Lemon Rasam/Yelumichai rasam – South Indian Lunch Menu

Lemon rasam, a south-indian style tomato and dal soup, flavored with lemon. A citrusy rasam, perfect accompaniment with rice and dry curries.

Rasam is a regular menu at home, I make it everyday. My Lil one loves paruppu rasam with a mashed potato and ghee for his lunch. One food,that he eats on his own, without throwing any tantrums.  Since it is a regular affair, i keep trying different varieties.

Lemon rasam

Lemon/yelumpichai rasam, happens rarely at home, both my kids love Tomato-garlic rasam. I prefer lemon/yelumichaipazham rasam after 2 or 3 days of heavy meal. Like Varalakshmi pooja or Ganesh pooja, where we have a elaborate lunch, the next day you won’t feel like eating at all. This lemon rasam comes to the rescue on such days.

I enjoy this nimbhu flavored, citrusy rasam, while it is still warm, with a slice of lemon, pepper powder, garnished with grated ginger and few fresh coriander leaves. Sounds like a gourmet menu right. Oh yeah, serve it as lemon shots and people would definitely think it is some high-end restaurant menu

Nimbhu rasam

The ingredients

  • Tuvar dal, we might need 1/2 cup of pigeon peas for a family of 4, cooked with 1 cup of water and mashed well.
  • Tomatoes, well ripened tomatoes, i use 3 medium-sized ones for a family of 4.
  • Rasam powder, the spice mix used to flavor the rasam. I have two recipes for the rasam powder, you can find it here and here.
  • Lemon juice, lemon also known as yelumihcai pazham in tamil. I have used indian lemon. We would need 2 of them atleast.
  • Coriander leaves, curry leaves, shredded ginger, are some of the basic ingredients which we use for making rasam
Yelumichai rasam

Lemon Rasam/Yelumichampazham rasam

Lemon rasam, a south-indian style tomato and dal soup, flavored with lemon. A perfect accompaniment with rice and dry curries.
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Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: A quick recipe, How to make lemon rasam, How to make rasam, Lemon rasam recipe, Southindian style lemon soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 3 nos medium sized plump tomatoes
  • 1 no green chili
  • 1.5 tsp homemade rasam powder
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed toor dal/pigeon peas
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt or taste
  • ¼ tsp hing/asafoetida
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • fresh coriander leaves for garnish
  • a sprig of curry leaf


  • 1 tsp ghee/oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds/kadugu
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • ½ tsp freshly pounded pepper powder though optional, highly recommended
  • 2 nos red chilies i use round variety


  •  I used 1/2 cup toor dal/tuvar dal/split pigeon peas, pressure cooked with 1 cup of water with little turmeric. Pressurecook it for 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure release on its own. Mash it wellandkeep aside until use.
  • Wash the tomatoes, chop it fine. Add water to a heavy bottomed vessel, i used my eeya chombu/tin vessel for making the rasam. Add chopped tomatoes to this. Keep this is on stove and let it start to boil.
  • I normally crush the tomatoes as both my kiddos pick out the tomatoes, if you don't mind the tomatoes in rasam, then you can chop them fine and add it to the water.
  • To this boiling tomato water, add green chili, rasam powder and salt. Cook it until the rawness of the rasam powder disappears
  • Now add the cooked dal to this rasam.Let it sit on the stove in a simmer flame for 5 -8 minutes. When it froths well, remove it from the flame.
  • Add the lemon juice. Do not boil the rasam after adding lemon juice. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and grated ginger
  • Now for the tadka, heat a tadka pan with ghee. splutter mustard seeds, add cumin, pepper powder,  red chilies, hing and curry leaf. Pour this sizzling tadka over the rasam. Keep it covered.
  • Serve it warm along with rice and curry. I served it as part of our Weekend Lunch Yennai Kathrikaai kuzhambu, yardlong beans paruppusli.


  • Crushing the tomoates is optional, as my kids pick them out, i prefer crushing, you can also add finely chopped tomatoes to plain water and make the rasam.
  • I have 2 recipes for homemade rasam powder,listed in the post. I prefer to use kootu podi as rasam powder as i have been doing it for the past 15 years. 
  • Lemon juice should be added to rasam after you remove it from the stove, do not boil the rasam after adding lemon juice, it might taste bitter.
Citrus rasam

Serve this delicious, citrusy, lemon rasam with your favorite dry curry. It would taste ultimate when paired with raw banana fry or yam fry.

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