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.
- Dry roast all the ingredients together. Let it cool and grind the ingredients to a coarse powder.
1. Pepper rasam-
- 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.
- Optional- 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)
- 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.
- You 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.