- Submitted by Dahlia on 10th Feb 2008
(Spicy Rasam, Chaaru, Saaru, Kabir, Tomato Rasam, Pepper Rasam, South Indian Soup)
Rasam is a south Indian curry/soup usually had with rice. It is made with tamarind, tomatoes, pepper, cumin, garlic, lentils etc. It is called saaru or chaaru in Telugu and Kannada. In the traditional 3 course south Indian meal, it is usually had as a second course with sambhar being the first course and curd being the grand finale.
There are many different types of rasam based on the ingredients used. But the basic recipe remains the same, the recipe that is given below. The additional ingredient is added to the basic rasam to enhance and change its flavor. Some of the variations of south indian rasam recipes that I am familiar with are :-
Types of Rasam
- Basic Rasam (See Recipe Below)
- Poodu (garlic) Rasam,
- Pineapple Rasam,
- Mango Rasam,
- Milagu (Pepper) Rasam/ Milagu Saaru,
- Neem Leaf Rasam,
- Neam Flower Rasam,
- Ginger Rasam,
- Lemon Rasam - sourness comes from lemon juice instead of tamarind juice,
- Paruppu Rasam/ Pappu Saaru - made with lentils,
- Chettinadu Kozhi (Chicken) Saaru/ Rasam- made with chicken broth/stock instead of water,
- Tomato Rasam/ Saaru - with tomato puree as main ingredient,
- Mysore Rasam- a fragrant soup made with fried grams/dals,
- Jeerige saaru - made with cumin,
- Coconut Rasam,
- Carrot Rasam - Boiled and crushed carrot is added to the rasam,
- Beetroot Rasam - Boiled and crushed beetroot is added to the rasam etc.
Recipe For Basic Rasam
- Tamarind- lime sized
- Tomato - 1 (finely chopped or crushed)
- Green Chilly - 1
- Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
- Water - 3 cups
- Salt - to taste
- Oil - 2 tbsp
- Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves - 7 leaves
- Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp
- Coriander leaves (cilantro) – handful (chopped)
Rasam Powder (Masala) Ingredients
Black Peppercorns - 3 tsp
- Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
- Coriander Seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Toor Dal - 1 tsp
- Red Chilly - 1 or 2
- Garlic - 3-4 cloves (crushed)
- Curry leaves - few
Coarsely grind all the items under ‘rasam powder ingredients’. I prefer to add the garlic while making this rasam powder. Some people crush and add the garlic separately.
- Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of warm water for 5 minutes to extract the tamarind juice.
- Heat little oil in a pan and pop the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- Add the rasam masala, crushed green chilly and chopped tomato.
- Let it cook for couple of minutes until the tomatoes become soft and juicy. A nice aroma of the roasted spices will come.
- Now add tamarind juice, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt, finely chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and about 3 cups of water.
- When the rasam is about to boil, you will see it foaming. Switch it off at this stage before it comes to a full boil.
- Transfer to a serving dish and keep it covered with a lid to retain its aroma until you are ready to serve.
- Plain white rice with rasam and paapad is an excellent combination. It can be served with some simple poriyal or vegetable fry or some non veg dry preparations. You can also serve it as a warm soup.
More Tamarind Based Curries