Rasam is an integral part of South Indian cuisine. A South Indian meal is incomplete without rasam and it occupies an important place in a thali meal. Rasam is a thin soup which can be enjoyed plain or combined with rice, dal, sambhar and curds (dahi). It is deliciously tangy with an element of spiciness and sweetness. You can customize it according to one’s palate. It is comforting and helps combat bouts of cold. If you are recuperating from fever and cold it helps rejuvenate the taste buds and brings back lost appetite.
There are umpteen ways of making a good bowl or glass of rasam. South Indians prepare their own special mix of rasam powder. You can use various combinations of dal, dry spices and fresh herbs to make your very own tantalizing cuppa of steaming hot rasam. This recipe is very popular in my home especially in the cold winter months and during the rainy season.
We are having heavy rains here and it is time to relish and keep warm with soups. To face the chill and pump up your vitamin C, here is a tangy bowl of Tomato Pepper Rasam! :) Cheers!
3 large, ripe Tomatoes (roughly chopped)
½ inch fresh Ginger (peeled & grated or lightly bruised)
A few sprigs Mint (optional)
2 tbsps. Tamarind Pulp or a small ball – Tamarind or to taste
1 fresh Green Chilli (slit)
¼ tsp. Turmeric pwd.
¼ tsp. Red Chilli pwd. or to taste
1 ½ tsp. Rasam pwd.
Walnut size piece – Jaggery (optional)
A pinch – Sugar or to taste (optional)
Salt to taste
For the Tempering :
¼ tsp. Hing (Asafoetida)
½ tsp. Cumin Seeds
2 Whole dry Kashmiri Chillies
A sprig – fresh Curry Leaves (Kadipatta)
1 tsp. Cooking Oil
In a sufficiently deep pan/pot, combine tomatoes, ginger, peppercorns, mint, tamarind, green chilli, jaggery, sugar and a little salt.
Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Lower heat to a medium and cook for about 10 minutes or till tomatoes are soft.
Cool and blend in a grinder.
Strain the mixture and transfer to a pot.
Add turmeric pwd., chilli pwd. and rasam pwd.
Stir well and again bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and cook on simmer for about 2 mins.
Adjust seasoning if necessary.
To Temper the Rasam :
Heat oil; add the tempering ingredients, let it crackle and then add to the prepared rasam.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice and dal or rice and sambhar or enjoy it plain.
Tips & Variations :
You can strain the rasam after the tempering, in case you do not like whole spices.
You may add some crushed garlic in the tempering if you like the flavor of garlic.
Adjust the tamarind, tomatoes, jaggery and sugar as per personal taste.