Roasted Acorn Squash & Coconut Milk Rasam

roasted acorn squash and coconut milk soup

Rasam is a South Indian soup, usually on the tangy side and prepared with an intoxicating spice powder made from coriander, cumin, black pepper, black mustard seeds, fenugreek, turmeric, red chili peppers and more depending on what region of South India you’re from.  In researching my family’s rasam powder for my cookbook, I realized the recipes vary even from household to household.  Rasam powder is readily available at the Indian shop and now even online – MTR and 777 are good brands.

In Bangalore, where my mom is from rasam is sometimes referred to as saaru. On most days at home, we’d have saaru made from tomatoes, toor dal (split pigeon pea lentils) and tamarind and finished off with curry leaves and cumin seeds fried in butter.  In other parts of South India, coconut is also included in preparations for rasam, which is the inspiration for my roasted acorn squash and coconut milk soup (along with my love for Thai coconut curries).

acorn squash

We got this nice looking acorn squash in our farm share this week, which I promptly halved and roasted. With the rainy hurricane going on outside, it was the perfect time to finally turn on my oven.  I tend to roast my Fall and Winter squashes on the weekend and store them away in my fridge to prepare a quick dinner during the week.

roasting acorn squash
The roasted squash is so flavorful even by itself, but imagine blending it with coconut milk and rasam powder!

roasted squash
After bringing the soup to boil for a bit, I just add lemon for tang, a little brown sugar for sweentess and some curry leaves, green chili peppers, ginger and spices fried in coconut oil to finish off the flavor.

roasted squash and coconut milk rasam

If you find yourself wondering more about what to do with your winter squash, head over to Men’s Journal where I’m sharing my two cents on the topic in their ‘Ask A Chef’ column.


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  • Mikkel Magnuson

    Amazing dish I have tasted it in South India. Hope everyone try this with blog guidance like me and share it with others also.

  • Christine | Vermilion Roots

    Hi Chitra! I’m on a bit of a rasam adventure myself. I was missing the sour-spicy soup I used to have when living in Malaysia so I recently made it with a recipe from a cookbook. It turned out delicious but really different from the clear kind that I was used to. I’ve never had rasam with coconut milk and I’m really interested to try your recipe. Its creaminess really appeals to me. Hope that I’m able to track down some rasam powder!

  • The Mistress of Spices

    Hi Chitra! I randomly thought about your blog today for some reason so came over…it’s lovely to see your gorgeous photos and inventive recipes and to also read about all the exciting developments (achaar company, cookbook, etc.). Way to go! I look forward to trying this recipe too – how can you go wrong with rasam and coconut milk?

    • Chitra Agrawal

      Hi Ramya! So good to hear from you and thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. What is new on your side of the world?

      • The Mistress of Spices

        Lots since we were last in touch. A baby (well now 2 years old) and have been living in Bangkok for the last 4 years for work. You should come visit – the food here is amazing as you can imagine!

  • Anders Svenson

    Milk RASAM is very beneficial for the body. It contains a lot of nutrition. May be many people try this recipe because of its healthy benefits. Thanks for sharing.