 years. Finally Nailed it Today..... Thanks Chefinyou.... :-)

By Laura on Jan 13, 2012

I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. The only change I made was to add green chilies. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I will definitely be making this again.

By RH7 on Nov 18, 2011

love it, thanks

By Viji on Sep 30, 2011

Add a 2 inch piece of ginger to this rasam. My MIL makes an Orange Rasam which is AWESOME. A nice variation :)

By Harini Suresh on Sep 1, 2011

Hi DK, Lemon Rasam looks wonderful. One of my favorite dishes too. I have found adding half of the coriander leaves while the rasam is boiling also enhances the taste of the rasam. We can add a little jeera while adding the mustard too. The whole house smells wonderful after the tempering. My highlight is when my son enters the house and says, "Mom, what is that wonderful smells" :-P

That sounds wonderful Harini. Though I do add cilantro while the rasam is cooking, I do not do it often since my husband does not like the cooked, mushy looking cilantro thats been cooked in the rasam for so long. But I love the enhanced taste too and usually cheat by adding and then removing before serving (and add fresh ones towards the end :)). I love the cumin seeds idea for tempering and will do that for my next rasam :). Thanks for the tip :)

By kiran singh on Sep 1, 2011

wowwwww its so deliciousand so yummy :-P

By Priya on Aug 31, 2011

Wat a comforting rasam, looks delicious..

By Hari Chandana on Aug 30, 2011

Woww.. my fav rasam.. looks really good and tempting.. love the presentation too.. thanks for sharing :) Indian Cuisine

By La @ FoodSlice on Aug 30, 2011

D, exactly the same thing happens with me too for rasam. I have never measured the ingredients and so postpone adding it to the blog. I use tamarind and without dal (learnt from my mother-in-law). Should post my version sometime.. Your photos look absolutely inviting. Maybe time for me to try the dal version once.

By Indhu on Aug 30, 2011

hey DK... you posted lemon rasam :). Is this the one you emailed me about? I am yet to make it though :( seekiramaa pannittu sollren!

yes, I had emailed you the member recipe. I have made this using that recipe only (link in the reference section) with a little bit of my variation (read as "laziness" :)). Hey eppo time kidaikardho appo pannitu sollu. No hurries :)