Rasam is a tart spicy sweet curry made with tomato tamarind and spices. Delicious senses awakening runny curry served for the sadhya/feast towards the end of the meal. It is the sweet and sour soup which helps u digest food better.
Every family in South India has a special household recipe and this one is mine and arguably the best because when someone gets to try this rasam they keep asking for more almost like an indulgence that has no going back.Sick or not , they drink it like they mean it.
Though rasam powder is readily available in the market I strongly recommend to make your own because it is worth it. Just coarsely crush it on your cutting board, no powdering required.
Rasam making tips :
- Drinking rasam piping hot when u have a cold or when u are feeling feverish makes u feel better because of the spices .
- Seasoning with mustard red chili and curry leaves can be done separately and added to the rasam in the end but I like it as a one pot curry so I do it together.
- I add chili powder or paprika more theses days just for color but all the heat comes from the pepper, adjust according to ur tolerance level.
- Toor dal is added to make rasam lil thick even then it should be runny like water .
- Do not omit any ingredient here because it all about flavors and aroma that will twirl ur senses.
- I love to see the tomatoes in it even if it is mushy but if you prefer smoother rasam go in with and immersion blender and blitz the tomatoes and spices until happy. Remember the spice gets spicier when you break it down more.
If you are adept with scooping ur right palm and drinking rasam directly from ur hand it tastes heavenly. Oh mind you we(malayalees) prefer relishing food with God given hands when it comes to feast served on banana leaf. I must tell you it involves some skill to keep all the curries from flowing out of the leaf.
- If tamarind is not available you can omit it and add one more tomato for the tartness or tomato paste too would do. (Of course tamarind has a unique sharp tartness )
- Asafoetida : Has a sharp pungent smell that may not sit well with everyone. So again omit it if you are new to it.
- Garlic may be reduced or omitted but all these spices and herbs together make the curry so there is nothing to replace the rasam ingredients.
Points to note while making rasam :
- Adding asfoetida to hot oil can burn and turn bitter fast so add it just before adding tomato or even after is fine.To get rid of its raw taste.
- Soak tamarind in hot water for the pulp to soften faster. Allow the tamarind extract to boil to get rid of its raw taste.
- Note : I am adding the cumin pepper mix in different stages or increments so all the aroma and flavor does not vanish with boiling and taste in-between before adding too much so the rasam does not get spicy.
- The seasoning at the end adds all the flavor. Add cilantro only in the end.
- Squeeze the lime on top after the heat is switched off else the curry may turn bitter.
Other sadhya special curries that are hot favorite here :
Rasam / Sadhya special rasam / Low cal tomato soup with lentils
- 1/4 cup Toor dal Optional
- 2 Tomato Each cut into 8 pieces
- 6-8 cloves Garlic Crush slightly
- Tamarind a small lime size soaked in 1 cup
- 1/2 tsp Asafetida
- 1 tsp Paprika powder
- 1/2 Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
To crush coarsely :
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
- 2 Whole red chili
- 2 sprigs Curry leaves
- Few sprigs Cilantro
- Lime juice 1/4 to 1/2 (depending on tartness required)
- 1/2 inch piece Jaggery
- Pressure cook toor dal in cup water.Mash well and keep aside. If you need thickness then do this step otherwise start from steps below.
- Heat 1 tsp of oil add mustard when it splutters add cumin,whole red chili and curry leaves after a minute add the tomatoes, chili powder and turmeric powder mix gently and let it cook for a few minutes till tomatoes are slightly tender.
- Then add the crushed spices keep the pot covered and cook for two minutes then add tamarind water/paste and 1 cup water too/or the toor dal mashed with the water, salt asafoetida powder let this boil till the tamarind’s raw smell goes (may take five minutes). Remove from heat put the coriander leaves,jaggery piece,squeeze the lime on top mix and close lid.
- Serve piping hot with rice .OR drink it in a glass and remember to eat all the spices that hit ur taste buds including the coriander leaves.
Do let me know if you have nailed on the recipe you have been looking for years. The perfect rasam !!Just kidding write to me guys if u liked it.