|Alternative names||Saaru, Saathamudhu, Chaaru, chaatambde|
|Place of origin||India|
|Region or state||Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana|
|Serving temperature||Hot or cold|
|Main ingredients||kokum, kadam, jaggery, tamarind, tomato, lentil|
Rasam (pronunciation (help·info)) is a clear and spicy South Indian soup. It is eaten with rice or consumed as a soup. In a traditional South Indian meal, it can be 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.
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 Malayalam word രസം (rasam) and the corresponding word in Tamil (ரசம், transliterated: rasam) were borrowed from Sanskrit रस (transliterated: rása); literally, sap, juice, or essence. The Sanskrit word also yielded the English word rasa, in the aesthetic sense.
Rasam is prepared mainly with kokum, onion, malabar tamarind (kudam puli), tamarind, ambula, or amchur (dried green mango) stock depending on the region. Along with tomato stock, dal or lentil (for rasam, the typical dal used is split yellow pigeon peas or Toor dal) are optional but are used in several rasam recipes. Jaggery, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, mustard seeds, lemon, chilli powder, curry leaves, garlic and coriander may be used as flavoring ingredients and garnish in South India.
Different kinds of rasam are listed below with its main ingredients.