Lemon Rasam / Elumichai Rasam / Nimbu Rasam Recipe

When Lemons are in season, don’t forget to try this deliciously tangy Lemon Rasam. Made with freshly ground home made Rasam Powder, this can be served as an appetizer (soup) or Main Course with Rice and a side of veg.

Lemon Rasam / Elumichai Rasam / Nimbu Rasam Recipe

South Indians have an extensive range of Rasam Recipes in their repertoire. After all, Rasam, the South Indian “Soup” is our quintessential comfort food. So when the markets were flooded with fresh lemons, I made the most of the opportunity and made a batch of piping hot Lemon Rasam for Lunch.

Also, don’t forget to buy extra lemons and try the following recipes on the blog, using Lemons

The Lemon Rasam or Elumichai Rasam Recipe doesn’t require Tamarind. Also, this is one of the quickest Rasam recipes to prepare at home with very few ingredients and minimal chopping involved.

If you have a stock of my Home Made Rasam Powder in your pantry, the Rasam can be dished out in 30 minutes max. Yup, that easy!

Tangy Spicy Lemon Rasam

If you are fans of Rasam at home, try the below recipes and let me know how you liked it.

Rasam Recipes on the Blog

  • Jeera Milagu Rasam – A no Tamarind instant rasam that doesn’t even require Rasam powder. Excellent home remedy for cold and congestion.
  • Pineapple Rasam – Rasam with fresh pineapples, dal or paruppu, tomatoes and home made rasam powder. This is a No Tamarind Rasam Recipe.

There are many variations to this recipe – Some add parippu or dal while some skip it. We prefer rasam with some parippu so I have used Tuvar Dal or Arhar Dal for this recipe. Keeping in mind the consistency of the rasam, the quantity of Dal should be minimal.

Note – The Lemon Slices in the Rasam (photographs) are added for only decorative purposes and/or for shooting this recipe. Avoid adding the slices and storing the Rasam.

Let us look at the detailed step by step pics for making Lemon Rasam at home.

Step by Step Lemon Rasam Recipe

Wash and soak the toovar dal or arhar dal for atleast 10 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with sufficient water. Mash it well and keep aside.

Soaked lentils
Cooked Tuvar Dal or Arhar Dal

Prep your vegetables – Chop the tomatoes, slice the lemons into 2 parts for squeezing the juice along with few sprigs of curry leaves.

Prep for Lemon Rasam

Heat a kadhai or thick bottom vessel, add oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and whole red chillies. Once mustard crackles, add the hing.

tempering for rasam

Now add the chopped tomatoes, curry leaves along with turmeric powder.

Tomatoes, curry leaves and turmeric powder for lemon rasam

With the back of your spoon, mash the tomatoes lightly. Mashing would add to the tangy effect of the rasam as we are not adding any tamarind here.

Tomatoes

Once the tomatoes have cooked (no raw smell). Add 4 cups of water.

Cooked and mashed tomatoes

Once water is added, allow it to simmer over low flame, add Rasam Powder, Red chilli powder and some salt to taste. Mix well.

seasoning and spices added to rasam

Now to the simmering Rasam, add the cooked and mashed toovar dal.

adding cooked lentils to rasam

Mix the rasam and check for seasoning. Add anything, if required. Else allow the Rasam to just froth (not boil) and immediately switch off the flame, add chopped coriander leaves.

Simmering Rasam

Now add some jaggery. This is an optional ingredient but as my mother says, all acidic things require jaggery to balance flavors and I blindly follow her advice.

Note – Such a flavor enhancer, this little quantity of jaggery. Try it!

Jaggery is added to rasam to balance flavors and acidity

Add the lemon juice, mix well and serve immediately.

Note – Lemon Juice has to be added only after the flame has been switched off, else the rasam would taste bitter. Read the notes below.

Adding Lemon juice to rasam

Recipe Notes

  • You cannot reheat or boil the Rasam after you add the lemon juice. It would taste bitter.
  • I have added a little jaggery to balance the flavors. You can skip it.
  • Use any store bought Rasam powder if you don’t have time to grind a fresh batch.
  • Never Boil Rasam and cook it on low to medium flame at all times. It should just lightly froth up, after which you switch off the flame and serve the Rasam immediately.
  • Here is what you do if you are making this for guests – Follow all steps until adding the lemon juice. Once guests arrive, reheat the Rasam slightly, switch off the flame, add the lemon juice, stir well and add chopped coriander leaves. Serve immediately.
Lemon Rasam or Elumichai Rasam Recipe
Lemon Rasam – Comfort Food

Rasam is sipped piping hot and/or mixed with rice and a dollop of ghee and eaten with a side of vegetable or Kootu. Lemon Rasam tastes fantastic with few of my favourite side dishes that I have listed below for convenience

Side Dish Recipes for Lemon Rasam

  • Vazhakkai Podimas – One of my eternal favourite combination with Rasam, this South Indian Raw Banana Sabzi is loaded with grated coconut. Don’t forget to fry papad or as in my case, roast it in the microwave and be satisfied.
  • Beans Carrot Thoran – A Kerala or Palakkad Style Dry Veg Side dish with ground cumin and coconut paste.
  • Achinga Payar Thoran – Another Palakkad specialty with long beans. Stir fried in coconut oil for aroma and taste.
  • Noolkol Kootu or Kohlrabi Kootu – Another ingredient available during winters in India called Kohlrabi or Knol Khol, a must try wholesome vegetable with lentils.

This is an instant Rasam variety and since boiling or heating is not recommended after the lemon juice is added, would not recommend using leftovers. You can make a fresh batch easily as it doesn’t take up much time.

Lemon Rasam / Elumichai Rasam / Nimbu Rasam Recipe

Vidya Narayan
When Lemons are in season, don't forget to try this deliciously tangy South Indian Lemon Rasam. Made with freshly ground home made Rasam Powder, this can be served as an appetizer (soup) or Main Course with Rice and a side of veg. Step by Step Recipe Included.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 3 people

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup Toovar Dal or Arhar Dal 1/4 cup is 80 ml measurement.
  • 2 nos. Tomatoes (medium size roughly chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds or Rai
  • 1/4 tsp Jeera or cumin seeds
  • 1-2 nos. Whole Red Chillies
  • A pinch of hing or asafoetida skip this ingredient for gluten free recipe
  • 4 cups Water + extra as required to cook the dal 1 cup is 250 ml
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Rasam Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Few Curry Leaves as required
  • Coriander leaves plus stems finely chopped Stems add a lot of flavour so dont skip it
  • Little Jaggery as required (optional ingredient)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Wash and soak the toovar dal or arhar dal for atleast 10 minutes. Pressure cook the dal with sufficient water. Mash it well and keep aside.
  • Prep your vegetables – Chop the tomatoes, slice the lemons into 2 parts for squeezing the juice along with few sprigs of curry leaves.
  • Heat a kadhai or thick bottom vessel, add oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and whole red chillies. Once mustard crackles, add the hing.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes, curry leaves along with turmeric powder
  • With the back of your spoon, mash the tomatoes lightly. Mashing would add to the tangy effect of the rasam as we are not adding any tamarind here.
  • Once the tomatoes have cooked (no raw smell). Add 4 cups of water
  • Once water is added, allow it to simmer over low flame, add Rasam Powder, Red chilli powder and some salt to taste. Mix well.
  • Now to the simmering Rasam, add the cooked and mashed toovar dal.
  • Mix the rasam and check for seasoning. Add anything, if required. Else allow the Rasam to just froth (not boil) and immediately switch off the flame, add chopped coriander leaves plus stem.
  • Now add some jaggery. This is an optional ingredient but as my mother says, all acidic things require jaggery to balance flavors and I blindly follow her advice. Note – Such a flavor enhancer, this little quantity of jaggery. Try it!
  • Add the lemon juice, mix well and serve immediately. Note – Lemon Juice has to be added only after the flame has been switched off, else the rasam would taste bitter. Read the notes below.

Notes

Tips or Recipe Notes
  • You cannot reheat or boil the Rasam after you add the lemon juice. It would taste bitter.
  • I have added a little jaggery to balance the flavors. You can skip it.
  • Use any store bought Rasam powder if you don’t have time to grind a fresh batch.
  • Never Boil Rasam and cook it on low to medium flame at all times. It should just lightly froth up, after which you switch off the flame and serve the Rasam immediately.
  • Here is what you do if you are making this for guests – Reheat the Rasam slightly, switch off the flame, add the lemon juice, stir well and add chopped coriander leaves. Serve immediately.
Keyword elumichai rasam, lemon rasam, nimbu rasam, rasam without tamarind
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @masalachilli_vidyanarayan or tag #masalachilli_vidyanarayan

Taking this recipe to the A to Z challenge this month wherein we choose to cook with key ingredients Alphabetically. This month it was time for Alphabet ‘L’ and I chose my key ingredient ‘Lemon’ to make this delicious tangy Lemon Rasam.

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Vidya Narayan

Views: 3335

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. Shobha Keshwani

    Lemon rasam looks so inviting. I love to make it with different flavours too. In winters I like having it like soup.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you

  2. Hi Vidya, loved your version of lemon rasam. Would love to give it a try. Quite different from my version. I too love the flavour of Lemon rasam. Its a soulful food and my fav combination is also Vazhakkai Podimas.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Excellent combination is vazhakkai and I am so glad we both agree on the same. Some classic combinations are hard to beat.

  3. 5 stars
    The lemon rasam looks so delicious and tempting! I’m sure a cup of this rasam would perk anyone up on a dreary day. No wonder lemon rasam is a huge favourite at our place, though I make it in a slightly different way from you.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Will check out your recipe Priya soon. Any amount of Rasam variety is never enough for us South Indians. Thank you so much.

  4. Vanitha Bhat

    5 stars
    My mouth was watering just going through your post and ogling at the pictures! Nothing like homemade rasam mix in any rasam! Loved the last tip of yours dear: adding lemon just before serving! I could sip on this all day as a soup or appetizer too 🙂 Awesome share for the them dear!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much Vanitha for all the praise. I love it more as an appetizer too actually. Simple flavors and comforting.

  5. Poonam Bachhav

    5 stars
    I like to try out small quantities of different rasam varieties and treat myself on weekdays as there are no takes of tangy food in my house except me. This tangy spicy lemon rasam is a treat for sure. I pair it with my waran bhaat. Love all the recipe notes you have mentioned here.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      I hope you enjoy this with Waran Bhat and tup and enjoy some “me” time Poonam. Thank you.

  6. Lemon Rasam is one of my fav. Your recipe is quite different from the one I make at home. Will try yours soon.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Looking forward to checking out your version of the recipe and trying it too Niranjana. Thank you.

  7. Mayuri Patel

    5 stars
    Awesome rasam recipe, we are a family of rasam lovers especially to sip it like a soup. While hubby may not be too thrilled about the tanginess of this lemon rasam, I love the combination of lentils and lemon. Lemon slices floating in the rasam makes it even more tempting.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Mayuri. I hope you enjoy this.

  8. Swati

    5 stars
    Loving this citrusy Rasam..it is perfect for the days when you feel under the weather or are down with cold and cough. Little weet with jaggery and tangy with lemons this one is perfect bowl of happiness and for me!!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Jaggery is a must in all tamarind based recipes in South, atleast that is what my Mom used to do and I follow her. Glad you liked the recipe Swati.

  9. Jolly

    Rasam is always superbly delicious. I am drooling over here by seeing your pictures, yum yum. This looks so beautiful and lip smacking. Lovely share!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Jolly.

  10. Ankita

    It looks so tempting. Love your tips which is equally important like recipe. Bookmarking your recipe. I have already a packet of rasam powder in my fridge. ??

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Ankita.

  11. Sujata Roy

    5 stars
    I love lemon in everything from tea to cake or cookies. And your lemon rasam looks absolutely delicious. A bowl of hot lemon rasam must be a comfort drink in winter. I will try it sometime for sure. Floating lemon slices over rasam looks beautiful.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Sujataji, glad you loved it. It is one of our favourites too.

  12. Paarul

    After my favorite pineapple rasam recipe from your blog, this lemon rasam recipe is added in my recipe notes. I just can’t wait to try this one and enjoy with the steam rice or just enjoy it as a drink with my meals. Thanks to You Vidya for the amazing and detail recipes on your blog. You really help me to learn some lip smacking South Indian dishes.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much and glad you liked the recipe. Hope you enjoy cooking this at home.

  13. Geetha

    5 stars
    I totally agree with you Vidya, for us South Indians rasam is such an essential dish that we can’t imagine a meal without it! Loved this new version rasam with lemon, bookmarking it to try sometime soon.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Geetha, glad you liked it.

  14. Aruna

    These deceptively simple dishes are so overlooked. For me this rasam is a comfort food of the best kind (especially because I love tangy food) and I drink it piping hot in winters. Of course, I do eat it with rice as well 🙂

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Aruna, Rasam is always made extra at home just to enjoy some in a mug as well as with rice.

  15. Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth

    5 stars
    I love rasams at any given time. Umma would make one standard recipe that is such a favorite that I have never looked further than hers for another recipe… hehe… But this one is definitely calling my name. So simple to make, yet so full on flavor and just apt for the current climate when flu is on rampage. I wouldn’t even want any rice with it. Just in a small cup, nice and warm, I would enjoy it in sips..

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Rafee, I hope you enjoy this piping hot rasam in one of your beautiful mugs at home and remember me fondly!

  16. sasmita

    5 stars
    Cold weather and this kind of piping hot rasam that too lemony one Ahhhaaaaa !! I thoroughly enjoy as it is without having with any other dish ;P Also love this super click Vidya 🙂 in a pretty way …

    1. Vidya Narayan

      thank you Sasmita

  17. Seema Sriram

    Vidya, very often I struggle with imaging rasam because of the reflection, so first of all super duper images here and loved it. Lemon rasam comfort is indescribable. Even though it cannot be heated it is still absolutely perfect cold .. makes a delicious soup. so mine is going to be double portions for sure.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Seema for the kind words. Photographing clear liquids, drinks and beverages are a challenge for me, still! Let’s meet over some double portions of Rasam Seema, some day! Would be fab.

  18. NARMADHA

    5 stars
    Rasam is such comfort food and we never get bored of it. I too make it in same way but sometimes add tamarind too. Lemon Rasam looks absolutely scrumptious and very very tempting. Would love to have it with hot rice and potato fry as side.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      With potato Fry, it would taste delicious and it’s my preferred choice too besides Vazhakkai. Thanks so much.

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