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dal rasam in brown bowl placed on white table

Dal Rasam ( GF south Indian spicy soup)

Geetha Priyanka
Dal rasam also called as south Indian soup is a popular dish. It is a spicy hot dish made with cooked toor dal water, tamarind, tomato and flavoured with various spices. The flavours from various spices of rasam are extremely appetising and scrumptious.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 4 people


1 cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp = 15ml

    To grind

    • 1 tbsp Toor dal
    • 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds
    • 1/2 tsp Cumin
    • 1/2 tsp Black Peppercorn
    • 2 Red Chillies

    For Rasam

    • 1/4 cup Toor dal
    • 2 Tomatoes chopped
    • 1 cup Tamarind extract
    • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
    • Salt as required
    • 1 cup Water

    For Tadka

    • 1 tbsp Ghee
    • 1/2 tsp Mustard
    • few Curry leaves
    • pinch Asafoetida (hing)


    • Dry roast toor dal, coriander seeds, cumin, red chillies and black peppercorn until fragrant.
    • Allow the spices to cool down and grind them to a coarse powder.
    • Wash toor dal multiple times with cold water and cook until soft with sufficient water. Alternatively cook in pressure cooker for 2 to 3 whistles or until soft.
    • Mash the dal and collect only the dal water in a container.
    • Place tomatoes in a deep bottomed sauce pan and mash them with potato masher.
    • Now add salt, turmeric, tamarind extract to the same pan and mix well.
    • Boil the mixture on medium high heat for 5 minutes or until raw aroma vanishes.
    • Now add water and simmer rasam for 10-12 minutes.
    • Reduce the flame to lowest possible setting, add toor dal water, ground spice blend and mix well.
    • Simmer rasam for 3-4 minutes or just until froth starts to form on the top.
    • Turn off the heat and add coriander.
    • For tadka, heat ghee in a second pan, add mustard and let it pop.
    • Finally add asafoetida, curry leaves and turn off the heat.
    • Add the tadka to rasam.
    • Serve piping hot rasam with steamed rice, pickle and papad or enjoy on its own as a soup



    After adding ground spice powder just simmer rasam until froth forms on top to retain the flavour of spices. Do not let it over boil.
    You could swap fresh tomatoes with tomato puree.
    You could add sliced green chillies in tadka for extra hot rasam.
    Adjust spices as per your preferred spice levels.
    In this recipe we use only dal water, dal could be used to make sambar, tadka dal.
    Asafoetida enhances the flavour of rasam, however you could skip it to make gluten free rasam.Without asafoetida rasam tastes good but not exceptional.
    You could make a small batch of spice blend to use it when you are in a rush.
    For vegan version swap ghee with oil. 
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