Rasam / Spicy Soup
Rasam, chaaru, saaru or kabir is a South Indian soup traditionally prepared using tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, chili pepper, pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings. Steamed lentils can be added along with any preferred vegetables.
Hi friends ! Rasam is a thin, very spicy southern Indian soup served with other dishes, typically as a drink. In this recipe I have made Rasam with lentil and tomatoes.
- 1/4 cup Pigeon pea lentil / toor dal
- 4 small tomatoes / 1 cup cut tomatoes
- 4 cups water
- 1 small marble size tamarind
- 1 tsp level Salt/ or to tasteRasam powder / Rasam powder:
2 tsp Rasam powder, I used MTR Rasam powder
- 1tsp peppercorns / or to taste
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seed / jeera
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp Cilantro / coriander leaves, finely chopped
Soak the tamarind in hot water for ten minutes and extract the pulp.
In a pressure cooker take cleaned and washed Pigeon pea lentil / toor dal , add chopped tomatoes and tamarind extract , two cups of water, and salt. Place the cooker on high flame, when full pressure is formed reduce to low flame for fifteen minutes.
Let the pressure cooker cool down to room temperature, open the lid. Remove the cooked contents in a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Remove in a mixing bowl and keep aside.
If preparing Rasam powder , roast lightly peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red chili powder, cool and grind into fine powder. Keep aside.
In a sauce pan heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seed / jeera, when it crackles,
add the curry leaves, and crushed garlic. Sauté for few seconds.
Add the cooked dal and tomato water to t the seasoning add Rasam powder. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and let it boil for 7-8 minutes on a low flame. Add finely chopped Cilantro /coriander leaves, serve hot with south Indian papadams.
- All the ingredients required for home made Rasam powder are combined and ground beforehand into rasam powder and can be stored .
- Nowadays, Rasam powder which is available commercially are good and time savers.
- Rasam can be served with rice in a traditional meal . It is served with a sambar, fried vegetables, rice course and is followed by curd rice or separately as a spicy soup.
- Rasam is both, delicious and healthy. Include it in your diet for many health benefits.
Health benefits of rasam:
The benefits of rasam come from its major ingredients – tamarind, tomato, and black pepper.
- Prevents constipation
Rasam contains tamarind that is rich in dietary fibre or non-starch polysaccharides, such as mucilage, pectin, hemicellulose, tannin and gums. It adds bulk to food and eases bowel movement. Thus, easing constipation.
- Has antioxidative action
The ingredients in rasam, especially tamarind, are rich in antioxidants. Thus, it protects the body against attack of free radicals. The skin remains young, supple, and healthy.
- Good for convalescing patients
The nutritious properties of rasam and its fluid consistency make it an ideal food for convalescing patients. By adding lentils and vegetables, the protein and nutrient value of rasam can be increased.
- Good for pregnant women
Pregnant women will also find rasam to be a good meal that will give them essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and proteins. It is also easy to digest and keeps the intestines working properly.
- Good for introducing baby to solid food
Babies can be introduced to rasam as their first solid food because it is easily digestible as well as tasty. Semi-solid food is the best type of food for a baby who has recently been weaned off mother’s milk.
- Rich in vitamins
Rasam is rich in essential vitamins such as thiamin, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, and riboflavin. Some of these vitamins act as antioxidants as well, keeping the body healthy.
- Contains a wealth of minerals
Being a fairly good source of minerals, rasam is an ideal food for people to include in a balanced diet. Potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, copper and magnesium are the minerals provided by a serving of this delicious food.
- Helps lose weight
The black pepper content of rasam is what helps the body lose weight. It promotes removal of toxins by making the body sweat and produce more urine. Thus, the body’s metabolism is kept working properly.
- Helps keep cancer at bay
Regular consumption of rasam may help keep cancer away. Black pepper present in rasam contains a substance called piperine. This substance has been found to have an inhibitory effect on cancerous cells, along with curcumin found in turmeric.
- Encourages digestion
Rasam plays the primary role of promoting digestion. Its black pepper content ensures that the stomach is signaled to produce more acid. This helps digest food, such as proteins better, and prevents flatulence, indigestion, gas, constipation, acidity and diarrhea.
Making healthy meals does not have to be time-consuming or unpalatable. Rasam is one of the best foods to be eaten when planning a balanced meal. Partake of this dish and revel in its delicious taste!
Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:
- Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
- Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
- Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
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