Oilfree South Indian tomato rasam (Karnataka style)

Prep Time
8 hours
Cook Time
45 minutes
3 servings

Simple, easy & quick recipe to make delicious rasam at home.Rasam means “juice” in Tamil and Telugu. In Kannada, it’s called “Saaru”. It can mean any juice, but in South Indian cuisine, rasam is a thin soup made with tamarind, tomatoes and other spices like mustard, cumin ,pepper. This rasam powder and rasam are oil-free. Rasam is typically supposed to be a watery spicy and tangy dish and you will not see the consistency of a Sambar that is typically served with Idli. This is like a tasty vegetable broth.


Rasam ingredients

1/4 cup unpolished toor dal

1 tbsp tamarind pulp

Rock salt

Chopped tomatoes - 2

1.5 tbsp Karnataka style rasam powder

Curry leaves - Handful

Coriander - for garnish

Fresh grated coconut - for garnish

Cumin 1/2 tsp

Turmeric 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek 1/2 tsp

Jaggery 1/2 tsp

3/4 cup water ( 3x toordal)

400ml or 2 cups water

Tadka ingredients

Mustard 1 tsp

Jeera 1 tsp

  • To make the rasam, soak whole unpolished toor dal overnight.
  • Use the same water and pressure cook it with cumin, turmeric, fenugreek or if you are using a clay pot, cook it with water for 15-20 mins.
  • Once cooked, add the tamarind paste, chopped tomatoes, jaggery, curry leaves, rasam powder, salt and let it boil for 2 mins.
  • Switch off the stove
  • Add coconut and coriander for garnishing


  • To make an oil-free tadka, take a steel rounded spoon and let it heat up, add mustard and cumin till it splutters. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
  • Add this to the rasam and enjoy with millet rice.

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