If you love the taste of rasam but hate the way it makes your throat burn, then this is for you. Rasam is that soothing and sizzling kind of soup that is cooked from the leaves (or tubers) of drumstick plant. It is a very popular dish in Andhra Pradesh, it is made by cooking the leaves (or tubers) of the drumstick plant in water and seasoning it with other ingredients like ginger garlic paste, tomato, coriander and chilli.

This is a simple recipe for all you folks out there who like their tea a bit spicier. It is a little spicy, but not too much for those people who still wish to drink it.

I have spent the last two weeks in Baroda, Gujarat, and have been trying out new dishes. One of the dishes I have been eyeing for quite sometime is Drumstick leaves Rasam. I finally got the chance to try it out, and was not disappointed. Drumstick leaves Rasam is a simple dish that is a must try for anyone interested in trying out traditional Gujarati cuisine.

Rasam/Munaga Aaku (drumstick leaves) One of my favorite rasams is rasam. Drumstick leaves are extensively utilized in India’s southern states. Murungai keerai in Tamil and munaga aaku in Telugu are the names for drumstick leaves. Drumstick leaves are high in vitamin C, proteins, iron, and potassium, and are an excellent source of these nutrients. It has a lot of medical properties. For pregnant women, it is an excellent source of iron. Here’s some information.

My mother’s recipe for drumstick leaves rasam is what I’m sharing with you today. My mum prepares a delicious rasam using drumstick leaves, as well as a drumstick leaves fry (poriyal with dal). Want to discover how she cooks two meals at the same time with the same amount of ingredients? It was one of my favorites when I was little, and it is one of my favorites now. The only time-consuming aspect is plucking the leaves, but the final product is really tasty and pleasant. This, among other dishes, will be in high demand whenever I visit my mother’s home.

My mother used to gather drumstick leaves from a vendor or market; the fresh and younger leaves of drumstick leaves, rather than the larger, older, or yellow ones, have more flavor and do not taste bitter. I have never felt the bitterness of the leaves while making rasam or stir fry (porriyal); it is very delicious and healthy. I’ve almost finished making three to four different kinds of rasam, one of which is from my mother and the others from my mother-in-law and friends. However, I altered the recipe to suit my preferences. Each household has its unique recipe, which differs from home to house as well as by location.

Whenever I make drumstick leaves rasam, I also make poriyal (poriyal in Tamil or vepudu in Telugu) using drumstick leaves and dal at the same time. Please refer to the recipe. I’ve showed you how to create stock by boiling dal and drumstick leaves, which I’ll use to make rasam and a side dish by frying dal and drumstick leaves (poriyal in tamil or vepudu in telugu for stir fry or any dry side dish).

Time to prepare: 45 minutes (including boiling and straining of dal and drumstick leaves)

Time to prepare: 30 minutes

Andhra cuisine

Serves: 4

Medium spiciness


Boiling water

    • 3 1/2 cups drumstick leaves (about 100 gms)
    • 3/4 to 1 cup toor dal (arharr dal)
    • 7 cups of water
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon oil (optional)

Tadka / tempering

    • 2 tbsp. oil
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 4 dry chillies
    • 20 curry leaves
    • 3 large garlic cloves (crushed and sliced)
    • 1/2 onion, cut (small to medium)

Ingredients not listed

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup boiled dal and leaves
  • 1 tomato (large, cut into medium pieces)
  • 3 slit/sliced green chillies
  • Lemon-sized tamarind
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups dal and leaves stock
  • a pinch of salt (to taste)


    • We just need to remove the drumstick leaf, not the thin sticks, and wash it well before setting it away.
    • Soak the tamarind in boiling water for 30 minutes, then press the pulp with 1 1/2 cup water for tamarind water.

Adding dal and drumstick leaves to a pot of boiling water

    • Drain the water after soaking the dal for 15 to 30 minutes.
    • In a pressure cooker, combine the dal, drumstick leaves, turmeric, and water. To prevent foam, a little amount of oil may be added (white segment which comes on top of dal, when it is boiled).
    • Cooking drumstick leaves and dal at the same time may take a long time.
    • Cook until dal is cooked but not too soft, then mash or mix with drumstick leaves. It should be cooked as a whole dal, but if it softens, that’s OK. (The dal must be entire, not mashed, since the porriyal requires the full dal).
    • In a vessel, strain the dal and drumstick leaves liquid and set it aside. The rasam and dal are made using stock (strained liquid), while the poriyal is made with drumstick leaves (refer recipe).
    • Set aside the stock, as well as the cooked dal and drumstick leaves. (I used 1/2 cup strained cooked dal and drumstick leaves, with the rest reserved for poriyal) (stir fry).

The process of making rasam

  • Preheat the vessel, add the oil, and when it is hot, add the tempering ingredients: mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilies (broken into 2 pieces each), curry leaves, and stir well until it splutters. Next, add the garlic and onion (sliced), and cook until light golden and translucent.
  • Cook for 1 minute after adding the tomatoes.
  • Mix in the cooked dal and 12 cup drumstick leaves (reserved for the poriyal) for 30 seconds.
  • Boil for 5 minutes on medium heat with the tamarind water (1 1/2 cup), turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin powder, and water 1/2 cup.
  • Cook for 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat, until the rawness of the tamarind has gone. Add the boiling stock, green chilies, and water (12 cup more if necessary).
  • Add salt and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the rasam reaches your desired consistency. The tomatoes and green chilies are thoroughly cooked, as you can see. Taste to determine if any more spice is needed.
  • Because dal and leaves are included, the consistency of this rasam is not watery like other rasams.
  • Serve with simple rice or as a soup.


  • If using tamarind paste, add water to make the rasam; if using tamarind, squeeze the pulp in 1 1/2 cup warm water and add to the rasam. To taste, adjust the amount of sourness.
  • After adding the stock, add the spices (chilli powder, turmeric, cumin), mix well, and bring to a boil.
  • My mother usually adds more green leaves than dal, and I do whatever I want with both. You may also decrease the amount of dal and increase the amount of drumstick leaves.
  • If you believe there is already enough stock after boiling both the dal and the drumstick leaves, you may decrease the quantity of water used to make the stock.


Rasam is a traditional soup made from tamarind, a sour fruit, and is often made during festivals or gatherings. This tamarind soup is made from drumstick leaves, and is a delicious and nutritious dish. Just simmer the leaves and add to the rice.. Read more about drumstick leaves sambar and let us know what you think.