Pudina Rasam | Mint Rasam | South Indian Mint Soup

Delicious Pudina Rasam or South Indian Mint Rasam – A Soup, Appetizer or Main Course recipe made with fresh mint leaves and ground spices.

Pudina Rasam | Mint Rasam | South Indian Mint Soup

Pudina Rasam or Mint Rasam – A South Indian Rasam recipe made without rasam powder using fresh mint leaves, ground spices, cooked lentils, simmered in a tamarind broth with tomatoes and tempered with ghee.

Rasam is South India’s Soup! A drink that we take much pride upon because it is deeply comforting can be made quickly with anything from the refrigerator and pantry. Rasam is also popular by the name of Charu in Andhra Pradesh and Saaru in Karnataka.

The consistency of a Rasam is different from Sambar. This is more watery and hence earned the reputation of being a Soup and served in most restaurants in a glass or a bowl as an appetizer.

Pudina Rasam served in glass as soup or appetizer

As a kid, I would struggle eating Rasam rice from a plate because it was so watery. Usually the quantity of rice is less than the rasam which makes it easier to slurp or drink from a glass.

Traditionally, Rasam is served with rice and a poriyal. My mother would make rasam if anyone in the family was unwell or complained of cold, cough or body ache.

A big pot of rasam was made, served with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee was added. Trust me, there is no better comfort food than Rasam Rice on a rainy day or cold winter’s night.

Everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to side dish for rasam. Our favorites at home are Vazhakkai Podimas (Plantain or Raw Banana Curry) and Cabbage Poriyal (my husband’s top choice).

A Sutta Appalam adds a lot of value and taste to the Rasam Rice. Why Sutta Appalam and not fried you might ask? Because when you are sick, you avoid fried food so roasted papad is served with rasam and rice.

Rasam can be made with a variety of ingredients available in your most basic kitchen. If you don’t have Rasam Powder stocked, recipes like the one I share today come totally handy.

We use a lot of pudina or mint leaves in our daily cooking. In case you have excess Pudina at home, one of the best ways to use them is make Pudina Rasam.

I also make Pudina Thogayal using fresh mint leaves and lentils that are ground thick and eaten with rice and sutta appalam (roasted papad) for lunch. You should definitely try the recipe, if you haven’t.

Prepping the Pudina or Mint Leaves

  • Use fresh mint leaves. Do not use the thick stalks for the recipe. Use tender stems only.
  • I have not chopped the leaves for this recipe. It has been steeped in the hot rasam and allowed to release its flavors and aroma.
  • If you have any family members, especially kids, who do not prefer herbs while drinking the rasam, strain it and then serve with rice or pour in a mug.
  • Alternatively, you can also grind the pudina leaves with some water and add it to the simmering rasam.

Pudina Rasam without Rasam Powder

  • When you don’t have Rasam powder stocked at home, our go to option is using 2 of the best spices – Milagu or Black Pepper and Jeera or Cumin Seeds. I have roasted them, cooled and ground into a coarse powder.
  • These spices are quite beneficial when you have a blocked nose, headache or cold. The heat from the black pepper warms your chest and provides instant relief. One of the age old home remedies that is being traditionally followed in all South Indian homes, till date.
  • If you do not like Milagu Jeera Powder in Rasam, add Rasam powder stocked at home.
  • Rasam uses very little cooked lentils. It is because the consistency of the rasam is watery and unlike Sambar, it contains no big chunks of vegetables or a thick coconut gravy.
  • Toor Dal or Arhar Dal is traditionally added to Rasam. However, I have used Moong Dal and Masoor Dal both for making rasam and they turn out fine.
  • The cooked dal or lentils should be mashed well before adding.
  • Rasam is sour, tangy and spicy. The Key ingredient is Tamarind. Soak the tamarind ball in hot water and then squeeze out the thick pulp or juice. This has to be cooked or simmered with some chopped tomatoes until the raw smell of the tamarind goes off.
  • For this particular recipe, I have used fresh pudina leaves and coriander leaves. They both smell amazing. Add both the ingredients towards the very end of the cooking process. Will highlight in the steps below.
  • A tsp of Jaggery is added in the end to balance the flavors. No, the rasam won’t be sweet in taste!
  • Rasam should be tempered with Ghee.

For a gluten free recipe, skip the asafoetida or hing and for a vegan version, temper the rasam using oil.

If you want to avoid Milagu Jeera and add Rasam powder to this recipe, try my HOME MADE RASAM POWDER RECIPE and add a heaped tbsp or two. This has to be added at Step No. 7 as explained below.

Rasam should not be boiled!

I often notice people committing the mistake of boiling the rasam. Trust me, if you do that, you should stop that right away!

Boiling the Rasam takes away the flavour and aroma.

Switch off the flame when the Rasam forms a frothy layer (bubbles up). Add the tempering and then the rasam is ready to serve.

If you have a traditional Eeya Chombu (Traditional Pure Tin Vessel) at home, serve the rasam from it for best results.

A ladle full of hot pudina rasam made with fresh mint leaves

Step by Step Pudina Rasam Recipe

(1) Wash and soak the toor dal for atleast 15 minutes and pressure cook it. Once cool, mash it well and keep aside.

(2) Roughly chop the tomatoes and keep aside.

(3) Soak marble size tamarind ball in hot water for atleast 10 minutes. Extract pulp or juice and keep aside.

Tamarind soaking in hot water

(4) In a small tempering pan, dry roast black peppercorns and jeera or cumin seeds until they are warm and aromatic. Do not over roast.

dry Roasting the black pepper and jeera

(5) Cool this and grind it coarsely either in a mixer grinder jar or a mortar pestle.

Freshly ground black pepper and jeera

(6) Heat a thick bottom steel pan, add the tamarind pulp or extract, chopped tomatoes along with some curry leaves (roughly torn) and some water to cook (approximately 2 cups).

(7) To the above, add turmeric powder and some hing. Allow the tamarind broth to reduce in quantity and the tomatoes to turn slightly mushy. There should be no raw tamarind smell.

Note – If you are adding Rasam powder instead of the milagu jeera podi, add it at this stage.

Tomatoes cooking in tamarind broth along with hing, curry leaves and turmeric powder

(8) Add the cooked and mashed lentils or dal and coarsely ground pepper + cumin powder along with salt to taste.

Adding the cooked lentils to the tamarind broth
adding the freshly ground spices to the reduced tamarind broth

(9) Now add the finely chopped coriander leaves, 1/2 tsp Jaggery and mix well. At this point adjust the consistency of your rasam by adding some water. Once you add water, remember to adjust salt.

Finely chopped coriander leaves added to rasam

(10) Add the pudina or mint leaves and reduce the flame.

freshly torn mint leaves added to rasam

(11) Gently allow the rasam to froth and once it does, switch off the gas flame immediately.

Once rasam froths, it is ready to temper and serve

(12) For the tempering, heat a pan, add ghee or clarified butter, jeera and mustard seeds. Once mustard crackles, add a pinch of hing and curry leaves. Pour this tempering over the piping hot rasam and cover it immediately.

Tempering for pudina rasam - ghee, mustard seeds, jeera and curry leaves with a pinch of asafoetida

(13) Allow the pudina rasam to absorb all the flavors and serve after 5 to 7 minutes with steamed rice and a poriyal of your choice.

Recipe Notes –

  • The 5 cups of Water used in the recipe are for soaking tamarind, cooking the tomatoes and lentils, adjusting the consistency of the rasam. You can add more or less as required. This is a rough estimate.
  • The aroma of hing or asafoetida is crucial to a good rasam. It is added at 2 stages – once when the tomatoes are simmering in tamarind broth and tempering.
  • I have used only a marble size tamarind because we have added 2 tomatoes which adds enough sour taste to the rasam.
  • I have used a dark variety of seedless tamarind for this recipe. Soaking it in hot water helps extract the pulp easily.
  • If you prefer more paruppu (lentils) in your rasam, add more. The recipe can be easily customized.

Some Rasam Varieties on the blog –

Vepampoo Rasam – Made with dried neem flowers, this is nature’s best detox for your system.

Lemon Rasam

Pineapple Rasam – contains chunks of fresh pineapple.

Pudina Rasam | Mint Rasam | South Indian Mint Soup

Pudina Rasam | Mint Rasam | South Indian Mint Soup

Vidya Narayan
Pudina Rasam or South Indian Mint Rasam recipe using fresh mint leaves and freshly ground spices. Serve as appetizer, soup or as Main Course with steamed rice and poriyal.
3.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Fresh Mint Leaves 1 cup is 250 ml measurement
  • 1/4 cup Coriander leaves finely chopped with stems
  • 1/4 cup Toor Dal (Thuvaram Paruppu or Arhar Dal)
  • 1 nos. Marble Size Tamarind Ball
  • 2 nos. Tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder 1 tsp is 5 ml measurement
  • 1/4 tsp Hing or Asafoetida
  • 5 cups Water Check Notes below
  • Salt to taste
  • Few Curry Leaves

Ingredients for the Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp Milagu or Black Peppercorns 1 tbsp is 15 ml measurement
  • 1/2 tbsp Jeera or Cumin Seeds

Ingredients for Tempering

  • 1 & 1/2 tsp Ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera or Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds, Kadagu or Rai
  • Few Curry Leaves
  • A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida

Instructions
 

  • Wash and soak the toor dal for atleast 15 minutes and pressure cook it. Once cool, mash it well and keep aside.
  • Roughly chop the tomatoes and keep aside.
  • Soak marble size tamarind ball in hot water for atleast 10 minutes. Extract pulp or juice and keep aside.
  • In a small tempering pan, dry roast black peppercorns and jeera or cumin seeds until they are warm and aromatic. Do not over roast.
  • Cool this and grind it coarsely either in a mixer grinder jar or a mortar pestle.
  • Heat a thick bottom steel pan, add the tamarind pulp or extract, chopped tomatoes along with some curry leaves (roughly torn) and some water to cook (approximately 2 cups).
  • To the above, add turmeric powder and some hing. Allow the tamarind broth to reduce in quantity and the tomatoes to turn slightly mushy. There should be no raw tamarind smell.
  • Add the cooked and mashed lentils or dal and coarsely ground pepper + cumin powder along with salt to taste.
  • Now add the finely chopped coriander leaves and 1/2 tsp Jaggery and mix well. At this point adjust the consistency of your rasam by adding some water. Once you add water, remember to adjust salt.
  • Add the pudina or mint leaves and reduce the flame. Gently allow the rasam to froth and once it does, switch off the gas flame immediately.
  • For the tempering, heat a pan, add ghee or clarified butter, jeera and mustard seeds. Once mustard crackles, add a pinch of hing and curry leaves. Pour this tempering over the piping hot rasam and cover it immediately.
  • Allow the rasam to absorb all the flavors. Serve after 5 to 7 minutes with steamed rice and a poriyal of your choice.

Notes

  • The 5 cups of Water used in the recipe are for soaking tamarind, cooking the tomatoes and lentils, adjusting the consistency of the rasam. You can add more or less as required. This is a rough estimate.
  • The aroma of hing or asafoetida is crucial to a good rasam. It is added at 2 stages – once when the tomatoes are simmering in tamarind broth and tempering.
  • I have used only a marble size tamarind because we have added 2 tomatoes which adds enough sour taste to the rasam.
  • I have used a dark variety of seedless tamarind for this recipe. Soaking it in hot water helps extract the pulp easily.
  • If you prefer more paruppu (lentils) in your rasam, add more. The recipe can be easily customized.
Note – If you want to avoid Milagu Jeera and add Rasam powder to this recipe, add it at Step No. 7 as explained below in Instructions. 
Keyword Mint Rasam, Pudina Rasam
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Vidya Narayan

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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).

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