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Rasam recipe
By : Sify Bawarchi
Category : Vegetables, Tamilnadu, South Indian lunches
Servings : 4
Time Taken : 15-30 mins
Rating :
Method
Sour, tangy, tingling in your mouth, healthy and light rasam - a favorite appetizer - forms an important part of meal.

There are several ways to prepare rasam - Tomato rasam, lentil rasam, tamarind rasam and the list goes on. An interesting aspect about rasam is if you add one dominating ingredient, that`s what your rasam would become. For example, even though pepper is used in rasam, if you increase its quantity a notch it becomes pepper rasam, if you increase or add tomato it`d be tomato rasam.

Rasam`s health benefits are widespread - it`s no more served as a only a part of a south Indian meal. It`s found its way into fine dining restaurants as soup.

Most of the South Indian households serve rasam and rice with a side dish, It`s refreshingly light and helps with digestion. What`s important about rasam is there has to be at least one dominating element that brings the sour taste or adds acidity to the concoction.

Pre-preparation:
1) Soak ping pong ball sized tamarind in a cup of water for 15-20 minutes. If you like the rasam more sour increase the quantity of tamarind.

Preparation:

  1. In a blending jar add tomato, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, onion, pepper corn, coriander, and grind to a paste. Keep aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom wok heat oil and ghee.
  3. Temper mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, chopped shallots, dry red chilies, and asafoetida in the heated oil till you get the aroma of the condiments. Add the seasoning ingredients. Ensure the heat is completely reduced before you add the seasoning ingredients else you might burn the spices.
  4. Add the ground paste to the saut´┐Żed spices and give a quick stir.
  5. Now take the tamarind pulp and add it to the mixture in the wok. To get more out of the tamarind add more water and squeeze out the pulp with your hand. Strain and pour in the wok.
  6. Let it boil.
  7. Once the rasam comes to boil reduce heat and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes on low heat.

Note:
1) If you increase the quantity of tomato and reduce tamarind or completely omit it, the recipe would be a tomato rasam.
2) Sugar is used to enhance the flavour and cuts the acidity or the sour taste of the rasam making it tangy and nice to eat. Sugar can be substituted a small portion of jaggery. Honey would not be the best bet here.
3) Most of the times, just coriander leaves are used and the stem is thrown away. Most of the flavour lies in the stem and with rasam, stem certainly adds more to the taste as well as aroma. You could add the stem while grinding the condiments and reserve the leaves for garnishing.

Ingredients:
Cumin seed- 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1/8 tsp
Pepper corn- 7-8
Tomato- 1 ( small)
Onion- 1/2 (roughly diced)
garlic- 6-7
Ghee- 1 tbsp
Oil- 1 tbsp
Tamarind pulp- 1/2 - 1 cup
Coriander, a handful

Tempering:
Mustard seed- 1 tsp
dry red chilly- 3-4
Asafoetida- 1/4 tsp
Cumin- 1/4 tsp
shallot- 2-3 chopped (optional)
Water- 1 liter

Seasoning:
Pepper powder- 1 tsp
Salt- according to taste
Red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp

Garnish:
Coriander, finely chopped

Accompaniments:
Steamed rice and appalam
Steamed rice and egg chutney
Steamed rice and sauteed raw banana
Beef pepper fry
Lamb roast

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