rasam powder made with spices and lentils

Rasam Powder | Rasam Podi Recipe

By Swasthi on November 2, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Fresh aromatic Rasam Powder made with roasted lentils, spices and herbs. Also known as Rasam Podi in Telugu and Tamil, this super fragrant spice powder is easy to make at home and gives incredible results every time you make the South Indian Rasam. This post will show you how to make the best aromatic Rasam Powder at home and how to store it well for 6 to 12 months without losing the freshness & flavor.


rasam powder made with lentils and spices

Rasam – that invigorating and aromatic lentil-based thin soup-like dish from South India that tickles and excites your taste buds. A warm broth mixed in with rice & ghee is all you need on hot summer days and chilly wintry days alike.

Ever wondered what makes such a simple dish so damn delicious and bursting with flavor notes from tangy to spicy and hot? A not-so secret ingredient – rasam powder.

About Rasam Powder

Rasam Powder is a traditional South Indian spice mix (condiment) made with roasted lentils, whole spices and fresh herbs. It is used to flavor and thicken the South Indian soup-like dish known as Rasam.

Just like garam masala adds flavor to vegetable gravies and stews, Rasam Powder is the key ingredient that adds depth to your steaming pot of Tomato Rasam.

In Telugu & Tamil, Rasam means liquid essence (juice) and Podi means powder. Rasam Podi is nothing but ground powder made with a mix of dry lentils, dried red chilis and certain spices.

Basic or classic rasam powder has six ingredients, namely, toor dal, peppercorns, cumin, coriander seeds, red chilies and hing.

You have Udipi saru powder, Andhra charu powder, and Iyengar rasa podi built from the basic recipe with minor tweaks. Mysore rasam powder has ground mustard seeds, while Kerala style rasam podi requires equal amounts of toor and chana dal. Chettinad style uses twice the amount of toor dal as the classic recipe.

While every family and region have their own version of rasam powder, the basic ingredients remain almost the same. The proportion varies slightly with new ingredients added according to personal taste & preferences.

The commonly add-ons include chana dal, curry leaves (fresh or roasted), methi or fenugreek seeds and turmeric.

While tamarind, tomatoes (when used), cooked lentil, coriander leaves, and a tempering of mustard seeds enhance the broth-like rasam, the dry powder gives it that distinctive taste.

And, unlike sambar powder with its long list of ingredients, this simple spice mix requires 6-8 pantry staples found in most Indian kitchens.

My Recipe

In this post I share my Mom’s decades old Rasam Podi recipe, something that is enjoyed by my family and friends. In addition to showing you how to make this powder, I have included tips to easily customize the recipe to suit your taste buds.

For years I had carried fresh homemade rasam powder from my Mom. I would keep it in the fridge and use for about an year. Since we are a larger family now, I began to make my own rasam powder.

So this rasam powder is something which we have made it time & again, shared with friends & relatives. Always got a positive feedback on how aromatic it is.

While you can use commercial powders when you’re short on time, nothing beats the authentic taste of homemade podis. This applies to most powders and spice mixes used in Indian and other ethnic cuisines.

A quality rasam podi can make your rasam taste like nectar. On the other hand, an average one will have you go meh and wonder what the fuss was all about!

Making your own fresh rasam powder is easy and takes very little time. You measure out the right amount of each ingredient, dry roast them in a specific order, cool well, and finally grind them into a fine powder.

For more Spice powder recipes
Sambar powder
Bisi bele bath powder
Garam masala
Biryani masala

Chutney Powder
Cumin Powder

How To Make Rasam Powder (Stepwise photos)

Roasting lentils

1. Dry roast chana dal and toor dal on a medium heat. Since I made in small quantity I have roasted both the dals together. If making in larger quantity, dry roast them separately.

frying chana dal urad dal for rasam powder

2. Keep stirring and fry until golden to light brown and aromatic.

dals turn golden for rasam powder

3. Pour the coriander seeds and red chilies.

adding red chilies coriander seeds to make rasam powder

4. Keep stirring and roast until the coriander emits a nice aroma. The red chilies will also turn crisp. Set them aside to a plate.

frying spices until aromatic to make rasam powder

5. To the same pan, add methi seeds and roast until they turn aromatic.

frying methi seeds to make rasam powder

6. They will turn slightly dark in color.

methi seeds turn golden for rasam powder

7. Add jeera and pepper. Very soon jeera turns aromatic. Transfer these as well to a plate.

adding jeera and pepper

8. Add the curry leaves and roast. You can also fry them in little oil. I always avoid using oil for any spice powders including for rasam powder.

adding curry leaves

9. When the leaves turn crisp, remove them.

crisp fried curry leaves

10. Cool all these completely.

cooling roasted dals and spices to make rasam powder

Make Rasam Powder

11. Transfer all the cooled ingredients to a mixer jar.

adding cooled ingredients to blender

12. Make a fine rasam podi. If needed sieve it and blend the coarse grains again.

blend fine powder

Store rasam powder in a clean and airtight steel or glass jar.

rasam powder in a bowl

Pro Tips

Red chilies: We do not eat very spicy and hot foods. So my rasam powder is not spicy but is high on flavor. So do adjust the red chilies used in the recipe.

With the amount of chilies I have mentioned even young kids & toddlers will be able to enjoy it. Usually the store bought rasam powder uses a lot of red chilies to give it a color and to cut down the cost.

Basic rasam powder is just made with toor dal, pepper, coriander, jeera, red chilies and hing. To make it flavorful and tasty, one can use the following ingredients:

Chana dal lends a unique aroma and slightly thickens the rasam.

Fenugreek seeds or methi seeds add a unique aroma and is also healthy. But you can skip this if using whole methi seeds for the rasam during tempering. I add them in the podi as well in the tempering, after all they are very healthy for the body.

Roasted Curry leaves also add flavour that is different from the fresh curry leaves. This is another healthy ingredient. But this one too can be skipped, if you do not have.

The color of the rasam powder can differ based on the type and amount of red chilies used. To make rasam for kids, do add less or skip red chilies from the recipe. Pepper alone yields a good amount of spice and heat to the rasam.

how to make rasam powder

How to make in large quantity?

I have shared in detail how to make rasam powder just good enough for a month in the recipe card below. Here is how to make rasam powder in larger quantity that lasts for an year.

1. Clean all the ingredients first and roast them one by one on a low to medium flame until aromatic. Do not combine 2 ingredients and roast.

When done in small quantities like I have done below, they can be added one after the other & roasted. But when made in large quantities they have to be roasted separately as the roasting time is different for each ingredient.

2. Cool the ingredients in a large wide plate. Make sure no moisture from steam is trapped in them.

3. Send the entire mixture to a flour mill to make the rasam powder. Do not cover the container until the rasam powder is completely cool.

We usually spread a muslin cloth on the container and bring it home. Cool it completely.

How to store Rasam Powder

For many years I used aluminum foil to pack all the foods I would bring from India. In the recent years I have stopped that as well and began to use washed & sun dried small cloth bags. Pack the foods & then wrap the bag in cling wraps so that the rasam powder does not come out.

I pop these rasam powder packs in the fridge or freezer when I reach Singapore. The key to step to keep rasam powder fresh is by making several small packs of the rasam powder. Open as and when needed.

Normally I would make 6 packs, each would last me for 2 months. Every time I open a new pack I transfer it to a glass jar.

This rasam powder can be used to make Tomato rasam, lemon rasam or mysore rasam or any other south indian rasam recipes.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

rasam powder in a bowl

Rasam Powder Recipe | Rasam Podi

Rasam powder is an aromatic mix made with lentils, herbs & spices. It is used to flavor & thicken South Indian soup known as rasam. Make this once and use it for an year!
Pin Recipe Print Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings1 cup
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ¾ cup Coriander seeds (Daniya or Daniyalu)
  • ¼ cup Toor dal (split pigeon peas or kandhi pappu)
  • ¼ cup Chana dal (Bengal gram or senaga pappu) (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Cumin (Jeera)
  • 1 to 2 tsp Pepper corn (adjust to suit your spice levels)
  • 4 to 6 red chilies broken (adjust to suit your spice levels)
  • ¼ to ½ tbsp. Fenugreek seeds or Methi or menthulu

optional

  • ½ tsp. hing
  • Handful fresh curry leaves

Instructions

Preparation for rasam powder

  • Wash curry leaves and spread them on a cloth for the water to dry off completely. Otherwise the water splutters while frying them.
  • Clean all the ingredients, one after the other.
  • Heat a pan, add channa dal and toor dal. Fry till a nice aroma comes.  They will also turn golden in color. Transfer this to a plate.
  • Lower the flame. To the same pan add coriander seeds and red chilies. Fry till they turn crunchy. Switch off the stove. Transfer them to the plate.
  • To the pan add pepper, cumin and methi. Stir for 2 minutes till the cumin and methi smell good. Move this to the plate as well.
  • Add the curry leaves to the pan and fry till crisp. Using few drops of oil to fry them, helps to bring out the aroma of the curry leaves. Do not use more.

How to make rasam powder

  • Cool the fried ingredients completely. Powder them in a grinder jar. If you do not have a powerful grinder, sieve the rasam powder. Powder the coarse grains again.
  • Store the rasam powder in a clean and dry jar.

Notes

Do not aim for the deep color as the rasam powder can become very spicy.
Ready made rasam powders are too deep in color as they use more red chilies.
The flavor of the rasam powder is very pungent with more red chilies.

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)

Nutrition Facts
Rasam Powder Recipe | Rasam Podi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 630 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 55mg2%
Potassium 2144mg61%
Carbohydrates 108g36%
Fiber 64g267%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 21.9mg27%
Calcium 750mg75%
Iron 28.7mg159%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

This post is from the Archives. First published in March 2013. Updated and republished in November 2022.

Rasam Powder | Rasam Podi Recipe

About Swasthi

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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5 stars
A lovely aromatic recipe. How much ie tbsp of Rasam Podi do you use each time you cook a pot of rasam to serve 4 person in one meal.

5 stars
Amazing and flavourful podi

Hi.. what kind of red chillies did you use? Byadagi or kashmiri? Amazing recipe btw.

5 stars
Hello Swasthi,
I am a big fan of your recipes – they make me so happy every time I cook as well as when I eat! Today I made Tomato Rasam and I made the Rasam Powder as well. Rasam tasted great and comforting, and I found making the powder such a uplifting experience. It must be the aroma of roasting spices, seeds and dals. I feel so grateful to be able to learn South Indian traditional and authentic dishes like this thanks to your generosity and hard work! Thank you:)

Explained as my wife Aruna does. Thank you
.

5 stars
Thank you we loved the pepper rasam prepared using your recipe of the rasam powder. Thank you

Will you pl. share the proportion of each ingredient used.
Rest all is explained well.

Very easy and tasty preparation and much useful for housewives

Hi Swasthi. Thank you for the rasam recipe. Looks good and I wish to try it. So how many teaspoons of the rasam powder should I use for one meal for four persons?

Receive says 1 cup coriander but does not look like that much in photos. Is it 1 cop?

Should we use 1 cup coriander seeds with 1/4 cup Chana and 1/4 cup toor dal.? That seems like a lot of coriander seeds. In the tomato rasam recipe, you’ve mentioned equal amount of coriander seeds and Chana dal.

4 stars
I made it but the colour didnt come the way its shown in the pic. Its predominantly dhania so colour is brown

5 stars
Thanks Di,
Rasam powder was good but didn’t get the same color like yours. So I add little chilli powder to the grinder it comes out good.

5 stars
Hey swasthi
I make this mostly once in a month following your recipe. I will be joining work Soon so was planning to mill the rasam powder. Can you please tell me for how Long can i store the milled rasam powder.

very nice madam

good

5 stars
Thank you! Turned out perfect.

hello, We have to use this powder with tamarind water for making rasam to babies?Please share yoir way of making rasam to babies?

Hi Vellamji! i have 4 rasam recipes which i used to prepare for my kids when they were babies. just check the links below
moong dal rasam
tomato rasam
tomato rasam without rasam powder
tamarind rasam

thank u for sharing. come out well

Thanks Baby for trying and for the review too.

Nice flavorful rasam Powder… Thanks for sharing…

I will substitute chana dal with toor dal…nice useful recipe..

Useful post !!! Thanks for sharing 🙂