Monday, April 16, 2012

Nartham-pazham Rasam / Lemon Rasam

Amidst my crazy work schedule, I should say I am managing pretty well! Have been taking a lot of weekend breaks to nearby cities from Chennai and managing to get the much needed unwinding time:-) Ofcourse that keeps me off my blog though. Have been waiting to upload some recipes for quite sometime but for want of time they had been left to hybernate. I am beginning to write this recipe in the hope of publishing one this week. Have chosen a simple yet very tasty rasam (South Indian soup) which can be eaten with rice or taken as a soup too...choice is yours.....

Rasam has a special place in most South Indian cuisines and makes for the lightest part of any meal. Among Tambrahms (Tamil Brahmins) there is a practice of making rasam in "eeya chombu" a vessel made of Tin and its alloys. The rasam made in this vessel has a different taste to the one made in an ordinary steel vessel. For more information about this vessel and its composition read the article(link) published in The Hindu recently

Though, one needs to bear in mind a few things before setting out to use this vessel. This has a melting point of 200 deg C. So, for some reason if you plan to be away from the kitchen while letting your rasam come to a boil, be sure there is enough liquid in the vessel and the flame is on low. Otherwise, you have a very strong chance of melting the vessel down:-) I can say this because I learnt to use this vessel the melting! But if you still manage to melt the vessel...don't worry...collect the melted and remaining portion of the vessel and go to your nearby Bazaar. Any vessel merchant would gladly buy the melted vessel and be willing to give you a new one in exchange! Its an expensive metal and fetches value any which way:-)

OK, now off to the recipe....


- 1 jaathi naartham-pazham(used in this recipe) or 1 lemon
- 1 tsp whole black pepper
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp sambhar powder(optional)
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 green chilly
- 1 small tomato
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup boiled toor dhal
- Salt to taste

Temper and Garnish:

- 1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- few curry leaves
- freshly chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Prep time: 5 mins                       Cook time: 20 mins


- In the "eeya chombu", add 2 cups water, slit green chilly, sambhar powder, salt, turmeric, cut tomato and boil all on low flame for 7 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes cook and you loose the raw smell of the sambhar powder .

- Now, mash the boiled dhal with 1 cup of water and add it to the boiling solution on the stove top. To this add the powdered cumin seeds and black pepper.

- Now bring this whole solution to a boil until you see the corners frothing. After adding the dhal, the rasam should not boil too much. It should be switched off the moment it comes together frothing from the corners.

- After switching off the heat, add the nartham pazham juice or lemon juice. If you add while on heat, the rasam will turn bitter. So, add only after removing from heat.

- Heat ghee and temper the mustard seeds and curry leaves until they splutter and add on top of the rasam. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

- Tasty and fresh rasam is ready to be served with rice or taken as a hot soup!

Foot note:

- If you are not using sambhar powder, you could add more pepper or one more green chilly for extra spice.


  1. Yum ...I want to try this for long ..

  2. Nice and tangy rasam with lemon.
    I have just now made tomato rasam for lunch.

  3. never heard of rasam with naarthangai... looks yummy....

  4. Its been ages since I had nartham pazham rasam, makes me feel nostalgic. I too have an eeya chombu and know how good it smells when rasam is made in that. Feel like grabbing that bowl and emptying the whole thing.

  5. I have took in the form of pickle and rice. Looks tangy and yum

  6. tangy and delicious rasam, sounds great !!

  7. It rained here yesterday... and I think rasam would be great in this weather now :D

  8. hey ..same I prepared the same your version..:)

    Tasty Appetite

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  11. One of my favorite south indian dish....

    I blog @ Manidipa's Kitchen