Sesame Rasam / Ellu Rasam

Sesame Rasam / Ellu Rasam – a healthy, flavourful and comforting rasam. Sesame seeds are packed with nutrients and are an excellent source of manganese and calcium that helps keep the bones strong and healthy. This soothing rasam is prepared by roasting and grinding the sesame seeds along with peppercorns, cumin seeds and few other spices. The freshly grounded paste is then added to tamarind and tomato extract and is simmered for few minutes. This refreshing rasam can be served along with steamed rice with a dash of ghee.

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serving: 3 to 4


Tamarindsmall gooseberry size
Tomato (medium size)1
Toor dhal (to pressure cook)1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder1/2 teaspoon
Hing / Asafoetida1/2 teaspoon
Saltto taste
Coriander leavesto garnish

To roast & grind:

Ghee1/2 teaspoon
Sesame seeds1 1/2 teaspoon
Black peppercorns (Milagu)1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds / Jeera1 teaspoon
Red chilli 1 1/2
Shredded coconut1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves5 to 6

For tempering:

Ghee1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds /Jeera1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves5 to 6


  • Pressure cook 1 tablespoon of toor dhal in 1/2 cup water for 3 whistles.
  • Soak the tamarind in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Extract about 1 1/2 cups of tamarind juice.
  • Sesame flavoured rasam powder – Heat a pan and add the sesame seeds. Allow the sesame seeds to splutter or just roast it until it changes to light brown colour. Transfer this to a plate. To the pan, add 1/2 teaspoon ghee, add 1 teaspoon black peppercorns/ milagu and roast it for few seconds. Now add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 1/2 red chillies, 1 1/2 teaspoon shredded coconut and curry leaves. Give a quick stir for 30 seconds. Transfer the contents to the plate with sesame seeds. Allow the roasted ingredients to cool. Grind it to a coarse powder first. Now add about 1 to 2 tablespoon water and grind it to a coarse paste.
  • Take a pot and add a well riped tomato. Squeeze it with hand so that it becomes mushy. To this add turmeric powder, hing, salt and curry leaves.
  • To the above pot, add the tamarind juice and let it boil for 3 to 5 minutes until the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
  • Add the freshly ground paste to the above pot. Mash the pressure cooked toor dhal and add this to the pot. Cook for 30 to 50 seconds.
  • When the rasam starts to boil, dilute it with 1 cup water and immediately simmer.
  • Add finely chopped coriander leaves on top.
  • Switch off the flame when the rasam forms a frothy layer on top.
  • Tempering – Heat a pan, add 1 teaspoon ghee. Add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. Now add the cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add this tempering to the rasam
  • Serve this sesame rasam with steamed rice with a dash of ghee.


  • I have used white sesame seeds. You can use both white or black sesame seeds or a mix of both.

Check out my other Rasam Varieties:


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