Rasam Idli

Tarla.Dalal's picture

Sep. 19, 2015

While most people think of serving idlis with sambhar and chutney, the fact is that there are many more exciting serving options for this versatile south Indian snack. And, one such idea is to combine it with the homely south Indian rasam. Although sambhar is more well-known across the country, rasam is considered a homelier treat and if a south Indian was in a hurry and had time to prepare just one dish, it would be rasam. This is because the rasam, due to its soupy consistency and peppy flavour is quite refreshing to have, whether like a soup, with rice, or like in this recipe, with idli. To make Rasam Idli, make sure you drown the idlis in really hot rasam so that the flavours will seep in and it will taste superb. Make sure you pour a lot of rasam if you want a soupy dish, as the idlis tend to absorb the rasam immediately.


Dry kashmiri red chillies 3 (broken into pieces)
Coriander seeds 1 Teaspoon
Black peppercorns 6 (kalimirch)
Toovar dal/Arhar dal 1 Teaspoon
Chana dal 1/2 Teaspoon (split Bengal gram)
Cumin seeds 1 Pinch (jeera)
Toovar dal/Arhar dal 2 Tablespoon
Finely chopped tomatoes 1/2 Cup (8 tbs)
Tamarind pulp 1/4 Cup (4 tbs) (imli)
Turmeric powder 1 Pinch (haldi)
Asafoetida 1 Pinch (hing)
Salt To Taste
Ghee 2 Teaspoon
Mustard seeds 1/4 Teaspoon (rai/sarson)
Curry leaves 7 (kadi patta)
Finely chopped coriander 2 Tablespoon (dhania)
Idlis 24



For the rasam

For the rasam powder, combine the coriander seeds, dry red chillies, peppercorns, toovar dal, chana dal and cumin seeds in a small broad non-stick pan and sauté on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep aside to cool completely.

Once cooled, blend in a mixer to a smooth powder. Keep the rasam powder aside.

Combine the toovar dal and 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 3 whistles.

Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. 

Blend the dal mixture using a hand blender till smooth. 

Add the rasam powder, mix well and keep aside.

Combine the tomatoes, tamarind pulp, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt and 3 cups of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally.

Add the prepared dal-rasam powder mixture, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside.

For the tempering, heat the ghee in a small non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.

When the seeds crackle, add the tempering to the prepared rasam, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 1 minute.

Add the coriander and mix well.

Divide the rasam into 6 equal portions and keep aside. 


Just before serving, place 4 idlis in a serving bowl, pour a portion of hot rasam over it.

Repeat step 1 to make 5 more plates. 

Serve immediately with coconut chutney.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Easy
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 6