The term 'Rasam' in Sanskrit denotes juice or extract that is delicious. You can also call this a South Indian Soup usually prepared using Tomatoes and Tamarind extract as basic ingredients. 

The English name for this recipe takes the name 'mulligatawny' that means pepper water (Milagu Thanni). The East India Company probably pronounced it that way which made way to the Oxford Dictionary.  Pepper, IS, the main ingredient that gives it the flavour of spice (and it was/is a home remedy for illnesses due to the medicinal properties of pepper and other ingredients such as cumin seeds, asafoetida, coriander seeds and cinnamon. (Adding of cinnamon is more common in the Karnataka style).

Also refer to my previous post on Homemade Sambhar powder.

Preparation Time: 5 min
Cooking Time : 10 min
Category: Spice powder
Cuisine: South Indian
Level: Medium
Yield : 250 gm
Source: MIL

  • 1 cup Coriander seeds
  • 1 cup Red chillies
  • 1/4 cup Toor Dhal
  • 1/3 cup Peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp  compounded Asafoetida flakes
  • 1 tbsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 cup Dried curry leaves, tightly packed
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1/4 tsp crystal salt
  • Except Chillies, Asafoetida and curry leaves, dry roast each ingredient separately in a Kadai on low medium flame until fragrant. 
  • Use a homemade broom stick for even roasting. Refer to this post  for some detail. Always roast spices in circular motion. 
  • Transfer to a plate and spread out to cool. 
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in the same Kadai and fry Asafoetida flakes until soft. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Heat 1 tsp of oil. Add crystal salt. When it sizzles, add red chillies and saute until you hear a crinkle and coated well. Should take 3 mins.Transfer to  spice plate immediately and cool.
  • Grind all the above along with curry leaves to a coarse powder in a mixer and spread out to prevent lumps. Pulse the spices once or twice and then add the curry leaves to ensure uniform grinding.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and use as required. Keeps fresh for a month.


  1. Wow... another killer! I love rasam but always make those from scratch... looks so good, and the pictures are amazing!

  2. I can't imagine living without Rasam ! I have fallen in love with your pictures ...that ammi-kallu -wow!!! Lovely blog Sowmya !!!

  3. Beautiful shot and lovely props Sowmya!

  4. Loved the detailed recipe Sowmya. I always make rasam without using rasam powder, but this sounds so yummy, that I want to give this spice mix a try. I will let you know when I do. Thanks a lot for sharing.- Sreelatha

  5. Sowmya, your rasam powder shot is awesome! I love rasam and your picture and recipe is propelling me to make it now!

  6. Rasam s my comfort food..homemade rasam podi s always best.. Fry pics

  7. Flavourful rasam powder!! Lovely pics!!

  8. needful podi better than store bought

  9. Rasam is an all time favourite...very useful post!!

  10. Your props and photographs are awesome and so is the traditional homemade Rasam powder.

  11. Love Rasam. Your rasam powder and the stone grinder, both awesome!


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