|Alternative names||Saaru, saathamudhu, chaaru, chaatambde|
|Place of origin||India, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil nadu|
|Region or state||Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana, Odisha|
|Main ingredients||kokum, kadam, jaggery, tamarind, tomato, lentil|
Rasam is a spicy South Indian soup. While it is sometimes served on its own as a soup, it is usually served as a side dish with rice. In a traditional South Indian meal, it is part of a course that includes sambar rice and curd rice. Rasam has a distinct taste in comparison to sambar due to its own seasoning ingredients and is fluid in consistency. Chilled prepared versions are marketed commercially as well as rasam paste in bottles.
A variety of rasam is the Tamil soup dish mulligatawny.
Rasam in Malayalam and Tamil, Tili sāru in Kannada (Kannada script: ತಿಳಿ ಸಾರು), or chāru in Telugu means "essence" and, by extension, "juice" or "soup". In South Indian households rasam commonly refers to a soup prepared with sweet-sour stock made from either kokum or tamarind, along with tomato and lentil, added spices and garnish.
The name rasam is derived from Sanskrit रस; transliterated: rása, meaning sap, juice, or essence. The Sanskrit word also yielded the English word rasa, in the aesthetic sense.
Rasam is prepared mainly with a tart base such as kokum, malabar tamarind (kudam puli), tamarind, ambula, amchur (dried green mango), tomato, or buttermilk stock depending on the region. A dal or lentil stock (for rasam, the typical dal used is split yellow pigeon peas or mung beans) is optional but are used in several rasam recipes. Jaggery, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, mustard seeds, lemon, chilli powder, curry leaves, garlic, shallots and coriander may be used as flavoring ingredients and garnish in South India.
Different kinds of rasam are listed below with its main ingredients.