a tamarind rasam post for the monsoons. its raining and raining here. so all that i make these days are some hearty soups, comforting dals, spicy starters, steaming pakoras and tangy rasams.
rasam is a south indian variation of soup. usually thin in consistency its either had plain or can be had with rice. very good for coughs, colds and fever. there are many types of rasam that are made like tomato rasam, dal rasam, pepper cumin rasam, tamarind rasam, garlic rasam and so on.
this tamarind rasam is sour and spicy. a variation of my mom’s tamarind rasam recipe. the sourness comes from the tamarind and the spiciness & heat comes from the spices that are used in making rasam – mainly black pepper, cumin, garlic and red chilies. you don’t need to have ready rasam powder to make this recipe.
rasam should not be overcooked so that the flavors from the spices don’t get lost. generally, rasam is served with rice and sambar combination. you can also serve it plain with rice and a side vegetable dish. it can also be had as a soup.
adding tomatoes to the rasam is optional and you can skip that. since i do like the flavor of tomatoes i have added it. also while grinding, if you want you can add some coriander stems with leaves. i have skipped adding them and added coriander leaves later as a garnish.
you can either temper the rasam before or after. in this recipe i have tempered before and then simmered the rasam.
tamarind rasam recipe below:
- 1 lemon sized tamarind soaked in 1 cup water for 30-40 minutes (imli)
- 1 medium sized tomato (tamatar)
- 3 or 3.5 cups water
- ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves (dhania patta)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- salt as required
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (sabut kali mirch)
- 1 or 1.5 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 4-5 garlic cloves (lahsun)
- 3-4 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch)
- 2 to 3 strands of coriander leaves with the stems (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon black mustard seeds (rai)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) - optional
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder (hing)
- 10-12 curry leaves (kadi patta)
- soak the tamarind in 1 cup water for 30-40 minutes.
- squeeze the pulp from the soaked tamarind with your hands in the water. keep aside.
- crush the tomatoes with your hands and add this to the tamarind pulp.
- you can also chop the tomatoes, if you prefer.
- make a semi coarse mixture n a dry grinder or in a mortar-pestle with the ingredients mentioned under rasam powder.
- heat oil in a pan. first fry the mustard seeds till they pop.
- add cumin and fry till they are browned.
- add curry leaves and asafoetida. fry for some seconds. you can also add garlic in the tempering and then no need to make a semi coarse mixture of it with the rest of the ingredients.
- add the tamarind pulp - crushed tomatoes mixture.
- add the ground semi coarse rasam powder.
- stir and then add about 3 cups water. season with salt.
- bring to one boil and then simmer for 5-6 minutes.
- lastly add chopped coriander leaves and give a stir.
- serve tamarind rasam hot.
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