Pepper Rasam Recipe - Menasina Saaru

Pepper lentil soup - Karnataka cuisine

This Pepper rasam recipe or menasina saaru is a Karnataka recipe. There are some other variations too of pepper rasam but I love this recipe and it is a good one for the days when you or your family member has a cold or throat irritation.

It is great at any other time too when your tongue wants something spicy and interesting.

The ingredients combination is a bit different too. There is no souring agent added to this rasam as is done in other rasam recipes.

If you like to have a little sourness to your rasam, see the tips below. You will also find some other variations there.

How to make pepper rasam or menasina saaru

Main ingredients for pepper rasam - menasina saaru

Yellow lentil - Pigeon pea - Toovar dal - Arhar dal
Skinned urad dal black gram - urad bean
Cumin seeds - Jeera - Zeera
Black pepper - Kali mirch
Grated coconut

Ingredients for pepper rasam or menasina saaru

  • Toor dal(toovar, arahar dal, yellow lentils, pigeon pea) - 1/4 cup
  • Urad dal(split white lentil) 1 tsp
  • Jeera (cumin seeds) - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper seeds (menasu, milagu, miri)- 1 tsp or more according to taste
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp or according to taste.
  • Grated fresh coconut (optional) - 1 tbsp
  • Ghee -1/2 tsp for roasting spices
  • Water - 2-3 cups or as needed.

Ingredients for tempering

  • Ghee - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp

Preparing pepper rasam - Menasina saru

  1. Cook tuvar dal till it is soft on the stove top or in the pressure cooker.
  2. Heat a small frying pan and add 1/2 tsp ghee.
  3. Add urad dal, jeera, black pepper corns and roast them till urad dal turns golden. The pepper corns would also splutter by that time.
  4. Take off fire and cool.
  5. After the spices are cooled, grind them to fine powder. Add the grated coconut and some water and grind to paste.
  6. Add the paste to a deep thick bottomed pan along with the cooked tuvar dal and bring to boil.
  7. Add water depending on how thin you want the rasam to be. You will need to add about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water.
  8. Boil for 5 minutes.Add salt and continue boiling.

Making tempering and adding to rasam

  1. Heat 1 tsp ghee
  2. Add cumin seeds.
  3. When they splutter, take off fire and add the tempering to the boiling rasam.
  4. Switch off the rasam and cover with a plate. Keep covered for a few minutes.
  5. Stir and your pepper rasam is ready to serve as a hot drink by itself or as an accompaniment with plain rice.

Tips :

  • Soaking tuvar dal in water for 30 minutes before cooking reduces cooking time.
  • You may mash the cooked toor dal with the back of the spoon or put it in a blender or use a hand blender.
  • If you like a bit thicker consistency rasam, add a teaspoonful roasted chana(hurigadale, puthane, dalia) while grinding the spices.
  • Personally, I prefer it without any sourness but if you must have a little sourness, you may add a little tamarind paste, or tomato puree or paste or tomato pieces while boiling the rasam.
  • You may also add a a little lemon juice. But add it after taking the rasam off the stove or just before serving. 
  • You may add a little red chili powder when the rasam is boiling if you wish.
  • Using ghee for roasting spices and for tempering adds to the flavor.
  • You may also use vegetable oil instead of ghee.

Hope you find this pepper rasam recipe useful. Pepper rasam is also reffered to as menasu saru, milaga rasam or milagu rasam.

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Related Pages to visit:

Ginger lime rasam - Lemon Rasam: A healthy hot drink, Serve with rice too

Rasam Powder : Saves time when you use the ready spice powder.

Sambar - Vegetable and lentil curry, served with rice or Idli, dosa.


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