Lentil and drumstick leaves rasam

Drumstick leaves rasam is popular in Andhra Pradesh (India) and is widely used in the southern part of India. Drumstick leaves is called murungai keerai in Tamil and munaga aaku in Telugu. Drumstick leaves are very healthy and has a good and valuable source of vitamin C, proteins, iron and potassium. It has very high medicinal values. It is a good source of iron for pregnant women.

There are few varieties of drumstick leaves rasam, which I prepare at home. I have already shared my mother’s recipe. This lentil and drumstick leaves rasam, which is sweet and sour, is a recipe from my grandma’s neighbour. The sweetness is from the sambar onions and jaggery and sourness is from tamarind and tomato. The combination of both with lentil and drumstick leaves makes this rasam taste awesome and delicious. This rasam is very easy to make and tastes very delicious with plain rice and any stir fried vegetable or fried non-veg side. Refer to my other drumstick leaves rasam recipe.

Preparation time: 15 mins (excluding plucking the leaves)

Cooking time: 30 mins

Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh

Serves: 4

Spiciness: Medium


    For boiling dal

  • Toor dal (arharr dal) – 3 tbsp
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • For rasam (additional ingredients)

  • Drumstick leaves – 2 cups
  • Water – 3 1/2 cups
  • Tamarind – small lemon size
  • Jaggery (gud) – 2 tbsp
  • Shallots (sambar onions) – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves (with stalks) – 1/3 cup
  • Green chillies (slit/sliced) – 4
  • Tempering / tadka

  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Dry chillies – 4
  • Asafoetida (hing) – 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 20
  • Garlic (big, crushed or sliced) – 2


  • Pluck the leaves. We need only the leaves and we do not need the thin sticks. Wash the leaves properly and keep it aside.
  • Soak tamarind in hot water for 30 minutes and allow it to cool. Squeeze the pulp with 1 1/2 cup water. I extracted 1 1/2 cup of tamarind water.
  • Boiling dal

  • Wash the dal and soak for 15 to 30 minutes and drain the water.
  • Add the dal in a pressure cooker with turmeric and water. You can add a little oil to avoid froth (white segment which comes on top of dal, when it is boiled).
  • Give 3 to 4 whistles or until the dal is cooked. Switch off and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes in the pressure cooker. Open the lid.
  • Mash the dal until it is blended well. Keep it aside.
  • Tempering and cooking rasam

  • Preheat the vessel. Add oil. When it gets warm, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Let it splutter.
  • Add garlic, dry chillies (can break into 2 pieces each), curry leaves and stir well for 15 seconds on a medium flame.
  • Add shallots, saute for 2 to 3 mins or until transparent.
  • Add tomatoes and green chilies. Stir and cook until tomatoes are just soft.
  • Add turmeric powder, 1 1/2 cup tamarind water, 1 cup water and coriander leaves. Allow it to boil for about 5 mins until the rawness of the tamarind disappears.
  • Add boiled dal, drumstick leaves and 1 cup water (or as per consistency required). Mix well and boil for 3 to 4 mins.
  • Add salt and jaggery. Close the lid and simmer for 15 mins. Check the seasoning and the consistency of rasam. Switch off.
  • Serve it as a soup or eat it with plain rice.


  • Check the sweetness of jaggery so that you can adjust the sweetness to your liking. Same with salt as well.
  • You can slice the shallots or even add whole.
  • Add water as per the consistency required.
  • You can refrigerate the remaining rasam for 3 to 4 days.
  • Add tamarind water as per the sourness required after adding in the rasam.
  • If you have already cooked toor dal, then add water as per the consistency required.

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