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Beet Rasam Sambhar FG 4298 1

Beetroot Rasam (South Indian soup)

Author: Traffic Light Cook
This vegan, gluten-free South Indian beetroot rasam (soup) is spicy, garlicy, tangy, and gingery and is sure to keep you warm during the cold winter. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 120 kcal


For Rasam (soup)

  • 1 yellow onion (or any other kind, finely diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 4 red beets (medium, finely diced)
  • 1 tsp rasam powder (can sub with sambhar powder)
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt (or any other kind, or to taste)
  • 1 tsp ginger (fresh, grated)
  • 2 tbsp moong lentils (can sub with toor daal (pigeon peas) or red lentils)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (canned, chopped or sub with fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste*
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (for garnish, optional)

For tempering spices

  • 2 tsp avocado oil (or any other)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (black)
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 dried red chilli (or two if you want to go spicier)


To make Rasam (soup)

  • Soak moong lentils (or the kind you are using) for at least 1-2 hours to soften before cooking. Once soaked, rinse thoroughly before adding to the soup. 
  • In a heavy-bottom pot, sweat finely diced onions with 1/4 tsp salt using Ditch-the-oil cooking method for about 2-3 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a teaspoon of oil to sweat the onions. 
  • Once onions are cooked to a softer texture, add garlic, grated ginger, diced raw beets, remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, moong lentils, rasam powder, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiled, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes or till the beets are cooked to a soft texture. 
  • Add tomatoes and tamarind paste and cook for another 20 minutes. Mash  the beets and cooked lentils slightly with a flat-bottom spoon; don't over mash. Turn off heat and add the tempering. 

For tempering spices

  • Heat oil in a steel flat-bottom serving spoon or small pan ( a cast iron pan or spoon also works). Add a couple of mustard seeds to check the temperature. Once mustard seeds start to crackle, add all the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chili. Cover with a lid and heat till seeds stop crackling. Add the tempering to beetroot rasam (soup) and stir to mix well. Add chopped cilantro before serving. 

To Serve

  • You can serve this beetroot rasam as an appetizer by itself or as a side in main meal with rice or idlies. Enjoy!


*you can find tamarind paste in Indian and Asian stores. If you don't have tamarind paste, you can sub it either with 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar or add 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice. Be sure to add the lemon juice after turning the heat off, before adding tempering.
**if you don't have curry leaves, add 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro after adding tempering to beetroot rasam (soup).
Serving suggestions: Vegetarian: Serve with a dollop of plain Green yogurt.
Expert Tip:
  • blending the soup yields better texture, especially for veggie-averse family members.
  • Roasting beets before adding to the rasam cuts down the cooking time by 30 minutes (Find how to roast beets here).


Serving: 1Cup (heaping)Calories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 4gFat: 2gSodium: 595mgPotassium: 559mgFiber: 5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 200IUVitamin C: 37.1mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!