Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rasam – A tangy peppery garlicky soup.

This post is part of SADYA VIBHAVANGAL – Learn to make the traditional Kerala Feast- An Artist’s Edible Palette !

A tangy tomato soup spiced up with the pungent taste of garlic, black peppercorns and cumin seeds, and flavored with asafoetida, coconut oil and curry leaves. This can be tailored to suit to personal taste by making it spicy or tangy or garlicky. It is great for digestion as well as to alleviate cough and cold.

Ingredients:- (Approx.)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium tomato, diced into medium chunks
  • ½ tsp tamarind concentrate or a small piece of tamarind soaked in water (use only the water)
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 Indian green chillies
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • ½ - ¾ tsp black peppercorns, to taste
  • ¼ tsp Asafoetida/kaayam
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ tsp coriander powder
For Seasoning:
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
For garnish:
  • Coriander leaves
  • In a small deep bowl, boil 2 cups of water with diced tomato chunks, tamarind paste, asafoetida and salt; close it with a lid and let it boil.
  • While it is boiling, crush garlic cloves, green chillies, peppercorns and cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle. Add this coarsely crushed garlic, chillies, cumin seeds and peppercorns into the bowl and let it boil.
  • When it is boiling, mildly crush the tomato chunks with the back of a spoon, to extract the juices from tomato ( do not crush fully) and add turmeric powder and coriander powder. Let it boil again for 1-2 minutes. Here the heat comes from the green chillies and peppercorns and hence adjust those two ingredients as per your taste. Do a taste test and adjust the flavours and salt and switch off the stove/
  • In another shallow pan, heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves and pour this to the deep bowl and garnish with some coriander leaves. Both the herbs, curry leaves and coriander leaves, add a nice aroma to this dish and hence do not omit this.
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  1. hey auntie, i live in Texas.
    I"m 15 years old and i have been cooking since i was 12 and i gota give you this auntie you are a lady with a talent that only some people only are privileged to get, i love all your recipes and my girlfriend loves it too. i wish i was privileged enough to get a cooking teacher like yourself
    thanks, seby

  2. Hi Seby :) Very happy to know that you enjoy the recipes and dishes....I am amazed that u started cooking at 12..and that shows u re really passionate and talented in cooking....!! dont require a teacher like this teacher doesnt know anything :)))) and u made us laugh early in the morning by calling me auntie I that old??? just kidding ..ok...anyway my hubby had a real good laugh seeing that :))

    Take care

  3. hey, if i had some ready rasam powder mix, could you explain how to adapt it to your recipe? i live in an area where salt is the main seasoning and black pepper is the usual spice. so a friend sent me some packets & a jar of tamarind paste. i tried to follow what the packet says, but it never quite comes out right.

  4. The taste that a store bought rasam powder gives would be entirely different from the preparation I have noted here....You may try using 1 tsp of that ready made powder instead of the powdered spices I have used. Here in US, most of the super stores carry small bottles of these spices.Otherwise, you may get it online too!


  5. unfortuately, i'm currently not in the US. i'm a med student in the czech republic. sometimes we get some imports here, but they're very expensive and not normally around. though i have to say in the last year we've got a boom of exotic imports, mostly from UK, but these are mostly pastes and powders. i can get some things here, like jeera (though i don't think its the right type) and tumeric (or rather a generic 'curry powder'), but others i have no hope for :(

  6. Oooops! thats a tight situation....I think since you re not able to adjust to the taste of that ready-made mix, the only way is to catch hold of someone who comes from India or any place where they can get these stuff for you....all the best! I really wish you get to catch hold of these spices and cook some homemade food you long for !

  7. Hi Shn.... I never knew tat green chillies r put in rasam... i use only pepper...any ways a new style as well....thnks...Vineetha

  8. hello,
    today i made rasam and it was a super hit.Thanx for the easy yet tasty recipe...

  9. I know its a very late comment, but this is fantastic!
    Cooking is my passion, and this blog makes me more expert!!

  10. hi!!
    i've been following you blog for sometime now and let me tell you that you are really missed on the blogosphere :(
    i realize motherhood must be keeping you on ur toes :) was hoping you could answer two small it ok to add ginger to the above rasam? secondly, if i want to make a dal version of rasam , can i use the same recipe?
    thanks in advance!


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