Pepper Milagu Rasam Vegan South Indian Soup Recipe

Looking to learn how to make the the best homemade spicy & tangy Pepper Milagu Rasam recipe?

Our quick & easy South Indian Soup is a perfect dinner idea for a cold day. It takes just under 30 minutes to make!

This comforting, low fat, vegan Pepper Rasam recipe features flavourful ingredients like curry leaf, cumin, cilantro, turmeric, garlic, mustard seed, dried chili and tamarind.

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What Is Soup?

Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but can also be served cold like gazpacho), that is prepared by combining meat or vegetables with stock or water.

Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, creating a rich broth.

Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Soups generally have more liquid (broth) than chunkier and heartier stews.

In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two groups: clear soups (bouillon and consomme) and thick soups (purees, bisques, veloutes).

Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.

Milagu Rasam South Indian Soup ingredients.
Milagu Rasam South Indian Soup ingredients.

History of Soup

Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers, such as clay pots. To boil the water hot rocks were used.

The word soup comes from French soupe (broth), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.

The word restaurant (meaning “restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as a cure to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.

In America, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques.

English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Massachusetts called The Restorator, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.

Milagu Rasam is a South Indian Soup featuring tamarind, dried chili, tomato and cilantro.
Milagu Rasam is a South Indian Soup featuring tamarind, dried chili, tomato and cilantro.

What Is Milagu Rasam?

Rasam, or charu pani, chaaru, saaru, saathamudhu, or kabir is a South Indian dish. It is a spicy-sweet-sour stock traditionally prepared using kokum, tamarind, or dried green mango juice as a base along with jaggery, chili pepper, black pepper, cumin, tomato, and other spices as seasonings. 

Milagu rasam, also known as pepper rasam, is a simple South Indian Soup that is low cal, low fat & vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Pepper Rasam is very commonly prepared in South Indian homes. It tastes great with hot steamed rice and a wee spoonful of ghee. It is essentially a comforting and flavourful broth, which many Indians consider an effective remedy during cold and flu season.

Use a grinder or blender to prepare Milagu Rasam garlic spice mix.
Use a grinder or blender to prepare Milagu Rasam garlic spice mix.

Travel to India by Cooking Milagu Rasam at Home

I love traveling through Asia. My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.

After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout Asia for 6 months, visiting the PhilippinesIndonesiaSingaporeCambodiaLaosMyanmarThailandVietnamThe MaldivesIndia and Malaysia.

During my trip to India I had the opportunity to visit Delhi, Agra, Kerala and Mumbai. In the bustling South Indian city of Cochin, as well as the nearby eco-resort Coconut Lagoon, I had the opportunity to slurp through steaming bowls of Peppr Milagu Rasam.

If you’re planning a South Indian travel adventure, you’ll likely have the opportunity to sample a variety of regional Milagu Rasam recipes. Once you return from your trip, share your experience with family and friends by cooking our healthy vegan South Indian Soup recipe at home.

Fry Milagu Rasam garlic spice mixture with fresh curry leaf.
Fry Milagu Rasam garlic spice mixture with fresh curry leaf.

Where To Eat Authentic Pepper Rasam

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to local Indian restaurants that serve traditional Pepper Rasam.

Haven’t traveled to Indian before? It may be helpful to first sample Milagu Rasam at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can assess the spice level of the sauce and take notes on the perfect garnishes.

In Toronto, popular Indian restaurants that may serve South Indian Soup include Udupi PalaceLahore Tikka House or Kothur Indian Cuisine.

My Family Loves South Indian Soup

My family has a tradition of eating soup and salad for lunch on Sunday’s after getting home from church. Soup is such an simple and brainless meal to serve a busy family with kids.

My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup, French Onion Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood spent in Toronto, Markham, Oakville and Muskoka are cozying up to a bowl of homemade soup with gourmet crackers, artisanal cheese and sourdough bread.

During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.

Garlic, tomato, cilantro, chili and Indian spices are available in abundance year round in Canada but we especially love to serve this healthy soup during the chilly winter season.

The best Milagu Pepper Rasam recipe is full of healthy ingredients. This quick and easy vegan South Indian Soup is a great way to incorporate nutritious ingredients into your diet during the colder months of the year.

Our healthy homemade South Indian Soup is vegan and vegetarian free.
Our healthy homemade South Indian Soup is vegan and vegetarian free.

Milagu Rasam Ingredient Health Benefits

Our Pepper Rasam recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Rich in a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and provide protection against cancer. Tomatoes are also a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C.

The polyphenols in tamarind have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These can protect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

A rich source of blood-building iron, cumin may also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol. It is also traditionally used as a digestive aid.

The star component of turmeric is curcumin, a potent phytochemical that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is often prescribed in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to help relieve arthritis, aid digestion and inhibit the growth of cancers. 

A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals. 

Serve Milagu Rasam South Indian Soup with basmati rice.
Serve Milagu Rasam South Indian Soup with basmati rice.

Homemade Pepper Rasam Recipe Tips

This healthy vegan Milagu Rasap recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!

  • Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
  • We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
  • Visit an Asian grocer or Indian Supermarket to purchase ingredients like curry leaf, mustard seeds, dried chili and tamarind.
  • If you’d like to make the recipe really spicy, feel free to add additional chili paste, chili sauce, sliced chili or hot sauce.
  • Our pepper rasam recipe features a homemade spice mix. If you’re short on time, you can buy rasam powder instead.
  • Many Milagu Rasam recipes include a pinch of asafoetida (also known as hing). This spice can be challenging to find but if you have it in your cupboard feel free to add an additional layer of flavour to your South Indian Soup.
  • Rasam is known as a healthy and restorative broth that is both low cal and low in fat. If you’re looking to add additional protein to you diet feel free to add lentils.
  • If you’re not vegan, act like a local and add a small spoonful or ghee or butter to your rasam for a decadent treat.
Spicy Milagu Rasam is a healthy low calorie vegetarian Indian soup.
Spicy Milagu Rasam is a healthy low calorie vegetarian Indian soup.

What To Serve with Milagu Rasam

There’s nothing more comforting on a cold day then cozying up to a bowl of soup with a fresh salad, gourmet crackers, artisanal cheeses, sourdough bread, savoury muffins and homemade pickles.

If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our easy Milagu Rasam recipe as an appetizer before serving heartier mains. Other popular Indian recipes include Vegan Pudla Crepes, Vegetarian Shahi Paneer, Chicken Shahi Korma and Indian Onion Salad.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe, Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers, Rhubarb Strawberry Dutch Baby or Jordgubbstårta Swedish Strawberry Cake.

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Spicy Milagu Rasam is a healthy low calorie vegetarian Indian soup.

Storing South Indian Soup

If you have leftover Vegetarian Milagu Rasam you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.

We love doubling our soup recipes so can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover soup in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling.

Be sure to let your soup reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot jar of soup to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.

You've learned how to make the best Pepper Milagu Rasam South Indian Soup recipe.
You’ve learned how to make the best Pepper Milagu Rasam South Indian Soup recipe.

How To Make South Indian Milagu Rasam Soup

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

South Indian Milagu Rasam Soup

How to make the best healthy vegan milagu rasam. Our easy South Indian soup is flavoured with pepper, tamarind, curry leaf, chlii & cumin.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: milagu rasam, pepper rasam, south indian soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 54kcal


  • Large pot or Dutch Oven
  • Grinder
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • French knife


  • 1.5 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1.5 tsp Cumin
  • 2 Dry red chili halved and seeded
  • 8 Garlic cloves
  • 1.5 tsp Tamarind soaked in 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 Tomato chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 8 Curry Leaf
  • 1/8 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil


  • Soak tamarind in warm water for 30 minutes. Squeeze the soaked tamarind to get the pulp. Strain the tamarind pulp and set aside.
  • In a grinder, add garlic, red chilies, black pepper and cumin seeds. Grind to a semi fine texture.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick skillet. Sizzle mustard seeds over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add curry leaves and the coarsely ground spices.
  • Saute for a minute, mixing well. Add turmeric powder and chopped coriander leaves. Stir until well combined.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, tamarind pulp and water. Season with salt.
  • Stir and simmer rasam on a low heat, without a lid, until the tomatoes soften, approximately 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Serve the pepper milagu rasam on its own or accompanied with rice, sambar or dosa.


Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.6g | Protein: 1.1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 1.2g | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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