Recipes Born Of Nostalgia: Paruppu Rasam

Ask any South Indian, and you will find that Rasam is a common item on the menu. Though a staple in many homes, it is wholesome and healthy. It aids digestion, provides relief for sore throat and cold, is good for people recovering from ailments, and has so many more benefits!

Now, did you know that there are many kinds of Rasam?  Yes….the humble Rasam comes in different variations – we have Pepper Rasam, Tomato Rasam, Lemon Rasam, Tamarind Rasam, Mysore Rasam, Goddu Rasam, etc. While I love all of these depending on the season or the accompanying menu, my all-time favorite is the Dal or Paruppu Rasam made by my mother.

Growing up, Paruppu Rasam used to be made almost daily. But I have never grown tired of it. It has a bit more nutrition too compared to the others as it contains toor dal. Even now, my mom makes it frequently and I carry back a dabba of it many times after I visit her. There is ALWAYS extra for me at home! It is comfort food for me and banishes all my aches and bad moods. And no matter how many times I have tried, there is always something that is missing from my version – maybe it is just love and the magic of her hands!

This is a fairly common food item in South India and you will find different versions of the same with small changes here and there, across each household. So here goes my Amma’s Paruppu Rasam Recipe. This makes enough for 4 people.

Lemon size tamarind     &     the pulp and juice separated


  • Tamarind – a small ball the size of a lemon
  • Toor Dal – approximately 50 grams
  • Tomatoes – 2 small ones
  • Water – 500 ml
  • Rasam Powder – 2 Tblsp
  • Turmeric Powder – just a pinch
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 Tsp
  • Urad Dal – 1 Tsp
  • Channa Dal – 1 Tsp
  • Red Chillis – 2 to 3 No.s
  • Curry Leaves – 2 to 3 Sprigs
  • Coriander Leaves – Handful
  • Asafetida – just a pinch
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Ghee – 2 Tblsp

Toor dal with turmeric       &        the completely mashed toor dal after it is cooked


  • First, boil the tamarind in a little water and then allow it to cool.
  • Pressure cook the toor dal with turmeric powder for 6-8 whistles until it is well done.
  • Mash the boiled tamarind and separate the pulp from the water.
  • Boil the tamarind water along with the 500 ml of water for around 1 minute.
  • Add the salt and rasam powder and continue to boil until the raw smell goes away.
  • Then cut the tomatoes, and add them to the boiling water.
  • Completely mash the toor dal so that it is like a thick paste and add this to the boiling water as well.
  • Cook everything for around 5 minutes on medium flame.
  • In a tempering pan, on medium flame add the ghee and wait for it to heat.
  • Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter.
  • Add the channa dal, urad dal, red chillis and asafetida. Take care it is not burnt.
  • Then add the curry leaves and turn off the flame.
  • Add the above tempering to the rasam and cook everything for another 30 seconds or so.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves, switch off the flame, cover, and rest it rest for 15 mins

Cut Tomatoes 

Ingredients for tempering

That’s it! Enjoy Paruppu Rasam with hot rice and appalam or any vegetable. You can also have this as a thick soup.

You can store this Rasam for 2-3 days in the fridge and heat up small quantities whenever you want to eat. I personally feel that the rasam is yummier after one day 😉

This post is dedicated to my Amma, Mythili Seetharaman, and her many unique experiments in the kitchen to suit the Tam-Bram palate. It is also dedicated to my Appa, D.V. Seetharaman – during my childhood, on the rare occasions that my dad and me were left alone to handle the kitchen, this was the only item we knew to prepare 😉

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Monidipa Dutta.

About Author


Blogger, Content Creator, Knowledge Facilitator, Hobby Photographer & Mom To A Naughty Dalmatian.


  1. As a South Indian, I can completely relate to the love and nostalgia for Paruppu Rasam in this blog post. It truly is a comfort food that brings back fond memories of my family. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow along, and the dedication of the post to your parents is endearing.. I can almost taste the flavors and aroma of the rasam as I read through the ingredients and method. I am going to recreate this beloved dish in my own kitchen. Thank you for sharing this cherished recipe!

  2. Rasam is always the yummiest, easiest and a superfood as believed by every south Indian. it was the recipe that had my heart. 👌

  3. I really enjoy rasam. I developed a taste for it recently. But I have never made it, even my sambhar doesn’t taste like the south Indian one. But I will still try this one, maybe it woill come out good, else I will just assume I made a different soup.

  4. Wow, your description of Rasam and all its benefits has got me craving for a bowl right now! I never knew there were so many different types of Rasam, each with its own special flavors and ingredients. But what really caught my attention was when you mentioned your mom’s Dal or Paruppu Rasam as your all-time favorite. It’s amazing how family recipes can hold so much love and nostalgia. Thank you for giving us this mouthwatering glimpse into the wonderful world of Rasam!

  5. This blog post beautifully captures the nostalgic and heartwarming essence of a traditional South Indian dish, Paruppu Rasam. Your personal connection to the recipe, especially your mother’s version, adds a lovely touch. The description of the various benefits of Rasam and the different types of Rasam available showcases the versatility of this beloved dish. The inclusion of the recipe itself, along with tips and storing suggestions, is practical and useful for readers interested in trying it themselves. Overall, it’s a delightful tribute to your mother and a wonderful way to share the love for a cherished family recipe.

  6. I heard a lot about this Rasam but never ever tasted it although I have a South Indian neighbour and friends. For the very first time I heard of this dish from a Indian mega telly serial ” Ya to ha Mohhabata” casting Divyankar Tripathi (Dr. Inshita) and Karan Patel ( Raman Bhalla). Raman was married to Ishita, a girl from a South Indian Family and there he was served with Rasam which led to tummy problems for him. Since then I got an Idea that Rasam is too sour to taste and I should avoid it.  I love South Indian dishes like Idlli and Dosa  with that coconut Chutney but I prefer not to take sambar as I find it a little too soury. But your post changed my opinion and I wish to give Rasam a try and the one you mom prepares the best – Paruppu Rasam. Thank you so much for enriching me with quality information.

  7. This is such a sweet post. I loved reading about your memories associated with it. We make rasam a lot in our house, my daughter loves it. I am going to try your recipe next time. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  8. Vasu, I love rasam, not with anything but just to have like soup. I like the hot, peppery, tangy taste and the comfy feeling it gives. But I have never tried paruppu rasam and had no idea that rasam can contain dal😛. I want to try now. I may not make it but will ask you the next time you make it😀

    PS: So sweet, your dedications ❤

  9. I love rasam and the toor dal rasam is my favorite. Loved reading your memories around it. The recipe you shared is the cherry on top. Recently read a book on families and food. Food is definitely more than just fuel for our bodies.

  10. Honestly, I have never tasted Rasam but Arhar dal is a regular at our place. Rasam looks similar to Arhar dal, just a small hera-pheri of quantities 😉
    My husband loves Rasam and he eats(drinks) a lot of it during office lunches😁
    Thanks for the recipe!

  11. I knew only about tomato and tamarind rasam. always loved having them. my best friends were 2 Malayalis and a Tamilian.

  12. This is a little different than what we make, will give it a try south Indian food has its own flavors.

  13. Shalini R says:

    I’m proud that I can cook South Indian food with ease. But the one thing that I can never get right is a Rasam. I will be trying your recipe.

  14. A Tam-Brahm myself, I can understand what Rasam means to our households. And Paruppu rasam is the simplest, nutritious item on the menu. And of course, it comes with lots of childhood memories and nostalgia for all of us. 🙂

  15. Noor Anand Chawla says:

    I’m definitely going to try this one out! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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