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Monday, 23 September 2019

Mysore Rasam

Mysore Rasam is a flavorful and aromatic soup, a speciality from Indian state of Karnataka. It is thin spiced rasam prepared using freshly ground rasam powder (spice mix), cooked pigeon pea and fresh coconut. Tamarind and jaggery balance the spice levels of the rasam making it a delicious treat. Mysore rasam isan onion garlic free recipe and can be had on its own like an appetising soup or paired with steamed rice.

My first encounter with rasam was 12 years back during our 5 year stay in Hyderabad. My office colleagues used to get rasam daily in their lunch boxes and that was when i gradually developed a liking towards this tangy spiced soup. I would share my Maharashtrian dishes and recipes with them and learn theirs. I learnt to make tomato rasam, PesarattuPuliyodharai and many other South Indian dishes from my neighbours and friends in Hyderabad.  Frankly speaking, there are no takers of tangy food at my place except me. Hubby and little one stay away from dishes with tamarind. So, i spare a few tablespoon of cooked pigeon pea from the cooked dal meant for making dal fry or phodaniche waran to treat myself with rasam especially on chilly winter nights or whenever i have a sore throat. I hope in the coming days at least my son develops a liking towards tangy food.

So, basically what is Rasam ?

Rasam often referred as saaru or chaaru is a thin tangy spiced soup from South Indian Cuisine. It is traditionally prepared with tamarind or kokum juice at its base with addition of tomato, chili, pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings. Rasam is eaten with other dishes like rice or idli or by itself as a spicy soup. Cooked lentils may or may not be added to it. A special spice mix called rasam podi/ powder is often added to the rasam to make it all the more flavorful. There are many varieties of rasam. Rasam is different from sambar in taste and preparation and its consistency is also thinner compared to sambar.

What goes into a Mysore Rasam ?

Mysore rasam also called as Arachuvitta rasam has a distinct taste which comes from the freshly ground rasam podi and use of fresh coconut.  Rasam powder is prepared by roasting and then grinding the whole spices like dry red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, black pepper, curry leaves, asafoetida, along with Bengal gram and fresh coconut. Thin tamarind juice is boiled until its raw taste goes away. To this chopped tomatoes and freshly ground rasam powder is added and allowed to cook until the tomatoes are soft. Cooked pigeon pea/ arahar dal is added to this mix and finally a ghee tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chilies is done which makes this rasam so flavorful. The rasam is then garnished with finely chopped fresh coriander before serving. I personally do not like the tomato skin in the rasam  so instead of adding chopped tomatoes, i have made a puree of tomato and added it in this recipe. I have served this Mysore rasam with steamed rice topped with ghee and Beetroot Thoran for a soulful meal.

Now you must be wondering why i am posting so many south Indian dishes these days. Actually, even in the blogging world i am surrounded by many South Indian friends and co bloggers. Priya who blogs at Thephotowali.wordpress.com is one such friend i came across through the various food groups. She has a wonderful blog which i look upon for some traditional South Indian dishes and some easy to do recipes from Thai cuisine. She suggested that we make different types of rasam for our 214th FoodieMondayBlogHop event. I already have a Tomato Rasam on the blog , so browsed on the Internet and came across this recipe of Mysore Rasam here. I made a few changes to suit our taste buds like i added little jaggery at the end in this rasam which balanced the tangy and spicy flavors of the rasam very well.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20  minutes
Serves: 4 cups

  • 2-3 tablespoon pigeon pea/ arahar dal/ tur dal
  • 2 small or 1 large tomato
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Tamarind small gooseberry size
  • 1 -2 teaspoon jaggery powder
  • Salt to taste
To roast and grind:
  • 2 tablespoon fresh grated or scrapped coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Bengal gram
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 dry red chilies, broken
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper corn
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • pinch of asafoetida
For Seasoning:
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1-2 green chilies, broken
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
For Garnishing:
  • 2 tablespoon coriander leaves, finely chopped
Preparation for making Mysore rasam:
  1. Cooking the dal : Rinse the dal and soak it in enough water for 15-20 minutes. This step is optional but it does save lot of time and fuel. Transfer it to a pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric powder and 1 cup water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles and simmer for 5 minutes. We are looking for a well cooked dal . Mash the dal with the back of the ladle and keep aside.

2. Extracting Tamarind Juice: While the dal is getting cooked, soak the tamarind in little hot water for 10 minutes and extract the juice and discard the pulp.

3. Making Tomato Puree: Grind the tomatoes in a grinder jar to get the puree. Skip this step if using chopped tomatoes.

4. Making ground paste with spices and coconut: Heat little ghee in a pan and fry all the ingredients listed under roast and grind. Add coconut at the end and fry it also for few seconds. Allow this spice and coconut blend to cool down completely and then blend every thing to a fine powder. I have not added any water while grinding. However, you may add little water and grind the mix to a smooth paste if you wish.

Method to prepare Mysore Rasam:
  1. To the thin tamarind juice add the tomato puree and boil on low heat until the raw flavor of tamarind goes and the mix reduces a bit.

2. Add ground mix to it and mix well. Next, add the cooked and mashed dal followed by 2 cups of water and give good stir. Add turmeric powder, salt and jaggery to taste and cook it until it becomes frothy. Put off the flame. Do not over cook the rasam , as it spoils it taste.

3. In a small pan heat remaining ghee and add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds splutter, add curry leaves, and broken red chilies. Fry for few seconds and then put off the flame. Pour this seasoning over the rasam. Lastly, garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

 4. Serve the flavorful and aromatic Mysore rasam hot, with steamed rice and some stir fry of your choice. I have served it with rice topped with ghee and my favourite Beetroot Thoran.


Recipe Notes:
  • I have referred the recipe from here
  • Addition of jaggery is optional, but it does balance the tangy and spicy flavors of this rasam.
  • The ground paste with roasted spices and coconut can be made without adding water or you may add little water and make it a fine paste.
  • Usually , chopped tomatoes are added to this rasam, but as we do not like the tomato skin, i have pureed the tomatoes and added to the rasam.
  • Do not over boil the rasam as it spoils the taste. Put off the flame once the rasam becomes frothy.
  • Make sure you cook the dal well as the rasam does not turn good if the dal is not properly cooked. 
If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below. Follow us on #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter,#Pinterest and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. 

For more recipes from the Karnataka Cuisine, check out the following from this blog


  1. Such a flavorful and aromatic rasam. We always love mysore rasam and it has some unique taste. Beautiful capture and it looks so delicious

  2. Thank you for that sweet introduction to my blog, Poonam!

    The Mysore Rasam looks very flavourful and delicious. I'm yet to try making it - you're tempting me to get started right away. :)

  3. I remember having made Mysore rasam and we loved it. Just love all the spices that go into making this so tasty rasam. Love your clicks Poonam.

  4. I have not made mysore rasam ever. Remember eating it faintly. I must try making it will love it plain in a bowl. Thanks Poonam for sharing such delicious rasam . I want to make asap

  5. Thats a very flavorful rasam!

  6. Mysore rasam looks lip-smackingly delicious. Loved this simple and easy to make recipe. Bookmarking it to try soon.

  7. I just love this lip smacking rasam with fresh homemade masala and fresh coconut. A regular at my place whenever we visit our hometown.Fabulous recipe Poonam.

  8. I have not used fresh coconut in my rasam mix anytime but then there are so many versions. I loved your version with fresh masala. Sounds absolutely comforting

  9. Mysore rasam looks super delicious Poonam.preparing rasam with fresh masala tastes very good and aromatic. You explained very well with step by step pics 👌

  10. Very flavorful Rasam recipe.. I usually don’t add lentils in Rasam but looking at the pics feels like trying again.. never added coconut too.. shall try it next time when I make Rasam..

  11. That picture is so inviting poonam ! Been ages since we made mysore rasam at home. That with the beetroot thoran must have been a blissful meal

  12. Clicks are just wow Poonam ! Mysore Rasam really looks so tempting and flavorful. From the pic itself I wanna fill my tummy with some bowl !

  13. i love soya food and thanks for this post i like this information please provide few more information about this post seekh kabab

  14. My Annapurana friend. Love your culinary skills and how you bring out the best in the kitchen, Poonam. I want to gulp this mysore rasam down. It's so tempting.

  15. Thanks For Writing. Its very helpfull, Thanks for Sharing.
    Pigeon Pea