Garlic Rasam (Poondu Rasam)

Lemon Rasam
Rasam and sambar are two of the most basic dishes cooked in every Tamilian kitchen. They are usually made at the same meal, in fact at almost every meal, and are a wonderful example of the resourceful creativity of the Indian housewife: when cooked, the thick lentils sit at the bottom of the pan while the flavor-infused water used to cook the lentils floats at the top. The lentils, when cooked with spices and veggies, become the sambar, while the lentil-flavored water, after being flavored with tamarind and tomatoes, turns into the tangy, spicy rasam.

Rasam was one of the first dishes I learned to cook. In fact, my rasam would often earn the praise of even the Tamil side of my family. I love it so much, I usually drink it all by itself, like a watery soup.

I usually make my own rasam powder, but you can also use store-bought for this recipe. I used lemon in this rasam instead of the more traditional tamarind for the tangy flavor, and added garlic to introduce a different kind of heat into the rasam. Although I call this a “screaming-hot” rasam, it is more by my fairly wimpy standards of spiciness. You can easily control the heat by using more or less rasam powder or garlic.

Garlic Lemon Rasam
 
Prep time
Cook time
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This delicious Garlic Rasam or Poondu Rasam will leave you asking for more.
Author:
Recipe type: Rasam
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup split peas cooked with enough water so you have about 2 cups of liquid remaining after cooking
  • 1 tbsp rasam powder
  • 2 green chillies, sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafetida (hing)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add the hing and mustard seeds.
  3. When the mustard sputters, add the garlic.
  4. Stir the garlic around for a minute or until it turns a light golden-brown. Do not allow it to get too dark as it will turn bitter.
  5. Add curry leaves, green chillies, and tomato.
  6. Cook until the tomato begins to break down.
  7. Add the rasam powder and cook for a minute.
  8. Add the lentils and the cooking liquid.
  9. Add salt and allow the rasam to come to a boil.
  10. Lower the heat and simmer on a low flame about 10 minutes.
  11. Add the lemon juice.
  12. Check salt and turn off heat. Garnish with cilantro.
  13. Serve hot with rice or just by itself, like a soup.

**

Love rasam? Check out my Jeera Milagu Rasam, also called Cumin Pepper Rasam.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

12 thoughts on “Garlic Rasam (Poondu Rasam)

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    TBC

    February 5, 2008 at 3:32am

    Rice with rasam and roasted potatoes is comfort food for me. I should try adding lemon in my rasam the next time.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    LG

    February 5, 2008 at 3:52am

    Lemon, garlic and rasam wow..perfect combination of ingrediants..Rasam looks good.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jane

    February 5, 2008 at 4:23am

    Hi Vaishali,
    I saw your post on Veg Cooking blog where you were asking about Ener-G Egg Replacer. I too had trouble finding it at our local Whole Foods. Then one day I got lucky and found a clerk who knew it was stocked in the “Gluten Free” section of the store, rather than the baking aisle.
    I’ve got a picture on this post… (A picture being worth a thousand words.)

    Hope that helps.

    Jane of VeganBits.com

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jayashree

    February 5, 2008 at 6:21am

    A little rasam…rice…and ghee…that’s heaven on a plate for me….

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Anke

    February 5, 2008 at 1:32pm

    this sounds interesting. I would make it almost unspicy since I can’t eat hot hot food, but lentil-flavored stock sounds great :-)

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    vimmi

    February 5, 2008 at 5:03pm

    Just started making rasams and rasam powder. love it. ur recipe looks yummy. will try it soon.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    KayKat

    February 5, 2008 at 7:39pm

    Mmm … this brings back fabulous memories of growing up!

    Looks delicious.

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sagari

    February 5, 2008 at 8:22pm

    lemon rasam is my favvvvvv and that pic looks so tempting

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Miri

    February 6, 2008 at 12:44pm

    Love rasam (hated it while growing up for some reason) and this one seems like a complete winner!

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    February 6, 2008 at 9:57pm

    tbc- you’re right, rasam and potatoes with rice is classic comfort food.

    Lg- thanks!

    Jane- thanks for the link.

    Jayashree- you are so right.

    Anke- you could certainly try making it less spicier. the number of ingredients would still give it enough complexity.

    Vimmi- thanks! let me know how it turns out!

    Kaykat- my husband feels that way too, being from Chennai. He always loves a plate of rice and rasam!

    Sagari and Miri- thanks!

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