HomeFoodIndian Rasam + fantastic cooking school deal for YourLifeChoices readers

Indian Rasam + fantastic cooking school deal for YourLifeChoices readers

Rasam is a spicy, tangy southern Indian soup that’s a great start to any meal, especially served with some crisp pappadums; it’s also fun in shot glasses for a cocktail party. 

It’s traditionally served as a light meal over steamed rice, especially to people who are feeling poorly. 

Rasam means ‘juice’ or ‘essence’ in Tamil and the essential element of this sour pepper soup is that it is light and thin. Yellow lentils are sometimes added, and I often include a tablespoon with the water and then simmer it for about 20 minutes until they’re tender. 

This version has a bit of punch from the pepper, try it first then add more or less pepper or tamarind to suit your preference. 

Chef Ajoy Joshi of Nilgiri’s Indian Restaurant finishes his off with a dollop of ghee. I enjoy mine with a glass on Rondo rondinella rosé from Freeman Vineyards.

Master some more Indian classics inspired by chef Ajoy Joshi with my Online Indian Cooking Class. Use coupon Your Life by Sunday 17 March to receive a 50 per cent discount.

Serves: 4 as a starter


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

4 curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

pinch ground turmeric

2 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped

2 cups water

3 teaspoons tamarind liquid 

1 tablespoon chopped coriander

salt flakes, to taste

pinch caster sugar

pappadums, for serving


Heat oil in a saucepan, add garlic, mustard, curry leaves, cumin, pepper and turmeric and fry for 30-60 seconds over medium heat, until aromatic.

Add tomato, reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing the tomatoes with the spoon until they’ve broken down.

Stir in water and tamarind, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in coriander, taste and add salt and sugar.

Serve with pappadums on the side.

You’ll find a print-friendly version of this recipe here as well as a step-by-step video of how to make tamarind liquid.

Subscribe to my Recipe of the Week newsletter to discover more great Asian dishes. Find more cooking inspiration on my website BeInspired.au.

Also read: Easy Pea and Bacon Soup

Roberta Muir
Roberta Muirhttps://beinspired.au/
Roberta Muir loves making it easy for home cooks to explore new cuisines and ingredients and sharing her passion for cooking, eating, drinking and travelling. She’s a recipe writer, cooking teacher, and author of four cookbooks including the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook. Find more of her inspiration at BeInspired.au
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