Lemon Rasam: Adhering to Ayurveda


Lemon Rasam is slightly different from the traditional tomato-based rasam as it uses the tanginess of a lemon instead and avoids using tamarind too. Nutritionally, it is excellent because it balances the salt, spices and sweet flavours. It can be consumed as a side dish to rice too or as an appetizer, preceding a meal comprising sambhar-rice. Its vegan friendly too. 


Rasam is also called chaaru or saaru in Southern Indian languages such as Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu. In Sanskrit, Rasam means ‘the essential product of digestion’ and can be considered an ideal recipe subscribing to the tenets of Ayurveda. Typically, soups are full bodied and thick but Rasam is a thinner version or a clear soup. Rasam, essentially is a soup of spices and a classic example of functional food because all its ingredients are helpful in curing ailments. Its medicinal potential is not only proven but very underrated. 

Preparation time: 5 minutes 

Cooking: 5-6 minutes

Servings: 2  


    2.5 cups – water

    1.5 tbsp – lemon juice 

    1 tsp - salt

    1.5 tsp – jaggery 

    ¼ cup – turmeric

    1 tsp – black pepper

    1 tsp – cumin seeds

    ½” piece – ginger 

For tempering 

    1tbsp - Ghee 

    1 tsp – mustard seeds 

    1 tsp – cumin seeds 

    2 – red chillies 

    5-8 – curry leaves 

    A pinch - Asofoetida 

For Garnishing 

    Few fresh coriander leaves chopped 


    Pound black pepper corns coarsely in mortar and pestle 

    Add the ginger piece to the pepper powder and crush for a few seconds

    In a pan take the water  

    Add salt

    Add jaggery 

    Add turmeric powder

    Mix well and bring it to a boil 

    Add the crushed pepper and ginger to the water mix

    Boil for a few minutes 


    Take ghee in a ladle and heat it over a stove

    Add cumin seeds 

    Add red chilies 

    Add curry leaves and asafoetida and wait for it to sputter 

    Add the tempering to the water mix

    Lastly add the lemon juice, mix the concoction, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and the rasam is ready. 

Conclusion: It is aromatic, has a citrus flavour, and tastes heavenly with the garnishing of coriander at the end and the spices add to a warm, earthy taste. Packed with dietery fibre, rasam enables smooth bowel movement. It is packed with minerals and vitamins and is ideal for cold, flu and weight loss. Ideally, it should be consumed around weather change as it contains spices which are good to prevent cold and cough which comes usually around the onset of monsoon or winter. Because it has ginger, peppercorns and lemon which contains Vitamin C – all of these are excellent to prevent any illnesses related to common colds.