Lemon rasam recipe - Indian lentil soup

Lime rasam - Nimbe saru - Limbache saar

This Lemon Rasam Recipe is a refreshing Indian lentil recipe. It is served with Rice or as a hot drink, or as an appetizer.

This thin Indian lentil soup is called as rasam, sar, saaru, charu in south Indian languages.

It is a welcome change from the regular tamarind or tomato rasam that is served as a soup or with steamed Rice.

The main ingredients in this lemon rasam are yellow lentil called Tuvar dal and lime/lemon juice.

Tuvar dal is also known as toor dal(marathi) tugari bele(kannada), arahar dal(hindi), pigeon peas, yellow lentil etc.

Lime rasam is a very tasty preparation and a very welcome drink in the hot as well as cold weather. It is also good for digestion. The combination of fresh ginger and fresh lime/lemon juice works well.

When you are recovering from some illness or feeling that your tongue can not taste any thing, this is the saaru or lime rasam will bring your taste buds back.

The toovar dal is cooked on the stove top or you may cook it in a pressure cooker if you normally use a pressure cooker. Pressure cooking will save time.

Washing and soaking dal about 30 minutes before cooking will cook the toor dal faster, and save time.

We use only the fresh spices and herbs for this lemon rasam.

How to make Lime - Lemon Rasam

Ingredients for Lime rasam:

  • Toor dal - 1/4 cup
  • Ginger - 1 cm piece
  • Curry leaves - a sprig.
  • Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped.
  • Salt - 1 tea spoon or to taste.
  • Water - 3-4 cups.
  • Lime or lemon juice- 1 to 2 tbsp according to taste.
  • Chilies - green or red chopped - 1-2 according to taste
  • Jaggery or sugar - 1 or 2 tsp according to taste.
  • Garlic (optional) - 1 or 2 pieces-pods.

Ingredients for tempering:

  • Oil/ghee - 1 tsp
  • Rai (Mustard seeds) - 1 tsp
  • Jeera (Cumin seeds) - 1 tsp
  • Hing (Asafoetida) - 1 pinch
  • Haldi - Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon.

Making lime rasam:

Cook toovar dal and mash it well.

Cooked yellow lentil/toor/arahar dalCooked yellow lentil/toor/arahar dal
Mashed yellow lentil/toor/arahar dalMashed yellow lentil/toor/arahar dal

  1. In a deep pan, heat oil/ghee.
  2. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When they stop crackling, add hing(asafetida) and turmeric powder, chopped chili pieces and curry leaves.
  3. Add ginger and garlic(if adding)
  4. Add mashed dal
  5. Add 2-3 cup water. Bring to boil.
  6. Boil for 5 minutes. Add salt and jaggery or sugar.
  7. Add more water if needed. Boil for 5 minutes.
  8. Add chopped coriander leaves. Take off flame.
  9. Keep covered for 5- 10 minutes.
  10. Add the lime juice and stir well to mix. 

Lime Rasam is ready. Serve hot as a soup or with plain steamed rice. 


  • For variation you may add 1/2 tsp rasam powder when the rasam is boiling.
  • Most of the time I make this rasam without garlic. I love the combination of fresh ginger and lime flavors.


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