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Monday, 13 July 2020

Garlic Rasam/Poondu Rasam

Poondu Rasam is a garlic-flavored rasam (thin sour soup) just perfect for the monsoon season. There is no greater joy on a chilly rainy night other than sipping a warm bowl of homemade soup or rasam. This garlic rasam is one of the simplest of all rasam varieties one can make, as it does not require rasam powder or cooked lentil. Loaded with flavors from garlic and sourness from tamarind and tomatoes, this rasam is moderately spicy with black pepper, cumin, and red chilies going in. While garlic rasam makes a soulful pair with rice and some vegetable stir-fry, I prefer having it on its own as a soothing soup. It is my natural home remedy for cold and sore throat. It also aids in digestion. The recipe is vegan.

What is Rasam?

Rasam is a classic South Indian soup and comfort food for sure. It is traditionally prepared using Kokum, or tamarind juice as a base with the addition of tomato, chili pepper, black pepper, cumin, and other spices as a seasoning. Steamed lentils can be added along with preferred vegetables. It is a staple food in south India. A blend of roasted spice mix, rasam powder is often added to rasam which makes it flavorful and aromatic.

What goes into my Garlic Rasam?

Garlic rasam is a flavorful and aromatic rasam that serves as a comforting and soulful soup on a chilly rainy night or on winter evenings. The recipe is very simple and does not call for addition of cooked lentil or rasam powder. The base for the rasam is tamarind juice. I have also used tomatoes here but since my little one does not like the tomato chunks in his rasam, I prefer making a puree of tomatoes. As the name suggests this rasam has dominant flavors coming from garlic. The rasam is moderately spicy as ground black pepper, cumin seeds and red chili are added to it. Herbs like curry leaves and coriander add a refreshing flavor to the rasam. The rasam is vegan as I have used sesame seeds oil here instead of ghee for tempering.  


My regular viewers must have noticed that I am a part of a Facebook gourmet group, healthy Wealthy Cuisines, wherein participating bloggers share food recipes every fortnight on pre-decided themes. Monsoon time is the 90th theme suggested by yours truly. Flavorful garlic rasam is my contribution to the theme. You may also want to check the creations by my fellow bloggers on this theme, so here's it

Preparation Time:10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6

  • 1 gooseberry size tamarind
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 red chilies, slit and deseeded
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 8-10 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • A fat pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery (optional)
  • A small bunch of fresh coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  1. Wash the tamarind and soak it in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, dry roast the black pepper, cumin seeds, and 1 red chili in a pan and transfer them to a mixer grinder after cooling. Pulse multiple times to get a coarse powder. Add chopped tomato to it and grind to get a paste.

3. After 10 minutes, mash the tamarind and squeeze out the pulp. Strain the juice and discard the rest.

4. Mince the garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle and keep ready.

5. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds crackle, add curry leaves and red chilies followed by minced garlic. Stir fry on low flame for around a minute or so before adding asafoetida, turmeric, and the tomato paste.

6. Stir fry for another minute. Next, stir in the tamarind juice and add 1 1/2 cups of water. Add jaggery powder if using and salt to taste.

7. Allow the rasam to boil for 10-12 minutes. Put off the flame and garnish the rasam with finely chopped coriander leaves.

8. Serve hot with rice and some stir fry for lunch or dinner or simply enjoy it on its own as a flavorful and comforting soup.

I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

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  1. Garlic rasam is much needed for rainy and chilly days when everyone wants a boast in immunity.. Looks so flavourful bursting with spices and garlicy flavour ..Wonderful share!

    1. Thank you Swaty. You are right, garlic rasam is full of flavors and a delicious immunity booster.

  2. Rains and Rasam sounds so delicious. This garlic rasam is looking so flavorful and delicious. Amazing share dear!

    1. Thank you. Garlic rasam is both delicious and healthy. It is an immunity booster.

  3. One of my most favourite dish from South India ... Full of flavours , hot, spicy and so perfect for such rainy and cold days. Also very soothing when you get cold . Superb share for theme dear.

    1. Thank you so much Ruchi. You are right this rasam is both flavorful and aromatic and a good remedy for cold.

  4. Such a flavorful and aromatic garlic rasam. It is regular dish in our home and perfect to enjoy as soup during cold/rainy days.

    1. Thank you Narmadha. This garlic rasam.is absolutely flavorful and aromatic.

  5. Love this flavourful garlic rasam. So soothing for this wet weather. So nutritious and healthy.We make it very often too.

    1. Thank you di. You are right, this garlic rasam is soothing and a best home remedy for sore throat during this wet season.

  6. This garlic rasam looks so flavorful and aromatic Poonam ! I have to make this for enjoying as a soup during current days :)

    1. You should make it Sasmita. I am sure you will love this garlic rasam as a soothing and comforting soup.

  7. My son loves garlic rasam. This looks so good and colourful, perfect comfort food for monsoon.

    1. You are right Jayashree. Piping hot garlic rasam is just perfect treat on a monsoon day.

  8. So simple yet so, so delicious! I can slurp on this anytime! The garlic flavor with the tanginess of tamarind and tomatoes is to die for; and of course the spices! With rice or as a soup, it is perfect to warm you up especially during the monssons!

    1. Absolutely di ! This spiced tangy garlic rasam is so flavorful and soothing, especially on a rainy evening.