My Paati's Rasam

Though my mother is an amazing cook, the rasam she makes does not suit my palate. I need something tangy and spicy but her version is catered to satisfy my dad's desire for a not-so-sour, milder one. My (maternal) grandmother's rasam however is just perfect and flavorful in everyway. Growing up, I've helped make it by coarsely grinding the necessary spices on the 'ammi' , which is how she makes the rasam each day - no ready-made powders there. So, I had an idea of what goes in and to an extent how much. My periamma (mom's sister, who follows my paati's recipe) taught me the complete method during one of my vacations...

I remember how my friends used to ask me to make this rasam anytime someone fell sick (during our university days) . I would make it in a huge 'cauldron' so there was lots of it to go around. Since I didn't have a mixie then, my mother used to make a rasam podi with dried spices - sans garlic and pack that for me so I could always make this in a jiffy. Nowadays however I just grind them as and when I make this rasam.


Tomatoes - 1.5 , chopped
Tamarind - gooseberry sized, soaked in warm water & juice extracted
Toor Dhal water - 1 cup, (mix about 2 to 3 tbsp of cooked, mashed toor dhal with water)
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Coriander Leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped.
Salt, to taste

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Dried Red Chillies - 3 or 4
Whole Black Pepper - 7 or 8
Garlic - 1 to 2 small cloves
Curry Leaves - few
Coriander Leaves - 3 to 4 stalks
Tomato - 1/2

Ghee - 1 or 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Hing (asofoetida) - couple pinches
Curry Leaves - few
Dried Red Chilli - 1 (cut into 2) [Optional]


1. Microwave the tomatoes for about 5 mins with a cup of water. Let cool slightly and mash them a bit. To this add the tamarind juice, dhal water and turmeric.

2. Adding half a tomato while grinding will make it easier. Mix the ground paste to the above tomato-dhal-tamarind mixture with salt and required amount of water.

3. Let this heat through on a medium flame. You will notice some foam on the top, just as it begins to boil, remove from the stove.

4. Do the seasoning by heating the ghee and adding mustard, cumin seeds and hing. Then add curry leaves and dried red chilli (if using). Add this to the rasam and finish off with chopped coriander.


  1. looks fabulous. i've bookmarked it.

  2. looks very delicious and nice color.

  3. Laavanya, you come up with yummy dishes of south. Feel like just drinking. Viji

  4. Authentic one. Love the color.

    BTW how did you find that am a Gemini ? Was wondering !!!

    And wanted to let you know that I have given a link to your blog from mine. Hope thats fine :)

  5. Patti's rasam is to die for.Looks delicious and thank you for posting this.I have plenty of Tomatoes!:))

  6. I too love only my Paati's rasam. no one can beat that taste and no one could even ever make it. you are lucky that you were able to replicate. the color of the rasam looks perfect.

  7. Thank you Bee. Hope you try it and like it.

    Thank you Roopa - thanks to the good tomatoes one gets in summer.

    Viji, Thank you... yes, it is great to just drink it too.

    Thank you Seec. I've explained my reasoning on your blog.. :) I am honoured to know that you've given a link to my blog.

    Asha, yes it is. Hope you get a change to try it. Thanks!

    Sharmi, that's true.. all paatis have some magic in their hands. Thank you for your comments.

  8. I just love rasam. Rasam + potatoes is true comfort food for me.There's nothing like having some hot rasam when you are sick!
    Nice recipe.

  9. Cool! I have been looking for a rasam recipe and here you have it:)Will try it out and let you know...

  10. Oh How I would love a bowl of that steaming rasam.. will make me feel ever so much better, especially with this bad cold and fever that I have!

  11. True TBC, it is very soothing.

    That's great Tee. Please try it and let me know.

    Manasi, wish I could send you some. Get well soon.

  12. bookmarked:) cant resist spicy rasams:)

  13. 1.5 tomatoes? not 1? not 2? :D

  14. Sia, hope you get a chance to try it.

    Suganya.. ha ha.. :) yes 1.5 exactly (because the other 0.5 has to be ground with the spices) :D

  15. i love the rasam, its wonderful and drink as much as one can give me!

  16. WOW.....your seasoning over the Rasam looks great.....nice transparent red color Rasam. Perfect My dear.:)

  17. Grandmas are always great cooks. Aren't they? Rasam looks delicious.

  18. Hi Laavanya

    Thanks for sharing your grandma's recipe. It is these treasures that are so tough to find.

  19. I tried this recipe out..and its awesome..its yumilicious !!!!!!I am treasuring it my recipe book...and gave the heading PAati's rasam :)

  20. Thank you Priya.. really sweet of you.

  21. I tried this recipe and everyone loved it. So easy to make and it smelled so wonderful. I made a giant pot (doubled your portions) and it was over in one meal! Please post more of your paati's recipes!

    1. Thank you so much CBal for trying out this recipe and for leaving a note here to let me know :) I will be sure to get more recipes from my paati... love her cooking and she will be thrilled to hear so many folks tried and liked her recipe.


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