Lemon rasam recipe – Rasam is a thin south Indian soup that is eaten with rice. Lemon rasam is one of the south Indian rasam varieties that is flavored using lemon instead of tamarind. It contains a good amount of protein as there is some amount of dal used. It is light on the tummy, soothing during monsoons due to the lemon and ginger used. It can be served alone with rice and papad or stir fry veggies.
Rasam along with a vegetable stir fry is a staple food at home for dinner on most weeknights. I do not favor tamarind much in our foods, so this lemon rasam is made more often. I also prepare tomato rasam which is the kids’ favorite too.
Lemon rasam is not as thick and Sambar but is moderately thin and tastes delicious with a lemon flavor.
The recipe I am sharing is from the Tamil cuisine and is similar to the one made in Andhra cuisine, called as nimmakaya pappu charu in telugu.
There are quite a few variations to this recipe. Some use onions along with tomatoes, but i have used only tomatoes. Some don’t use rasam powder and just use more dal.
But the addition of powder adds an extra flavor. You can use any store bought or homemade powder rasam powder.
I usually make some vegetable stir fry to serve with this lemon rasam. Here are some you may want to check.
Lemon rasam recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup toor dal or split pigeon peas
- 1½ cups water for dal
Ingredients for lemon rasam
- 4 cups water
- 1 large tomato or 2 small
- 1 ginger small piece (optional)
- salt as needed
- 1 pinch turmeric
- ¾ tbsp rasam powder (adjust to suit your taste)
- 1 handful coriander leaves chopped
- 1 tbsp ghee or oil
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ½ tsp mustard
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 pinch methi seeds (optional)
- 1 red chilli broken
- 1 pinch hing or asafoetida
- lemon juice from 1 large lemon (adjust as needed)
How to make the recipe
- Add dal to a bowl and rinse it well. Then drain the water and pour 1.5 cups water.
- Place it in the cooker and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles on a medium flame.
- Dal must be soft cooked. When the pressure releases remove the dal and mash it well to smooth.
How to make lemon rasam
- While the dal cooks, pour 4 cups water, tomatoes, turmeric, rasam powder, crushed ginger to a pot.
- Cook until the tomatoes are soft cooked and mushy.
- Next add the mashed dal and bring it to a boil. Add coriander leaves too.
Tempering lemon rasam
- Heat a pan and add oil or ghee. When it is hot, add mustard, cumin, methi seeds and red chilies.
- When the seeds begin to crackle, add curry leaves. Add hing. Pour it to the lemon rasam.
- Boil the rasam for 2 mins on a very low flame.
- Allow the rasam to cool down a bit then squeeze off lemon as needed. Adjust salt as well.
- Serve lemon rasam with rice or enjoy as a soup.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
Step by step photos on how to make lemon rasam recipe
1. Wash and cook ½ cup dal with 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups water till soft.
2. On a medium flame, I cooked for 3 whistles in a pressure pan.
3. When the pressure goes off, mash it to smooth consistency. Set this aside. To make sambar or this rasam, I always pass the dal through a strainer to get smooth dal. I transferred the dal to a bowl and used the same pan further.
4. Add 4 cups water to a pot along with 1 large chopped or mashed tomato, 2 to 3 tsp rasam powder, a small piece of ginger (optional) and salt.
5. Cook until tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Add the dal to the pot. Stir and check salt. Allow the it to bubble up.
6. Add coriander leaves.
7. While the rasam boils, heat a small pan with ghee or oil. Add cumin, mustard, red chili. When they begin to splutter, add curry leaves and fry until they turn crisp. Add hing.
8. Add the seasoning to the lemon rasam. Boil the lemon rasam for 2 mins. Switch off the stove.
9. Squeeze the lemon juice to the pot. Stir well. Some lemons lend a bitter taste when added to hot foods (green lemons). If you have such problem, cool down the rasam a bit and then add the lemon juice.
Serve lemon rasam with rice and a vegetable stir fry.