My 296th recipe, “Tomato Rasam”, another easy and super flavorful recipe from my kitchen. A healthy and versatile recipe which can be either served as a warm soup or had along with steamed white rice to wrap up a delicious South Indian meal.
The Parmesan cauliflower bites which I made a couple of days back are truly an amazing appetizer. They were so crisp and flavorful that, I almost completed 3 of the 4 servings I made with a whole head of cauliflower. Then there was the cheesy pizza from Red Baron. Enjoyed them both for lunch and dinner and completed in a day. After a heavy treat, I wanted to make a lighter fare for lunch , which would be soothing on the tummy. I could not think of anything better than a hot bowl of tomato rasam.
Rasam is a classic dish served along with every meal in South India. A typical South Indian meal comprises of white rice, vegetables on the side and a bowl of sambar / kara kuzhambu to have with the rice. Then to wrap up the meal, usually, rasam is had along with white rice. With the addition of spices like jeera, asafoetida, pepper and lots of coriander leaf, it is known to aid with digestion. Though you eat a heavy meal, the rasam rice at the end would help to settle down your tummy. That is the very reason why rasam doubles up as a good option for a soup too. A small bowl of rasam before the meal is a perfect way to kindle hunger and helps you enjoy every bit of your meal which follows.
For the known benefits of rasam, I make it frequently at home. However, I usually make my Easy Rasam version. While I have not personally seen any difference, but RK keeps asking to use less tamarind in cooking. He says that consuming lots of tamarind on a daily basis, would thicken the blood and not so good for your body. Hence now-n-then I make a version of rasam which is low in tamarind, yet with the same flavor and taste of a traditional rasam.
Tomato is one of my favorite fruit/veggie. I love picking up the pieces of tomato when my mom made gravies with it like sambar. Hence this tomato rasam is a favorite of mine for being loaded with tomatoes. RK is not so fond of tomatoes, still he said this tomato rasam was so flavorful and he likes it better than the regular one I make. In this tomato rasam, the tanginess and freshness from the tomatoes perfectly compliments with the aroma and spiciness from the other ingredients. You can just add this rasam to a bowl of slightly mashed white rice and when you have the first spoonful, it would taste so heavenly that, you would not even ask for a side dish 🙂
- Tomato - 2 + 1 large
- Tamarind - 1 small pinch
- Water - 3 Cups
- Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp (adjust per taste)
- Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
- Coriander leaves - 6 sprigs (leaves + stem)
- Garlic - 3
- Pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Jeera - 1/2 tsp
- Oil - 2 tsp
- Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
- Broken urad dal - 1/4 tsp
- Jeera - 1/4 tsp
- Dry red chilli - 2
- Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
- Green chilli - 2
- Curry leaves - 1 sprig
- First, mark the skin of 2 tomatoes and boil it in water for about 3 mins. Immediately remove the tomato from the hot water and immerse it in cold water. The skin of the tomato will loosen. Peel the skin of the tomatoes, mash them into a puree and keep aside.
- Meanwhile, soak the tamarind in about 1/2 cup of warm water for about 10 mins. Prepare a thick tamarind extract.
- Now grind roughly all the ingredients listed under "To Grind", using mortar and pestle / mixie. Keep it aside.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tamarind extract, ground mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the turmeric powder, salt, asafoetida, coriander leaves and remaining 2 1/2 cups of water. Mix well by crushing the cilantro sprigs into the extract. This way helps you to get the flavors infused into rasam. Keep aside.
- Also, chop the 1 remaining tomato and keep aside. Then, heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the remaining ingredients listed under "To temper" and saute. Once the broken urad dal starts changing color, add the chopped tomato and saute until the liquid evaporates. The tomato should not turn mushy.
- Now, pour the prepared extract mixture to the pan. Within few minutes there will be a froth/bubbles formation on the top and the rasam will just start to boil. Turn off the flame immediately and transfer to the serving bowl.
- Enjoy warm with steamed rice.
- - Add cilantro along with its stems instead of just adding the leaves alone. It will give extra flavor to the rasam.
- - Rasam should not be left to boil. Rasam would not taste good if it boils. So transfer to serving bowl immediately once it starts to boil.
- - If you are using naatu thakkali (Country Tomato), as we call it in Tamil Nadu, you may skip the small pinch of tamarind. The naatu thakkali is tangier than other tomatoes.