Lemongrass Rasam

What can be better in a bittercold winter than a bowl of hot, savory rasam! I like rasam and I also enjoy experimenting. The result is today’s recipe. To a traditional toor dal based rasam, I have added lemongrass. The bright, lemony herbal flavor of lemongrass could really cheer up casual rasam, I thought, and it did. Recipe is easy. Simmer the cooked dal with lemongrass and other regular rasam additions. No tomatoes, but ghee tadka is incorporated at the end to harmonize everything. Serve the rasam hot in a bowl and sip. Heaven must taste like this.


Lemongrass Rasam
(serves 4)

2 fistfuls of toor dal and 2 cups of water
1 shallot, finely chopped lengthwise
1 tablespoon, finely sliced lemongrass
1 tablespoon each, tamarind pulp and jaggery
1 teaspoon each, salt and rasam powder
1/2 teaspoon, chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon, turmeric
few sprigs of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

For Ghee Tadka:
1 tablespoon, ghee
1 small sprig of fresh curry leaves
pinch each, cumin, mustard seeds and asafetida


Take toor dal and water in a pressure cooker. Cover and cook until the dal is tender. Gently mash the dal to smooth.

To the cooked dal, add shallot, lemongrass, tamarind pulp and jaggery. Also stir in salt, rasam powder, chilli powder and turmeric. Add a cup of water. Partially cover and simmer for additional 10 minutes until you see froth coming up on top of the vessel. Switch off the heat and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a small skillet. Add curry leaves, cumin, mustard seeds and asafetida in that order. Saute, stirring constantly. When mustard seeds start to pop out of skillet, pour this sizzling tadka over lemongrass rasam. Mix well and serve immediately. Sip the rasam or eat mixed with rice. Comforting and nourishing, the rasam experience will warm the wintered soul.

Lemongrass Rasam
Warm Bowl of Lemongrass Rasam ~ for Meal today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.


13 Responses to “Lemongrass Rasam”

  1. Bhuvana says:

    Looks so comforting, Indira. I had lemongrass tea before and liked it. I think I will enjoy this lemongrass flavored rasam too.

  2. DK says:

    I enjoy lemongrass tea often – never thought of rasam! Its for dinner tomorrow 🙂

  3. Priya says:

    I luv ur rasam..Good for this cold weather..

  4. Cilantro says:

    Interesting recipe…we usually do not add shallots. Looks very comforting indeed.

  5. sayantani says:

    very creative. looks so warm and inviting for this season.

  6. sanjeeta kk says:

    Very innovative and sounds interesting to try for !

  7. rashmi says:

    wow…u r really superb….

  8. Gini says:

    That sounds like a great tasting rasam.

  9. moi says:

    The rasam sounds great, and that picture of lemongrass is fabulous. Thanks, Indira!

  10. Nirmala says:

    Wow…my kind of rasam. I love lemon rasam and this looks like a milder version with lemon grass. Never tasted lemon grass. Nice soul warming recipe Indira!

  11. s.sastri says:

    What a lovely recipe for a cold, winter day. I think rasam is the Indian equivalent of chicken soup!

  12. S says:

    Hi Indira: you remove the lemongrass from the finished product, right? I mean it’s mainly for flavoring and is not edible in itself (too tough and stringy)? If you are checking your old posts, please clarify?

  13. Priya says:

    Rasam is a staple in my household but shallots and lemongrass totally new. I will surely try this out.

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