Winter is slowly creeping up and these days I long for something warm to eat or drink. One of the few things that can hit just the right spot either as a meal or as a drink is Nimmakaya Charu or Andhra Lemon Rasam.

Andhra Lemon Rasam | NImmakaya Charu
Andhra Lemon Rasam | NImmakaya Charu

Charu is the Andhra equivalent of Tamil Nadu’s rasam and I love Andhra Charu in all its forms; the tangy taste perfectly suits my palette. This ever popular dish is quite different from the rasams from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka; it uses fewer spices but is just as delicious. The way I eat Charu is normally with Mudda Pappu Annam.  Mudda Pappu is plain tuvar dal. I mix Mudda Pappu in rice, make small balls of it and dunk it in whatever version of Charu is made that day. Aaaaah…. the bliss. 🙂

Coming back to Nimmakaya Charu, this easy to make dish, tangy, lemon and dal soup (for the want of a better English language description) goes well with warm rice and ghee. Or then you could just drink it like a soup.

Do also try my recipe for Lemon Rice | Nimmakaya Pulihora and Nimmakaya Pappu | Tangy Andhra Lemon Dal.

Every time I order the lemon coriander soup at an upscale chinese restaurant, my brother comments that I could just as well make and drink Nimmakaya Charu at home. 🙂

How to Make Tangy Nimmakaya: The Andhra Lemon Rasam

  1. Soak the 1/4 cup Tuvar Dal in 1/2 cup water for 10 to 15 minutes. This is an optional step that helps the dal cook faster.
  2. Pressure cook the soaked tuvar dal along with the water in which it was soaked for 3-4 whistles or till it is completely mashable.
  3. Mash the dal completely.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric, salt to taste, and 2 slit green chillies. Mix well.
  5. Add 2 cups water.
  6. Bring the mix to a boil. 
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Make the Tempering
    1. In a ladle, heat the 1 tsp of ghee. Vegans can use oil.
    2. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
    3. Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 red chillies, and stir-fry till the cumin seeds start to change colour.
    4. Add the tempering to the Nimmakaya Charu.
  9. The Final Steps
    1. Add the chopped coriander leaves and 4 tbsp lemon juice to the Nimmakaya Charu.
    2. Mix well.
  10. Serve warm Nimmakaya Charu with rice and ghee.

Tips

  • You can use oil for seasoning, but ghee gives the chaaru an unbeatable flavour.
Nimmakaya Charu
Nimmakaya Charu

Recipe for Nimmakaya Charu | Andhra Lemon Rasam

Nimmakaya Charu | Andhra Lemon Rasam

Nimmakaya Charu is a tangy Andhra Lemon Rasam that can elevate any meal. Pair it with rice and ghee, or then just drink it as a soup. Either way, it is guaranteed to make you happy.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Soaking Time (Optional) 15 mins
Servings 4 people
Ingredients
  
  • 1/4 Cup Kandi Pappu Tuvar Dal, Yellow Lentils
  • 4 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Green Chillies
For Tempering
  • 1 tsp Ghee (Vegans can use oil)
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Red Chillies
  • 4-5 Curry Leaves
Other Ingredients
  • 1/3 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
 
Cooking the Dal
  • Soak the 1/4 cup Tuvar Dal in 1/2 cup water for 10 to 15 minutes. This is an optional step that helps the dal cook faster.
  • Pressure cook the soaked tuvar dal along with the water in which it was soaked for 3-4 whistles or till it is completely mashable.
  • Let the cooker cool and then take the dal out.
  • Mash the dal completely.
The First Steps
  • To the mashed dal, add 1/2 tsp turmeric, salt to taste, and 2 slit green chillies. Mix well.
  • Add 1.5 cups water and bring the mix to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat.
Make the Tempering
  • In a ladle, heat the 1 tsp of ghee. Vegans can use oil.
  • Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  • Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 red chillies, 4-5 curry leaves, and stir-fry till the cumin seeds start to change colour.
The Final Steps
  • Add the tempering to the Nimmakaya Charu.
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves and 4 tbsp lemon juice to the Nimmakaya Charu. Do not add the lemon juice to the boiling charu as the flavour will change and become slightly bitter.
  • Mix well.
Serving Ideas
  • Serve warm Nimmakaya Charu with plain steamed rice and ghee.

I first posted this recipe in December 2012 and have updated it with a recipe card and better photos.

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