Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Tomato Rasam

This post is part of Onam and Sadya. The recipe below will make enough to serve 6 - 8 people for a Sadya. Measurements are only approximate.

Rasam is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Rasa' which means juice. Historically, it was prepared with black pepper and tamarind but over time, different ingredients were added to this base to prepare different types of
rasam. Parippu rasam (made with lentils), lemon rasam (made with lemon), tomato rasam (made with tomatoes), Veluthulli rasam (made with garlic), Inji Rasam (made with ginger) are all common rasams found in South India now.

The recipe here is an easier version of tomato rasam where all ingredients that make the rasam are blent to form a smooth paste and then boiled with water and tempered. The variation will be to chop all ingredients and boil them in water till it is cooked and then to temper it. We prefer the blent version because this makes it easy to drink as a soup.

And personally, I think it is the best soup to 'feed that cold and starve that fever'. The spices open up your blocked nose and help you breathe easier from the very first sip. (Whoever talks about chicken soup for the flu has never tried out Rasams). And because it has garlic and asafoetida, it can also be used a digestive aid. And if tomatoes are the main ingredient of your rasam then you also have the added benefit of taking lycopene which is a vital anti-oxidant that helps fight against cancerous cell formation.

So much for that humble looking soup. You will only drink your way to a healthy life.

  • 2 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 - 1 tsp pepper powder
  • dash of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped brown onion
  • 1 small green chilly (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp tamarind puree
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 - 3 pinch asafoetida
  • fresh coriander leaves, as required
To temper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
1. Blend all main ingredients except for water and asafoetida to a smooth paste. Pour into a saucepan and mix with water. Bring to boil. Add asafoetida and remove from flame. Add torn coriander leaves (since I prepared this rasam for Sadya, I didn't add this today).
2. To temper, heat oil in a wok. Splutter mustard seeds followed by curry leaves. Pour over Rasam.

Serve hot!

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