Rasam is a thin and very spicy southern Indian soup served alone or combined with other foods, such as rice, as a side dish. There are several different ingredients you can put into a rasam but this particular recipe uses pigeon peas, tomatoes, and a variety of spices and aromatics including mustard seeds, cumin, cilantro, turmeric, and lemon juice. Serve this delicious soup with some steamed rice or curry.
Lemon Rasam: South Indian Spicy Soup [Vegan]
For the Base:
- 2 tablespoons pigeon peas
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped or ground to a paste
- 1/2 teaspoon sambar powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Salt, to taste
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
For the Spice Powder:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorn
- 1-2 green chilis
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
- 1 dry red chili
- Lemon juice
- Cook the pigeon peas peas until mushy. Add 1/2 cup water, mash well, and keep aside.
- Grind the ingredients for the spice powder.
- In a bowl, add the chopped or ground tomatoes, freshly ground spice powder, sambar powder, turmeric powder, and salt.
- Stir in the cooked peas and cilantro.
- In a small saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons oil, add the mustard and fenugreek seeds, and once the seeds start to splutter, add asafoetida, dry red chili, and curry leaves.
- Add the tomato-peas mixture and bring to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice. Sprinkle some cilantro and cover the pot and let sit for a few minutes before serving. Serve hot with steamed rice and curry.