Tamarind Rasam: A Concoction of Diverse Flavours

tamarind rasam
Tamarind Rasam

A super easy and a “go-to” recipe whether you have unannounced guests at home or on days when you are feeling under the weather, Tamarind rasam is truly an elixir.  Also called “Goddu saaru” or “Goddu rasam”, the name implies a preparation that is plain and not elaborate.   However, its simplicity is masked by the array of sweet-sour-peppery flavours which unfold gradually as you savour this dish.   This is what makes it a favourite with many. 

Flavours aplenty

Also called “imli” rasam, this highly palatable broth is characterized by the lack of use of pigeon peas and rasam powder.  A panacea for a sore throat and cold, few foods are more comforting than drinking a cup of this piping hot rasam. 

The tamarind rasam recipe is easy to prepare and offers a number of benefits due to the goodness of all its ingredients.  The base is a generous amount of tamarind that is excellent for gut health and prevents constipation and digestion.  Spices like cumin and pepper are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.  Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium and lycopene and offer a number of benefits.  Garlic is a super food that has a positive effect in maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol.  It even helps improve heart health and is a great immunity booster.  Curry leaves are great for weight loss, improving eyesight and is rich in Vitamin A, B and C.

Tamarind Rasam Recipe

Easy and convenient to prepare, the below recipe makes the best tamarind rasam

tamarind rasam


  • 1 gooseberry size ball of tamarind
  • 2 large tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 tsp jaggery powder
  • 1 -2 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Byadgi chillies broken into pieces
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste


  • In a thick bottomed pan heat ghee and add mustard seeds.  Once it splutters add cumin, pepper corn, red chillies, garlic pods and tomatoes.  Fry for 1-2 minutes and then add curry leaves.
  • Add 2 glasses water and once it starts to boil add the ball of tamarind.
  • Simmer the flame and continue to boil; add salt, jaggery, turmeric and asafoetida.
  • Let it boil well for about 10-15 minutes on low flame until the flavour of the tamarind and other ingredients is released and the rasam turns aromatic.
  • Serve with hot rice or enjoy as a soup.


  • Adjust tamarind, jaggery, salt and red chillies as per your taste.
  • You can filter the rasam before serving so that the remnants of tamarind and its fibre are eliminated.

All images courtesy of Rashmi Gopal Rao

This is part of a continuing series on the world of rasam, be sure to check out the last one, Rasam: Spicy, Tangy, Ubiquitous and Heart-Warming