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 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.
South Indian Lemon rasam recipe
Lemon rasam recipe | South Indian rasam | Nimmakaya pappu charu
Ingredients (240 ml cup used)
- ½ cup tuvar dal or tor dal
- 1¼ to 1 ½ cups water for dal
- 4 cups water
- 1 large or 2 small tomatoes
- 1 small piece of ginger (optional)
- salt as needed
- pinch of turmeric
- 2 to 2 ½ tsp. rasam powder (adjust to suit your taste)
- fistful of coriander leaves chopped
- 2 tsp. ghee or oil
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- pinch of methi seeds (optional)
- 1 broken red chilli
- pinch of hing
- lemon juice from 1 large lemon (adjust as needed)
How to make the recipe
Wash dal thoroughly. Cook it with water till soft. It can be pressure cooked for 2 to 3 whistles on a medium flame. When the pressure goes off, mash the dal to a smooth texture.
Add tomatoes, 4 cups water, salt, turmeric, rasam powder, crushed ginger to a pot. Cook until the tomatoes are soft cooked and mushy.
Add the mashed dal and stir. Bring it to a boil. Add coriander leaves too.
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 low flame.
Squeeze off lemon as needed. Adjust salt as well.
Serve lemon rasam with rice.
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.