May 17th, 2009

Rasam Powder

Rasam Powder

With the ease and convenience of ready made spice mixtures lining the shelves of supermarkets the entire process of assembling, roasting and grinding spices seems cumbersome. Gone are the days when this used to be an intrinsic part of  the kitchen culture. However I have never seen both my grandmothers and people from their generation cook with these ready made mixtures. Today you either have to be a hard core chef or simply crazy (as my sister would describe) to grind your own spices.

I have also been guilty of cooking with store bought spice mixtures until I discovered the joy of powdering my own concoctions. Besides the difference it made to my cooking was quite dramatic. I never lose an opportunity to collect notes and recipes from grandmothers, aunts and chefs. I always make rasam with this rasam powder. This rasam powder recipe is based on the recipe of one of my mother’s friends. A wonderful cook, she makes awesome south Indian food. She also uses the same powder to make puliyogare, a south Indian rice preparation.

Rasam Powder Recipe

Roast all spices individually. Cool the spices before grinding them.


250 gm/3 ¼ cups coriander seeds
100 gm/2 cups dry red chilllies
4 tbsp peppercorns
4 tbsp mustard seeds
4 tbsp cumin seeds
4 tsp fenugreek  seeds
2 tsp asafetida
1 ½  cup curry leaves
3 tsp oil


In a wok or kadhai, heat 1 tsp oil over a medium flame. Stir fry the coriander seeds for about 3 to 4 minutes until they give out a wonderful aroma. Be sure not to blacken them.  Keep aside on a plate. Add in ½ tsp oil and roast peppercorns until they turn aromatic. Put in the cumin seeds and roast again.
Add ½ tsp oil and put in the asafetida and fenugreek seeds and roast for about a minute on very low flame, taking care to prevent the blackening of the spices.

Add in the mustard seeds and on medium flame roast until they splutter.

Heat 1 tsp oil,  add in the dry red chillies and roast on a medium low flame until crisp, taking care to prevent blackening. Roast the curry leaves until they are fully dry and have no moisture in them.

Powder red chillies first. Mix remaining spices and powder. Allow to come to room temperature. Mix both the powders and use as required.

Yield approx 4 cups

Filed Under: Asafetida, Ayurvedic Cooking, Black Pepper, Chili ( dry red), Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds (Jeera), Curry Leaves, Fenugreek Seeds (methi seeds), Mustard Seeds (rai), Spice Mixtures, Vegan Friendly Recipes · Tags: , ,

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Comments (11 Comments)

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  1. I LOVE rasam since the time I had it at Woodlands in Juhu. In fact, just today I had some rasam at the OH’s place. I have to save this recipe to make my own spice mix instead of buying it from Woodlands.

  2. Chaitali says:

    I never knew that rasam masala could be used to make puliogare bhat. I’ve been using an instant puliogare mix all this time!
    Could you please post a puliogare recipe?

  3. Shubhangi says:

    dear anusmruti,
    thank you for the above Recipe ……
    a question….u say to roast all spices separately so according to the recipe shall i consider that before every ” add oil” in the methods the masalas should be removed and kept aside?
    (difficult to write ) eg…first coriander seeds,REMOVE, then separately peppercorns AND later jeera in same ?? REMOVE
    again add oil then hing and methi and REMOVE , and there one …

    sorry i am asking u such specific questions …actually i want it to be just perfect like how the teacher would want it……so the least i can do is follow the method properly 🙂

  4. Anushruti says:

    Shubhangi: Yes you are right. You need to roast all the spices individually and each spice should be removed and kept aside before you begin to roast another. And you also need to make sure that a little oil is available to all the spices. So be sure to replenish it, if it gets exhausted. Read the recipe once again and if still in doubt let me know.

  5. Shubhangi says:

    Thank u Anusmruti…..just as i wrote in my query….certain places 2 spices are added but after the first has been done but NOT REMOVED eg peppercorns and then jeerathen REMOVE???? similarly hing and methti and then REMOVE???
    thank you once again,

  6. Anushruti says:

    Shubhangi: Yes, in certain steps two spices are to be roasted at a time.

  7. […] asafetida/hing 4 cups water 1 tomato 1 tbsp tamarind + ½ cup water to prepare the tamarind 1 tbsp Rasam powder 1 tsp cumin seed powder ½ tsp red chilli powder/cayenne powder Gratings of fresh pepper 10 to 12 […]

  8. Bob Butler says:

    I had Rasam soup in a South Indian Restaurant last night. It was delicious, so I at this website to conjure up my version from your recipe.

  9. Anushruti says:

    Bob: Nice! Happy experimenting!

  10. Priya Kamath says:

    Hi Anushruthi,

    I am one of your hard core fans. You just have that worldly patience in your writings and photographs. I have tried your Rasam recipe… and I have continued preparing the same each time.. Simple relishing… 🙂 My 2 young ones love to drink it just like that.

    I have a request. It’ll be of great help if you can share the recipe of preparing your style of ‘Garam Masala’ powder. Awaiting your response. Thanks a bunch…

    Best Regards,
    Priya Kamath

  11. Anushruti says:

    Priya: I’m so happy to read your message. Thank you for your kindness. So happy to know that your little ones relish the rasam. I usually prepare a fresh garam masala depending on the dish I’m making. But, I do have a garam masala recipe which I will post soon.

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