Pepper Rasam

Pepper Rasam

Pepper rasam is a traditional South Indian soup prepared using mainly black peppercorns, cumin seeds, tomato, tamarind extract, and other spices and herbs. It’s a tangy, spicy, easy-to-prepare soup that tastes best with hot steamed rice; it can be consumed directly as a soup. The use of spices, especially black pepper, makes it is a quick-relief medicine for a common cold.

When I tasted this rasam for the first time at my in-law’s house, I fell in love with the taste. Since then, pepper rasam has not only replaced the regular tomato rasam in our house but has become a frequently prepared dish, especially in winters. It feels so good to sip this hot soup full of Indian spices in the winter evenings for that extra heat from black peppercorns.

Pepper rasam is easy-to-prepare, requires no lentil(dal), and no pressure cooker, unlike the regular rasam. However, if you need to improve the consistency, you can include pressure cooked dal(toor dal) to this recipe.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 dried red chillies, split into half
5-6 curry leaves
1 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder(optional)
2 tablespoons of tamarind extract
3 cups water (600 ml)
3 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

For blending:
1.5 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
2 green chillies
5-6 curry leaves
3 garlic cloves

  1. Into a mixer jar, add black peppercorns, cumin seeds, curry leaves, garlic cloves, green chilli, and blend into a coarse mixture(without adding water) to make a dry rasam masala. Set aside.
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a cooking pan on medium flame.
  2. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow them to pop and sizzle. Then add split dried red chillies and curry leaves.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes, sprinkle some salt over it, cover the lid and cook until tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  1. Add turmeric powder, tamarind extract, followed by the freshly prepared dry rasam masala, combine everything together and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
  1. Pour 600ml of water and stir well. Cover and allow the rasam to boil on low heat for 4-5 minutes.
  1. Taste for salt and heat. Adjust if necessary.
  2. Add chopped coriander leaves at the end and turn off heat.
  3. Enjoy hot pepper rasam along with steamed white rice or drink it as a soup.
Pepper Rasam
Pepper Rasam
  • You can tweak the quantity of each ingredient as per your taste and preference.
  • Pepper rasam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and can then be reheated as and when required.

If you tried this recipe, tag your food recreation on my Instagram @swaadista and let me know how you liked it!

Happy cooking and happy eating <3

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