Thursday, 13 February 2014

Rasam/ रसम (A sweet and Sour soup)

Rasam is a sweet and sour soup made all over southern part of India as main course. It is taken with rice/Vada/Idli. I love taking it as soup. Rasam is light to digest and has wonderful flavor of garlic, Curry leaves and spices. Garlic Curry leaves not only add flavor but have tremendous medicinal values and all spices (cardamoms, black pepper, Cumin, Coriander, Fenugreek seeds.. ) have essential oils good for digestion and cough and cold. Tamarind and jaggery when boiled in it adds to the medicinal value. Tamarind when taken raw is bad for throat and also causes acidity but when boiled it acts as medicine for cough and cold. Jaggery apart adding sweet taste also is good when boiled. I can vouch for the effectiveness of this Rasam’s effectiveness in cough/cold/sinusitis because my daughter-in law made it for me when I was at my wits end for getting rid of sinusitis. One glasses of piping hot rasam and I started feeling better and in three days was cured of my trauma. What else one wants if one gets tasty remedies instead of drops and syrups. It acts as a very good appetizer also. Rasam an Indian sweet and sour soup is very easy to make and can be made and stored in fridge for 1-2 days.
Preparation Time: 20 min. (Including making Rasam Masala and Tamarind Pulp)
Cooking Time: 15-20 min
Servings: 800 ml. Rasam

Ingredients Required:
For making Rasam (Sweet and Sour Soup):
  • 50 gm. Tamarind (ripe seedless)
  • 50 gm. Jaggery 
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds (Rai/sarson)
  • 10 curry Leaves (Kadi Patta/sweet neem)
  • 10-12 Cloves of Garlic
  • 3-4 Whole Red chilies
  • 1 Medium size finely cut tomato (Optional)
  • 2 Table Spoons Rasam Powder
  • 1 Lt. Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 ml. Cooking Oil
For Making Rasam Powder:
  • 50 gm. Tur Dal (Split pigeon peas/yellow lentil )
  • 8-10 Cloves (Lawang)
  • 10-12 Black pepper seeds (Kali mirch dana)
  • 1 Teaspoon Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
  • 8 Teaspoon Coriander seeds (Sabut Dhaniya)
  • 5 Teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 Inch Cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 Black Cardamom
  • 2-3 Whole red chilies

Directions For Making Rasam:
Making Rasam Powder:
  • Roast Tur dal on low flame till golden brown
  • Roast Dhaniya, Jeera and Methi individually (Not together) till golden brown on low flame.
  • Roast lawang till it changes color to whitish grey on the surface.
  • Pound the black cardamom to split the cover then roast them for one min. along with kali mirch (Black pepper).
  • Roast Whole deseeded chili to brown color.
  • Let the roasted ingredients cool and then grind all of them together to fine powder and store it in an airtight container use as and when required.
Making Rasam:
  • Soak tamarind in 100 ml. water for 10 minutes then boil for ten minutes.
  • Cool boiled tamarind. Mash and sieve to take out tamarind pulp.
  • Add water to the remaining tamarind and mash and sieve; add this tamarind water to tamarind pulp. Tamarind extract is ready.
  • Cut garlic very fine.
  • Take oil in a thick bottom wok and heat till smoking hot.
  • Add
    • Mustard seeds
    • Cumin seeds
    • Curry leaves
    • Whole Red chilies
    • Finely cut garlic.
  • Cook till garlic is golden brown in color.
Sautted Spices Ready for Adding Tomatoes
  • Add finely cut tomato.
Tomatoes Being Cooked With Sauteed Spices
  • Cook on low flame till tomato pieces become soft and mushy.
  • Add 3 Spoon of Rasam powder and mix (See tips). Cook for one minute with continuous stirring.
Rasam Masala Added to Cooked Tomato spices mixture
  • Add
    • Tamarind extract
    • Jaggery
    • Salt
Tamarind Extract and Jaggery added to cokked Tomato and spices mixture
  • Boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add remaining 900 ml. water
  • Boil for 10 min with occasional stirring
  • Yummy Rasam is ready.
Rasam Ready after boiling for 10 minutes
  • Enjoy Rasam as soup/with rice/idli/vada.
  • Rasam is a wonderful home remedy. Take one teacup full this rasam every 4 hours during  cough/cold/indigestion it is extremely helpful.
  • Do not roast dal, coriander jeera all together as each take different time.
  • Always roast at low temperature for best results.
  • Add rasam powder one spoon at a time and taste you may like to increase /decrease the amount according to your taste.
  • Amount of jaggery can be increased/decreased according to the taste.
  • Those who do not take garlic can avoid it but the taste and medicinal value will not be exactly same.
  • More the curry leaves and garlic better the taste and medicinal values.
Suggested Variations:
  • If Rasam is to be had with rice/vada/idli then reduce the amount of water to 700ml. to make slightly thicker rasam.
  • Rasam can be garnished with finely cut fresh cilantro (Dhaniya patta) or tempered with curry leaves and red chili pieces sautéed in oil.
  • When taken with rice/idli/vada grated fresh coconut can be used to garnish to give it a coconutty twist.
  • 20-25 curry leaves can be roasted and ground to powder along with other roasted ingredients.

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