This particular Rasam recipe takes its basic elements from South Indian cuisine and uses the vital ingredient “Tamarind” which is used in a vast amount of Tamil dishes. When coupled with hot spicy Rasam Powder and fresh ingredients, its taste is utterly divine. In a traditional South Indian meal, Rasam follows the Sambar and followed by Curd. Called by different names as Rasam in Tamil, Saaru in Kannada, Chaaru in Telugu, Rasam is more like a soup which improves digestion, relieves colds, sore throats, loss of appetite and lots more.
At Amma`s place, our meal on most days consisted of Sambar or Kuzhambu, Rasam, Thayir/Yogurt with Vegetables stir fry. Rasam was a must even if others were not made. Appa was very particular about having rasam everyday and it was prepared fresh each day. He relishes the rasam Amma makes and always said we sisters never came close to her. Today`s recipe is the regular Rasam amma made on most days, although she made different varieties like Lemon Rasam, Mysore Rasam, Pineapple Rasam and Pudina Rasam to name a few.
- Medium lime sized tamarind
- 1 tomato
- 3 teaspoon rasam powder
- 4 cups paruppu thani/diluted toor dhal water ( see tips below)
- 4 to 5 garlic
- 2 green chillies
- a handful finely chopped cilantro
- few finely chopped curry leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 to 3 fenugreek
- a pinch asafoetida
- salt to taste
- 2 red chillies ( optional )
- Soak the tamarind in water and extract the pulp.
- Cook the tomato, when cool peel the skin and set aside.
- Gently smash the garlic ( do not make a paste, just a gentle pat so as to open them. Do not peel the skin)
- Combine the tamarind extract, paruppu thani//diluted dhal water, garlic, green chillies, cilantro, curry leaves, tomato and salt to taste. Gently squeeze with your hands the ingredients to combine well and to bring the flavors of the fresh ingredients.
- Add the Rasam powder and mix well.
- Bring this rasam to a boil in in a kadai which can hold the prepared rasam. Remove from fire just when it starts to boil.
- Heat a teaspoon of oil, season with mustard, cumin, fenugreek and asafoetida. Add the seasoning to the rasam.
Paruppu Thaani/ Dhal Water
|Rasam combined with all the ingredients|
I cook the tomato separately along with the dhal in the pressure cooker. When cool, remove the skin and use for Rasam. A nice gentle squeeze of the ingredients is a must to get a nice flavorful Rasam (this is where, lies the secret to Amma`s rasam~there is some magic in her hands I guess).
Seasoning at the end is optional. You can season in a kadai and then add the combined rasam and bring to a boil. Amma insisted seasoning at the end.
Follow the recipe for rasam powder here.