Rasam Recipe What better to have than a bowl of warm rasam? This spiced, tangy and sour delicacy is sure to warm your palate and heal your cold if you have any. Let’s learn how to make Rasam step-by-step.
Rasam is a staple South Indian soup-like dish made with tamarind, spices, herbs and veggies or fruits. Probably the word “rasam” is derived from the word “ras” or “rasa” which means juice or extract or essence.
This rasam recipe is a basic simple South Indian rasam that can be had as a drink or served with rice. You do not need any Rasam Powder to make it nor do you have to spend time cooking lentils.
The main difference between a tomato rasam and a classic rasam is the number of tomatoes.
Obviously, in a tomato rasam, more tomatoes are added. But in a basic rasam, just one tomato is enough or you can skip it completely. The sour taste in a classic South Indian rasam recipe comes mainly from using tamarind and not tomatoes.
The spices and herbs that are added to this rasam recipe are cumin, mustard seeds, black pepper, garlic, curry leaves, coriander leaves and tamarind which help in relieving the cold and also act as digestives. It is best to have it in chilly winters or when you are suffering from cough and cold.
Rasam can be had like a soup or as an appetizer drink. It can also be served with steamed rice along with a side vegetable dish and with sambar. You can also have idli or vada with rasam.
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Ingredients For Rasam Recipe
- 1 lemon sized tamarind – approx 1 tablespoon tightly packed seedless tamarind (imli)
- ½ cup warm or hot water – for soaking tamarind
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes or 1 medium-sized tomato
- 2 cups water
- 10 to 12 curry leaves
- 2 pinch asafetida (hing)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 to 3 dry red chillies – broken and deseeded
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 2 tablespoons oil – gingelly oil or any neutral oil
- salt as required
- Spices To Be Ground
- 3 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 6 to 7 garlic (medium-sized) – roughly chopped
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS FOR RASAM
- Let’s start by making tamarind water. Soak 1 lemon sized tamarind (approx 1 tablespoon tightly packed seedless tamarind) in ½ cup warm water for 20 to 30 mins.
- Later squeeze the soaked tamarind to a pulp. Strain it and keep it aside.
- Moving on, we will now grind the spices. In a dry grinder or coffee grinder, grind 3 teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons whole black pepper and 6 to 7 roughly chopped garlic (medium-sized) to a semi-fine consistency. Keep this aside.
- Now to make the rasam recipe, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds splutter, add two pinches of ing (or asafoetida), 2 to 3 dry red chillies and 10 to 12 curry leaves. Be careful not to burn the spices. Fry for some seconds until the red chillies deepen their colour.
- Add ½ cup chopped tomatoes. Sauté until the tomatoes soften.
- Then add the semi-coarsely ground cumin seeds, black pepper and garlic and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.
- Stir and then add the tamarind pulp. Add water and stir well. Season with salt.
- Let it come to a gentle simmer on low heat. Do not boil, but let it slowly come to a point of a gentle boil and then switch off the heat.
- Switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves.
- Stir and serve rasam hot with steamed rice or as a soup.
In case tamarind is not available in your area, there are some substitutes that you can use. Tamarind substitutes:
- Lime or Lemon juice: Even though the sour taste of tamarind is different from lime or lemon, you can still add 1 to 2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice. Add the lime or lemon juice when the rasam is finished simmering. You can vary the quantity depending on the sourness you prefer.
- Tamarind paste: Add 1 teaspoon tamarind paste and mix it evenly with the warm water. If the sour taste is less, then you can add a bit more
You can also store your rasam for a longer period of time by following these quick tips. Make ahead and storage:
- Freezing: In the freezer, rasam stays good for a month. Freeze the portion you want without adding coriander leaves. While serving gently warm or heat it and sprinkle some coriander leaves.
- Refrigeration: In the refrigerator, you can store rasam for 2 to 3 days.
Serving Suggestion South Indian Style
The consistency of rasam is thin like a runny soup or stock. So you can drink it like soup. In South Indian meals, it is served with steamed rice, sambar and a side vegetable dish. You can also serve it with just plain steamed rice.
You can also make vada rasam or Idli rasam. Vada (fried urad lentil fritters) are amazingly good with this tangy and spiced rasam.
But this tasty rasam recipe can be extended into more than just tomato rasam. Check this amazing other recipe out also!
Milagu Rasam or Pepper Rasam
Mysore Rasam (with Coconut)