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Quick and Easy Rasam Recipe (Without Rasam Powder or Dal)

Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.

Basic Rasam

Basic Rasam

Rasam is a traditional South Indian soup-like dish that is spicy, sweet and sour. It goes well with rice (instead of gravy), can be eaten with vada or idli (instead of sambhar) or can be served as a soup, without other accompaniments.

This is a basic rasam recipe that is simple and quick to make yet very delicious. This particular preparation does not require any rasam powder—homemade or market-bought—nor does it call for dal (lentils).

The sourness in the rasam comes from tamarind, which can be replaced by kokum (dried fruit rinds of the plant Garcinia indica) or its juice if you wish.

Do try and share your feedback.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

45 min

1 hour

2 servings


For the tamarind water:

  • 1 lemon-sized ball of imli (tamarind pulp)
  • 1/2 cup warm water

For the ground spice mix:

  • 3 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 1 tsp sabut kali mirch (black peppercorns)
  • 8-10 garlic cloves

For the rasam:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp rai (mustard seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp heeng (asafoetida powder)
  • 2 dry whole red chillies
  • 10-15 kadhi patta (curry leaves)
  • 1 large tomato, seeds removed and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped hara dhania (cilantro)


  1. Soak the imli in the warm water for 30 minutes; then mash it well and strain out the pulp. Set the tamarind water aside.
  2. In a mortar, add the spices for the spice mix. Grind the spices until they are coarsely ground. You can grind them coarsely in a grinder instead. Transfer the spice mix to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Keep a pan on medium heat. Add the oil and let it heat up, then reduce the heat to low. Add in the mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  4. Keep the heat on low and add the heeng, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Saute for 15-20 seconds; then add the chopped tomato and cook until they become soft.
  5. Raise the heat to medium and add the coarsely ground spices and turmeric powder. Saute for about 15 seconds.
  6. Add the tamarind water, 2 cups of water and salt. Stir to mix well, raise the heat to high and let the mixture come to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the cilantro and stir a few times before removing the pan from the heat.
  9. Rasam is ready. Serve hot.

Easy and Quick to Make Basic Rasam Recipe Without Rasam Powder and Dal

© 2021 Rajan Singh Jolly