Garlic/Poondu Rasam

How to make Garlic Rasam at home?

 Garlic Rasam, is a thin, spicy, flavorful and tangy soup/broth from South India. It is made from a base of gently sautéed garlic and a peppery spice mixture that is ground to make rasam powder. This rasam powder is then mixed with a juice of tamarind extract and brought to a frothy boil, to make this delicious garlic rasam.

Served with boiled rice, a side of Indian pickle and papadam/Indian rice crackers is a comfort food for any South Indian on a cold rainy day.

This garlic rasam is also Milagu Poondu rasam, in the local language of Tamil.Milagu stands for Black pepppercorns, Poondu stands for garlic, since these two influence the taste of this garlc rasam in a big way, it is named so.

Garlic/Poondu Rasam

What happens when the South Indian moves to the Northern hemisphere? Rasam, still a hot favorite, since we don’t have the kind of monsoon season we have in India, rasam becomes the comfort food for the crispy cold soup season in Fall and cold wintery days.

Did I tell you, rasam is loaded with medicinal properties in the spices that are used , that it has the power to chase any cold and flu symptoms away? Read all about it , in my blog post here.

Garlic/Poondu Rasam Recipe

How to make Garlic Rasam at home?

How to make Garlic Rasam at home?

Recipe by Maya Shetty
Course: FOOD, VEGETARIAN RASAMCuisine: South Indian Soups
0.0 from 0 votes

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  • For the Rasam Base
  • 1 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

  • 2 -3 Green chilies

  • 1 Tomato cubed

  • 1/2 tsp Somph/Fennel seeds

  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns

  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds

  • 5 -6 Garlic cloves

  • 1 tsp Tamarind paste/Tamico

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

  • Salt to taste

  • 3 cups Water

  • For tempering Rasam
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili flakes/Dry Red chili’s (2)

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

  • 5 -6 Curry leaves

  • 1 tbsp Ghee

  • A pinch Hing/Asaefoetida

  • For garnishing
  • 5 -6 stands Coriander leaves/Cilantro


  • Prepare the rasam base
  • Use a spice grinder, to pulverize the black peppercorns, cumin seeds, somph, coriander seeds and peeled garlic cloves. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk the tamarind paste to dissolve with 1 cup warm water, and pour through a fine meshed strainer.
  • Add the reserved spice mixture and 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil over medium.
  • Add turmeric and salt, and simmer until the rasam foams, then turn off the heat. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt, if needed.
  • Prepare the Tempering
  • In a small tempering pan, heat 1 teaspoon ghee over medium, and fry the chiles and mustard seeds. When they splutter add the hing/asafoetida and curry leaves . Now pour the tempering mix into the hot rasam and cover with lid, to let the aroma of the tempering spices spices infuse the rasam.
  • Garnish with cilantro once rasam, has been removed from the heat source.
  • Enjoy rasam as a soup by itself or by mixing it with hot bolide rice with a side of Indian pickle and papadum/ice crackers.

Common FAQ’s

What is rasam?

Rasam /Saaru / Chaaru is a thin watery soup of South Indian origin. It is traditionally prepared using tamarind extract/juice as a base, with an addition of tomatoes, chili peppers and spices like cumin and coriander seeds as seasoning.

Is rasam good for health?

  • Best home remedy for cold and flu
  • Keeps constipation at bay
  • Powerhouse of minerals
  • Best diet food

Does this garlic rasam use rasam powder like most other rasam recipes?

This garlic/ milagu poondu rasam does not make use of readymade rasam powder and cooked dal (lentils).

What pairs well with garlic rasam?

In South India, Rasam or Charu is staple food. It is a watery soup mostly served with rice, lentils and ghee in everyday meal as the second course in the meal. Best served with any dry vegetable stir fry like carrot poriyal or meat fry like pepper chicken.

It can be consumed plain in a soup form as well.

Can rasam be stored or frozen for later use?

Rasam stays good for 2 days in the refrigerator. When you need to use it just warm it up & have it.

If you need to freeze it, then store it when it is thick, add additional water, only when you take it out, thaw it and then heat it up for soup or to have with rice. Saves you stress during cold winter week days, to come back home from work and cook.

The Bottom Line

Do give my garlic rasam/milagu poondu rasam a try , during the cold weather season, you can thank me later for helping you skip the cold and flu season altogether!

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