Mysore rasam is a lentil soup that's both tangy and spicy. It's made using toor dal (pigeon pea), tomatoes, and a distinct spice blend known as rasam powder. In Karnataka, rasam is also called 'saaru.'
Unlike regular rasam, which is served as a watery soup, Mysore rasam is thicker and usually eaten with rice. This easy recipe will guide you to prepare the traditional Mysuru-style rasam using your
Hearty and delicious Mysore rasam is a perfect dish to warm you up on a cold day. Its spicy and tangy flavor profile is a treat for your taste buds, while the lentils make it a wholesome meal. The aroma of the rasam powder and the tempering of spices add to the overall experience of relishing this South Indian delicacy.
There are several varieties of rasam - garlic rasam, Udupi rasam, and pepper rasam, to name a few. A good amount of dal is used, and the spice mix is ground with coconut into a smooth paste. This flavorful variety of rasam is called arachuvitta rasam in Tamil cuisine. In this recipe, I am making this South Indian version of tomato soup in an
Why you will love this recipe?
- This tomato rasam dish is packed with flavor and deliciousness. It is a popular South Indian recipe, appreciated for its balance of sour, spicy, sweet, and savory flavors.
- Whether you're looking for a quick lunch option or a flavorful side dish for dinner, this flavorful rasam recipe is definitely worth a try.
What is rasam powder?
Rasam powder is a special blend of whole spices that is roasted and ground into a fine powder, which is then used in this flavorful rasam recipe. This spice mix is called saarina pudi (or saaru pudi) in Kannada and rasam podi in Tamil/Telugu.
Making their own rasam podi is a common practice in most South Indian homes, and we South Indians seldom buy it. As a child, I have seen my mother take the roasted spices to a flour mill to be ground into a fine powder. This homemade masala is the key to any flavorful rasam recipe.
Mysore rasam powder mainly consists of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper corns, dried red chillies, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, hing, and turmeric.
Toor dal: Mysuru rasam is much thicker than other varieties of rasam, so the proportion of toor dal/pigeon pea is higher.
Tomatoes: Fresh and juicy tomatoes are an important ingredient.
Rasam powder: Use store-bought or homemade rasam powder. This special rasam powder is the main ingredient to add wonderful flavor.
Tamarind: Tamarind, along with tomatoes, adds tang to this dish. Soak it in water for 20 minutes and extract the water. You may replace it with store-bought tamarind pulp.
Jaggery: Jaggery does not make this dish sweet; rather balances the tangy taste of the rasam.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Take the tamarind in a small bowl and add ½ cup hot water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Extract the tamarind pulp and discard the fiber and seeds. Take rasam powder, grated coconut, and ½ cup of water in a blender jar. Grind it into a smooth paste (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Set the
Step 3: Add the tomatoes, tuvar dal, fresh ground masala paste, and salt. Add 5 cups of water and give it a good mix (images 4 and 5). Secure the
Step 4: Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release (image 7). Set the
Step 5: Simmer for 4-5 minutes until the raw smell of tamarind goes (image 10). Cancel saute mode and add one tablespoon of ghee and coriander leaves.
It is important to add the tamarind water after pressure cooking the dal as the tamarind may prevent the dal from fully cooking.
Don't skip the jaggery, as it helps balance the spicy and tangy flavor. You can replace it with sugar.
What to serve with Mysore Rasam?
Mysore Rasam pairs well with a variety of South Indian dishes. It can be served with steamed white rice alongside a meal. Pair it with South Indian-style stir-fries like cabbage palya or beans palya and padad for a complete meal.
Firstly, the spices used in both masala powders are different. Rasam is thin and runny and is usually made using tomatoes as the only vegetable, whereas sambar has a good proportion of dal and is made using a variety of vegetables. Rasam is also more tangy and spicy.
To store Mysore Rasam, allow it to cool to room temperature if it's freshly prepared. If storing in the fridge, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To store in the freezer, place the rasam in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw frozen rasam in the refrigerator and reheat as needed.
Instant Pot easy recipes
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Mysore Rasam / South Indian Tomato and Lentil Soup (Instant Pot)
- Take the tamarind in a small bowl and add ½ cup hot water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Extract the tamarind pulp and discard the fiber and seeds.
- Take rasam powder, coconut, and ½ cup of water in a blender jar. Grind it into a smooth paste (this is optional and can be skipped).
Making the rasam:
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add one tablespoon of ghee. Once it heats, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Next, add cumin seeds, methi seeds, hing, and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add the tomatoes, toor dal, rasam powder paste, and salt.
- Add 5 cups of water and give it a good mix.
- Secure the Instant Pot lid and set the Instant Pot to 8 minutes.
- Do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Set the Instant Pot to saute mode and add the tamarind extract and jaggery. Adjust salt and spices as needed. Also, adjust the consistency as needed. Simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- Cancel saute mode and add one tablespoon of ghee and cilantro.
- Serve hot with steamed rice and side dish of your choice.