green goddess rassam


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

green goddess rassam

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

Okay, it doesn’t look green, nor is this an “authentic” rassam recipe. However, this recipe is inspired by both the original Green Goddess recipe of the San Francisco hotel, The Palace, and the rassam recipes of Southern India. This is a wonderfully light dish to serve and celebrate the rich fragrance of fresh herbs. Rassams are meant to be hot and spicy, the quantity of black pepper isn’t an error, and neither is the addition of the green chilli. Serve with plain steamed rice to enjoy. Crushed tortilla chips and crispy fried onions also work great as a garnish in a pinch.

  • Yield: 6 to 8


3/4 cup/150 g red lentils, cleaned and rinsed

8 cups/1.9 L water

fine sea salt

2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 Tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp tamarind paste

4.5 oz/130 g fresh baby spinach or mustard greens

1 bunch fresh cilantro, tender stems and leaves

1 bunch fresh tarragon, tender stems and leaves

6 scallions, trimmed, both green and white parts

1 fresh green chilli such as serrano, jalapeno, or bird’s eye

4 garlic cloves

1/4 cup/60 ml fresh lime juice

1/4 cup/60 ml neutral vegetable oil such as grapeseed

1 Tbsp black or brown mustard seeds

12 to 15 fresh curry leaves


  1. Place the lentils, water, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander, and turmeric in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to low, and let simmer until the lentils are cooked and almost falling apart, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and tamarind paste. Remove from the heat.
  3. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the liquid from the saucepan into the jug of a high-speed blender. Add the spinach, cilantro, tarragon, scallions, chilli, and garlic. Blend until smooth. Transfer and stir this mixture into the lentils. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; skim and discard any froth that rises to the surface.
  4. Stir in the lime juice. Taste and season with salt if needed.
  5. Prepare the tadka. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop in a single mustard seed, the seed should sizzle. Add the remaining mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry for 1 minute or until the spices turn fragrant and the curry leaves turn crisp. Quickly pour the spices and hot oil over the lentils in the saucepan. Serve hot or warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • Rassam is usually eaten with plain rice, but I’ve also served it with crushed tortilla chips when I forget to cook rice or just can’t be bothered. Be flexible.
  • For the tadka: Sometimes, I’ll tear a dried Kashmiri chilli and throw it into the hot oil for a spicier flavor.

12 Responses

  1. Welcome back. I am glad you had a good journey. This soup looks amazing and perfect for now. We are having subzero temps. here in New England. (I just looked and it is -12 degrees F. YIKES!) I think I’ll make some for lunch today. Dena@gatheringflavors.

  2. Mmm, mmm, mmmm and mmmm some more. Rasam is one of my favorites–I really need a great typical recipe, super sour but reddish-brown?–and you just upped its ante with all of those gorgeous herbs. We too just had a lovely vacation–not to visit any family but to a warm destination nonetheless–and I’m still on high from those fresh flavors. Can’t wait to make this! And I’d love a sour rasam recommendation if you have one 🙂

  3. Oh rasam, I want to stick my face in thee. I love, LOVE the inspiration behind this. I’m so happy this now exists on the internet because I’m going to have to come back and try it. And it goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway: Jealous that you got to be in Goa!

  4. Next time when my body needs chicken soup, I will definitely give your rasam a try 🙂
    Glad you got home safely and can’t wait for the post about those cities; I need to visit India, and your post will be such a great help. 🙂

  5. I’m so glad I found your blog. Before I even had a chance to look for a green soup, this came up and it’s exactly what I wanted!

  6. This turned out so amazing, my 1-year-old double fisted his portion straight into his mouth. Thank you for posting, yet again, another finger lickin’ good recipe. It will be on my menu rotation on a regular basis for sure.

  7. I have never tried this here in US but had it when I was in the Himalayas on 2 major occasions & loved it. I need to get some of the ingredients, although I always have the lentils & cook them often. The lentils & fresh made daily yogurt on the Himalayan paths sustained me for the months it took to make the run. This meant a minimum of 3 helpings each time of whatever was available. When I returned home to US I kept that diet often, & expanded it. I keep Kashmiri masala also for regular use.

  8. Ooh that is lovely! Mine came out a lot more green than the photo, but hey, that’s all good vitamins. It’s delicious and bright and I think it’s going to help me get over this everlasting winter cold…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read the Privacy Policy for more details.

Order your copy of the best-selling James Beard nominated cookbook, The Flavor Equation.