Nov 11, 2009

All about Rasams!!

Rasam can be defined as a South Indian soup which is taken along with rice basically. Its made with tamarind water mixed with a variety of spices and lentils. It is known by different names in the different southern states. Its Rasam in Tamil nadu,saaru in karnataka, chaaru in Andhrapradesh. The Aiyengars call it as "saathamudu". Many restaurants serve mulagatwany soup which is also a kind of rasam. There are so many varieties of rasam though the basic recipe remains the same. As I had a few requests from some friends and readers for the rasam recipe , I thought of compiling into a single post. Find more about rasam here.
First of all , let me provide the recipe of rasam powder which can be prepared in a large quantity and stored for a sufficiently long time and used during any rasam preperation.

Rasam Powder
Coriander seeds/dhania seeds- 100g
Tuvar dal- 50g
Cumin seeds/jeera seeds- 25g
black pepper- 2tsps
Red chillies- 8 to 9 ( more if you can take the heat)
Curry leaves- few leaves(optional)

Dry roast all the ingredients together. Let it cool and grind the ingredients to a coarse powder.

rasam Readymade packets of rasam powder are commercially available. They are available in a lot of brandnames. I have used MTR rasam powder and I really love the taste, flavour and colour it imparts. Sometimes, even sambar powder can be used for making rasam. That tastes good too!!
rasam There is a special utensil called "eeya chembu" - a lead vessel for preparing rasam and when made in this, the flavour gets enhanced. It does tastes great for sure!!!

rasam As I mentioned above, there are a number of rasam varieties, so I will compile a few basic ones.

1. Pepper rasam-

Tamarind- lime sized lump
Rasam powder- 2-3tsp
Whole pepper- Crushed- 1tsp
cumin seeds powder- 1/2tsp
Cooked tuvar dal/masoor dal- 1/4th cup
Salt to taste
Curry leaves- few leaves
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch
Ghee- 1/2tsp

Squeeze out the pulp from the tamarind. Add the rasam powder, pepper and cumin seeds powder,salt and curry leaves. Allow it to boil till the smell of rasam powder goes. Now mash the cooked dal, add it to the boiling mixture and boil further for 2-3 minutes. Dilute with around 2-3 cups of water /dal water. Boil till it bubbles up(takes around 10-15 minutes. Remove from flame.
Heat ghee for tempering. Crackle the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Add to the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.

rasamOptional- You can also add chopped tomatoes in this. But accordingly reduce the quantity of tamarind.

2.Pineapple Rasam- This is a kind of festive rasam , the method is almost the same.

Tamarind- A very small lump(because pineapple is going to be tart)
Cooked tuvar dal/masoor dal- 1/2 cup
Pepper powder- 1/2tsp
Rasam powder- 2-3 tsp
Pineapple pieces-1/2 can crushed( Use along with the syrup )
jaggery- a small lump-(optional)
Salt to taste
Asafoetida- small pinch
Oil/ghee- 1tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Coriander for garnising

Squeeze out the juice from the tamarind. Add rasam powder, pepper powder ,salt and the crushed pineapple pieces and allow it to boil till the rasam powder smell goes. Then add the cooked dal and boil for 2 minutes. Dilute with dal water. Boil for another 10 minutes. Add jaggery if using.
Heat oil or ghee. Crackle mustard seeds and asafoetida and add it to the rasam.

rasamYou can also make this without adding tamarind water using just dal. Dilute it accordingly.

3. Mysore rasam- In this, fresh rasam powder is made and used for the rasam.

Tamarind- Size of a lime
Cooked masoor/tuvar dal-1/2 cup
Coriander seeds- 1 1/2tbsp
Channa dal/bengal gram dal- 2tsp
Dried red chillies- 8
Oil- 2tsp
Whole pepper- 5 -6
Curry leaves- few leaves
Oil for tempering
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch
Salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnishing.

Heat oil in a pan and roast the coriander seeds,channa dal and the red chillies. Grind this to a paste along with a few pepper corns.
Squeeze out the juice from the tamarind. Add the salt ,asafoetida and curry leaves. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes. Then add the cooked dal and boil for sometime. Dilute with water or dal water and boil till it froths. Then add the prepared powder and mix well.
Heat oil in a pan and crackle mustard, curry leaves and red chillies. Add to the rasam and garnish with coriander.

rasam You can add tomatoes in the tamarind water and boil along with it, but reduce the amount of tamarind accordingly.

4.Lemon rasam or elumachampazham rasam or limbu rasam
Cooked Mung dal- 1 cup
Green chillies- 2 chopped
Tomato- 1 chopped
Oil- 1tsp
mustard Seeds- 1tsp
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Lemon juice- of 1 lemon

Heat oil in a pan.Crackle mustard , cumin seeds and green chillies. Add the tomatoes. Cook for sometime. Add the cooked dal along with salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Dilute with 2-3 cups of water . Allow to boil till it froths. Remove from flame. Add the lemon juice. Mix well.

rasam I add a tsp of rasam powder in this. But its totally optional.

5. Tomato Rasam- I always make this when I have a bad cold. The ingredients does the magic.
Tomatoes- 2 big
Cooked dal- half cup oir little less
Garlic -2 cloves
Ginger- 1"
Peppercorns- 5
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Rasam powder-3 tsp
Salt to taste
Asafoetida - a pinch
Oil- 1tsp
Mustard- 1tsp

Grind chopped tomatoes, Ginger ,garlic, peppercorns and cumin seeds in a blender. Heat oil in a pan. Crackle mustard seeds. Add the ground liquid followed by salt, asafoetida and rasam powder. Boil for 10 minutes. Add the dal and cook for 2 more minutes.Dilute with 2 -3 cups of water or dal water and boil till it froths.
  See a detailed post about tomato rasam here- with step by step pictures)


Sarah Naveen said...

Wonderful post!!!!
All rasamas look mouthwatering and yummy!!!!

Viki's Kitchen said...

wow ..what an elaborate post on rasams. Love all those rasams. Nice post dear.

notyet100 said...

lovely post Sowmya,..everything looks so tempting

Sowmya said...

Wowwwww Such an extensive post on Rasams..I love it.
Rasam is undoubtedly one of the comfort food.And so right about the eeya chembu rasam :) My fav is mysore rasam...Thanks for the rasam powder recipe...

Shama Nagarajan said...

lovely spicy rasams...perfect for this weather

Hema said...

Astounding Sowmya.. Lot about rasams.. Can you post Lemon rasam also here.. The fact about eeya sombu was good.. can you give tips on how to handle it, which is also called "Eeya sombu pazhakarthu" in tamil!

Vrinda said...

Never heard of pineapple rasam,so many to try...thanx for the rasam powder recipe...

Ramya Bala said...

very useful post sowmya..real good one..

Spice said...

They all look yummy....DH loves them....but I don't know why I don't make more excuses for me I have to try atleast one of these....

lata raja said...

Eeya chombu rasam has it's own flavour. I like the MTR powder too. great colour to the rasam. Can just imagine and drool the rasam, sitting miles away.

Priya said...

Such a lovely post, rasams are always comforting food of me, i can live just with rasam...lovely varieties of rasams..

Supriya said...

Awesome collection of different kind of rasams..I have booked marked your post already:))

Cham said...

Very authentic to make rasam in eeya shombu!
I always make my powder at home! looks delicious all of them!

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

all the rasams look yum!

Sireesha said...

Outstanding Post on rasams Sowmya ...All look relishing :)

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

wow... what an elaborate post on rasam... wonderful!

LG said...

I am awed at your rasam varieties. Lovely collection of slurrpy rasams.

Tina said...

Wow lots of rasam recipes....Never tried rasam with pineapple...Nice post.

Valarmathi said...

Wow....... Rasams looks yummy.

Sush said...

great post on saaru/rasam Sowmya. Keep up the great work.

Sanghi said...

Wow.. delicious rasams..!

Uma said...

nice post Sowmya!! many types of rasams!! Yum!!

Suparna said...

Wonderful post somya yet another post I'd like keep on my favourite bar :)

jayasree said...

Thats one delicious post on rasam... You have covered all the popular rasam variations. Rasam made in an eyyachombu is delicious by itself.

Akal's Saappadu said...

all delicious rassams in a page; with rice, it's my favourite comfort food!!! I didn't know about the Eeya sombu, nice info!!


Excellent post sowmya! I love rasam over sambhar,I can eat everyday rasam rice alone :)

Laavanya said...

Lovely collection of rasam recipes and something i'd definitely enjoy since i love rasams.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sowmyaji
Its really great about south indian rasam. I had tested there love it. In Kerala what they call.
What is the sequence of taking rice in Tamilnadu. They take with yogurt, sambhar and rasam.

Also in future like to see for sambhar complied receipe.

Kitchen Flavours said...

Finally yesterday i tried my hands on Tomato was quite the awesome info on rasam...wah there are so many rasama...yet to taste....thank you for such an ra-rasam post....

Malar Gandhi said...

Love all kinds of rasams, thats nice all in one post here:)

Parita said...

I love love love rasam!!! MTR is my favorite too :-)

Rohini said...

Lovely Post Sowmya.. Am a sucker for Rasams, you must know how much I would have enjoyed this post.. I use home-made powder or sometimes Shakthi/Eastern powder, I personally dont like MTR..! ;)
Eeya Sombu, uff, I miss that rasam so much!! Keep going gal :)

Usha said...

What a lovely post on rasams Sowmya, each and every one of those rasams looks inviting !

Nostalgia said...

Awesome! Din't know there were so many types fo rasam. Thanks for sharing

Preeti Kashyap said...

hey...awesome post. All in one!

Nithya Praveen said...

a perfect comforter...i meant the rasam:).They are so easy to make and so yummy to taste.Nice one.

Rohini said...

Buddy, Please collect your awards from my blog! :)

my kitchen said...

Wow varieties of Rasam,Comfort & Tasty one.My all time favorite

Cynthia said...

Thanks for this thoroughly delicious and informative post.

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