A south Indian specialty loaded with health benefitting properties comes in handy during these times. Yes! It is our very own soothing and delicious RASAM that comes to our rescue on day-3 of the No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series.
Rasam is one of the south Indian comfort foods and who wouldn’t like a piping hot rasam and papad combination. A simple yet delicious food which does lots of good for our tummy too! The heart-warming soup consists of tomatoes and tamarind for tanginess along with other spices like pepper, cumin, turmeric, asafoetida, chilies and curry leaves. This is an Andhra style rasam (or commonly called as chaaru in Andhra) recipe which is spicy as well as tangy too. I have used rasam powder for this recipe which can be store-bought or homemade.
Rasam is one of the most nutrient-dense foods. It aids in digestion and of course it prevents constipation. Apart from all these, rasam is rich in antioxidants and it is the POWERHOUSE of vitamins and minerals. Also, with all the news about having rasam and turmeric for initial prevention of the coronavirus (This is not a cure. Please do not interpret it that way!), don’t you think this is the perfect food?
So, let’s start making this delicious super food right away. Stay safe, stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating!
- 2 ripe tomatoes
For the spiced mix
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp whole black peppers
- 4 cloves garlic, with skin
- few coriander leaves
- 3-4 curry leaves
For the chaaru
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 green chili, slit
- a pinch of asafoetida
- 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp rasam powder
- salt, as per taste
- handful of coriander leaves
- Score a 1-inch size 'X' on the bottom of the tomato.
- Fill a sauce pan with water to fully immerse the tomatoes and bring it to a boil. Add the scored tomatoes to the sauce pan and let it blanch for 20 seconds. Immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice-cold water.
- Once the tomatoes are cooled down, peel the skin and chop them.
- Add the chopped tomatoes along with its juices to a mixer grinder. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt to it and grind it until smooth. Set aside.
To prepare the spiced mix
- Add pepper, cumin and garlic cloves to a mixer grinder and grind them to a coarse powder.
- To the pepper-cumin mixture, add the coriander and the curry leaves and pulse it for a few seconds. Set it aside.
To prepare the chaaru
- Heat a pan with oil.
- When the oil is hot, ass mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Let it splutter.
- Add the green chili.
- Add the spiced mix prepared earlier and saute it in the oil for half a minute.
- Add the tomato mixture to the pan and mix well. Add 3/4 cup of water to it.
- To the pan, add 1 tbsp tamarind pulp and mix well.
- Add the rasam powder and mix well. Now do a taste check for salt, spiciness and tanginess. Adjust accordingly.
- Let it boil for 2 minutes. Add coriander leaves, hing and switch off the stove.
- Serve hot tomato chaaru with steamed white rice and papads.
- The amount of spices taken can be altered as per taste.
- Instead of grinding the tomatoes, you can also add the chopped tomatoes directly though the flavor changes.
- The amount of water added can be adjusted as per liking. If you want a more tangy soup, then add less water or alternatively, you can also increase the amount of tamarind extract added.
- For the tamarind pulp. soak some tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes. Later squeeze the tamarind in the water and extract the pulp.