Masoor Dal Rasam – Spicy Red lentil soup

Rasam is a very popular South Indian Lentil soup. Its a simple hot soup with blend of various spices. There are various varieties of this soup, they mainly vary with the use of different lentils. I have been making rasam with yellow dal, roast gram dal and even without the dal. The other day, I came up with this idea of making this hot soup with masoor dal (red lentils) as a box full of red lentils in my pantry were glaring at me to use them!

Rasam tastes great with hot steamed rice topped with a spoon of ghee, along side potato chips. This is both a simple and grand meal at the same time, in any south Indian home. The blend of strong spices and garlic makes it a very comforting meal and it is also very effective when taken during fever or cold.

This is one of my life saver recipes because of its simplicity, and when I serve it for dinner with hot rice my husband marvels (?!) about how quickly I’ve made such a grande dinner! 🙂 So go ahead, and you will see this is such an effortless recipe.


  • Masoor dal (Red leentils) – 1 small cup
  • Tomatoes – 2 medium or 1 big (halved)
  • Tamarind –  1 small tspn
  • Mustard seeds -1 tspn
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Rasam Powder – 2 tspn (use the store bought rasam powder, I use MTR)
  • red chili – 1/2 tspn
  • Curry leaves – 5-6 nos
  • Jaggery – 1 tspn
  • Salt – as needed
  • Coriander leaves – 2 tspn finely chopped
  • Dried red chilies – 3-4 (optional)
  • Oil – 2 tspn


  • In a pressure cooker, add masoor dal, tomatoes, tamarind, jaggery , garlic, turmeric, and red chili powder. Pressure cook all these up to 3 whistles.
  • Once, it cools add 3 cups of water, Rasam powder, salt and few stalks of coriander & bring it to a boil.
  • Simmer on low heat for about 10 mins until the raw smell of the Rasam powder disappears & the flavours incorporate well.
  • After 10 mins, add a dollop of ghee. This is optional, I add ghee as it adds lovely aroma to the soup and balances the strong spices. You home will be filled with the aroma!
  • Heat oil in a small griddle, add mustard seeds. Be careful as the mustard seeds splutter, then add the curry leaves, dried red chilies.
  • Add this tempering to the rasam and garnish with fresh coriander.
  • Serve HOT with steamed rice, pickles & potato chips on the side .. Makes such a Happy Meal .. Enjoy !!!





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10 thoughts on “Masoor Dal Rasam – Spicy Red lentil soup

  1. petit4chocolatier October 29, 2012 at 11:56 pm Reply

    Wow!!! Absolutely gorgeous and delicious soup!

  2. Delicious Pot October 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm Reply

    Thanks a lot !!

  3. Usha October 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm Reply

    Wow this is such a delicious rasam, love it !!

  4. Charul Ajmera October 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm Reply

    Wow, amazing pics Swapna! I love rasam, this is my comfort food at times, a comfort food that is hearty and delicious. 🙂

    • Delicious Pot October 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm Reply

      Thanks Charul, glad you liked it all!!! 🙂

  5. sethsnap November 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm Reply

    I concur with all the others, you have great food photographs. Bravo.

  6. Jina @ Soy and Ginger November 5, 2012 at 10:12 pm Reply

    Yum, I absolutely love spicy food! Wish I had discovered this last night. Better go buy some more red lentils 😉

  7. Nimmakaya Charu (Lemon Rasam) « ãhãram November 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm Reply

    […] Masoor Dal Rasam – Spicy Red lentil soup ( […]

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