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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.
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 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt or taste
  • ¼ teaspoon hing/asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon ginger grated
  • fresh coriander leaves for garnish
  • a sprig of curry leaf


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


  •  I used ½ 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.