Tamarind rasam is a South Indian traditional soup made with tamarind, spices and herbs. Rasam is one of the healthiest soup from the South Indian cuisine. It is a staple in many households and is eaten with rice. Tamarind rasam is a variation of the traditional rasam which is primarily made with the use of tamarind and no tomatoes are used.
I have fond memories of my mom making it for us when someone in the home had fever or any other digestive problems. In South India, we make so many kinds of rasam like tomato rasam, dal rasam, pepper rasam and many more. But
About Tamarind Rasam
Tamarind rasam is a South Indian soup which is made with dried tamarind pulp, curry leaves, basic tempering spices, jaggery and coriander leaves. It is well known that tamarind rasam is a household remedy for indigestion, fever, cold, cough and many minor ailments.
Tamarind rasam is known as puli rasam in Tamil, where puli is a word for tamarind and rasam is a traditional soup. In Telugu it is known as chintapandu charu where chintapandu translates to tamarind in Telugu and charu is a word for rasam.
This is soothing, comforting and is great for those recovering from illness. It tastes slightly tangy, sweet and spicy, works well to restore the lost appetite. It instantly provides relief from cold and cough when served warm with mushy softened and sticky rice.
A well-made tamarind rasam has a right balance of all the tastes to tickle the taste buds and ignite the digestion. This is my mom’s recipe which I have used it time and again even for my babies & would serve them at least twice a week.
But sometimes dal and even tomatoes in rasam can irritate the stomach and can aggravate the heart burn and stomach gas especially during sickness or even during a stomach upset.
So this tamarind rasam is the way to go! It is light and helps you a lot in easier digestion. We also call this as Dhaniyala Charu since coriander seeds are used.
Coriander and cumin seeds in this rasam aid in restoring the digestion. If you have a heartburn or stomach problem, you can have this rasam with soft cooked rice and a light vegetable such as a stir fried bottle gourd or ridge gourd.
This rasam does not need any ready made rasam powder. The ingredients are dry roasted and powdered to make this flavorful rasam.
How to make Tamarind Rasam (stepwise photos)
1. Heat the pot in which you intend to make rasam. Add coriander seeds, pepper, methi and dry red chili.
2. Dry roast them until aromatic on a low to medium heat. Then add cumin and fry for 30 seconds.
3. Cool them completely and powder finely using a handle pestle or a blender. Remove this to a plate.
2. This rasam does not need tomatoes and tamarind is used to bring the sourness in the rasam. Tamarind is soaked in warm water.
This step helps to add more or less as needed. So I prefer to soak and squeeze out the juices. If you need more sourness then add more water and use the tamarind water.
3. It is squeezed and then used in the rasam.
4. Filtering the tamarind pulp is optional and you may skip it if tamarind is clean. You can even add the pulp like the way I did. The tamarind pulp settles at the bottom after making the rasam, which you can discard.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 tablespoon ghee or oil
- 3 to 3½ cups water
- small lemon sized tamarind
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon mustard
- 1 pinch Hing or asafoetida
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves along with stalks chopped finely
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 4 to 5 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 to 3 tablespoons jaggery (adjust to taste)
To roast and powder
- 1½ tablespoons coriander seeds
- ½ tablespoons cumin
- ½ teaspoon pepper corn
- ¼ teaspoon methi or menthulu
- 1 small dry chili
- Heat a pot and dry roast on a low to medium flame – methi seeds, coriander seeds, pepper corn and red chilli until the methi smells good.
- Then add cumin and fry for 30 seconds.
- Cool and make a fine powder in a blender or hand pestle. Set aside.
- Soak tamarind in ¼ cup warm water. Squeeze the juice and set aside. You can filter to remove debris. You can also add tamarind directly. If your tamarind is clean you may add the pulp as well.
How to make Tamarind Rasam
- Heat oil in a deep pan. Add cumin, mustard, red chili. Fry till you get a nice aroma.
- Add curry leaves, hing and fry till crisp. Add the powder and saute for a minute.
- Pour water, add tamarind, crushed garlic, turmeric, salt, jaggery .
- Let the tamarind rasam boil for 5 minutes on a medium flame.
- Add coriander leaves and switch off.
- Taste the tamarind rasam and add more salt or tamarind if needed.
- Serve tamarind rasam with rice and vegetable stir fry.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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