Rasam is a comfort food and can be categorized as a soup or an entree, of a typical South Indian Meals menu. An incredibly popular dish (in fact, sharing this recipe on reader requests). It never ceases to fascinates me, that Rasam is common, standard, routine, ordinary yet so very amazing at the same time!
Puli Rasam | Tamarind Rasam is a healthy appetizer soup which is sour, tangy, peppery, delicious, fragrant, warm, soothing, cosy, zingy experience – all at the same time!
Prep time : 10 mins; Cooking time : 20 mins; Serves : 4-6
- Red Gram Lentil | Toovar Dal – 1/2 cup
- Water – 5 cups
- Tomatoes (local country / wine ripe variety) – 3 or Cherry tomatoes (lend a hint of sweet taste) – 9 -15
- Whole Tamarind without seeds – a small gooseberry sized ball
- Garlic (optional, if one is observing a fast otherwise, highly recommended) – 1 whole bulb
- Sambar Podi | Powder – 1 tsp
- Rasam Podi | Powder – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida | Hing – a pinch
- Ghee | Sesame Oil – 1 tsp
- Rock Salt – to taste
- Coriander leaves – 3 sprigs
- Curry leaves – 7 – 9
1. Wash and rinse the lentils and pressure cook them really soft with about 1 1/2 cups of water upto 4 whistles. Roughly mash them with the back of a ladle and set aside.
2. Soak the tamarind in 1 1/2 cups of hot water for 15 mins, Squeeze the tamarind well, discard the pulp and strain out the tamarind juice.Chop the tomatoes into 1/2 inch squares, if they are cherry tomatoes, keep them whole. Peel the garlic cloves and mince them into fine pieces. Add the tomatoes, garlic and Sambar Podi | Powder to the tamarind water and cook on low flame for about 9 -10 mins.
3. Once the raw smell of the tamarind, Sambar Podi | Powder go away and also the tomatoes soften, add the mashed lentils, salt and 2 cups of water and boil for another 9 – 10 mins.
4. Add Rasam Podi | Powder to the broth and cook till the distinct aroma of the Rasam podi | Powder fills the kitchen, about 5 mins, till you see a layer of froth as you boil the lentils. Switch off the heat.
6. Heat Ghee / Sesame oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and Hing. After it splutters, temper the Rasam with it.
7. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves. (yes, yet again – since these leaves grow easily in our tropical climate and are available fresh throughout the year, they make their appearance, in most Indian dishes)
Goddu Rasam | Dhidir Rasam | Instant Rasam
To prepare Goddu Rasam, skip the Red gram Lentil | Toovar Dal and follow the above recipe. This variation of Puli rasam | Tamarind Rasam is also called ‘Dhidir Rasam’ meaning Instant Rasam in some households, as it is quick to prepare. This warm soup, light to digest, is welcome during monsoons or invariably when a family member, might be convalescing due to change of weather.
Piping hot Puli Rasam | Tamarind Rasam can be had along with rice or as an appetizer soup. Bon appetite!