rasam masala

Rasam masala, or rasam podi,  is a spice mix used to flavour rasam, a thin lentil soup flavoured with tamarind, tomatoes and rasam powder

In a traditional south Indian meal, rasam is served with rice as the second course of a meal, usually after sambar .

Rasam masala varies by region and household, as do all the masala recipes discussed in this book. This rasam masala is typical of south Indian preparations and is likely from Hyderabad.

A masala is a mix of spices and probably was the inspiration for curry powder. You could make it from scratch every time you make the dish, but many Indian households will prepare their various masala mixes in advance. It is important not to make too much, or it will be tasteless by the time you get to use it all.

And yes, as I have said before, it can be bought from a good indian grocer but it just doesn’t taste as good. Nor is it as much fun, particularly when you see people enjoying your food.

In our kitchen, we make garam masala, chaat masala and rasam masala in batches to have it readily available. All these masalas are similar, but cannot be substituted for each other.

Once made, it keeps for a month or so in an airtight container. Any longer and will lose its flavour – and end up tasting just like the one you bought from the store.

the recipe

preparation:5 mins
cook:10 mins
total:15 mins
servings:20 teaspoons
calories:36 kcal



  • Toast toor and channa dals in a medium hot pan for two minutes or until they take on a golden colour. Set aside.
  • Toast coriander seeds and black peppercorns in the medium hot pan for two minutes, or until the coriander seeds take on a darker colour. Set aside.
  • Toast cumin seeds in the pan for two minutes, or until the seeds take on a darker colour. Set aside.
  • Allow spices to cool.
  • Place toasted spices, torn chillies and asafoetida powder into a grinder and grind to a powder.
  • Remove from grinder and place into an airtight container.


  • This masala will keep for about one month in a small airtight jar before losing its flavour.
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