This recipe of Pineapple Rasam is quite an exotic one with the use of pineapple in it. Apart from pineapple, this spicy and sour Pineapple Rasam also has lentils, tomato and the choicest of spices. And it definitely can’t get better than this. The recipe adapted from my classic Rasam Recipe is completely vegan too.
Table of Contents
About Pineapple Rasam
Derived from the words ‘ras or rasa’, the word ‘rasam’ means juice, extract or essence. So, rasam primarily is a dish that is soup-like and made with a variety of ingredients that include veggies, lentils, spices, herbs, tamarind and even fruits. To understand and relate, rasam is spiced or spicy, tangy and having robust flavors with a similar consistency like that of a regular clear soup.
Rasam is a staple food in South India, where it is found in many variations as well. This dish is super nutritious, great for health and immune-boosting too. Drinking a bowl of hot rasam can instantly help to soothe a stubborn cold or cough. It also aids in digestion and is best had during chilly winters.
This Pineapple Rasam is a lovely variety of rasam that I make. As simple as it may sound, it does have complex flavors too which elevate the taste of the accompaniment that it is paired with.
This South Indian, spicy, sweet and sour soup-like dish rasam can be prepared in many ways. The key ingredient which imparts the tangy flavor to a rasam is tamarind. But in this Pineapple Rasam recipe, I have not used tamarind. This is because the pineapple and tomatoes lend their sourness to the dish.
The sweet tangy pineapple gives a nice fruity flavor to the rasam. This flavor blends well with the pungency of the spices and herbs that are added in this Pineapple Rasam recipe. Try this Pineapple Rasam and I’m sure that you will like it for its uniqueness.
Apart from this Pineapple Rasam, other versions of rasam that are popular throughout South India include Tomato Rasam, Pepper Rasam, Lemon Rasam, Paruppu Rasam and many more. The famous Rasam Powder (Rasam Podi)is a robust, aromatic spice blend that is used in the making of rasams.
How to make Pineapple Rasam
Cooking Lentils (Dal)
1. Cook ¼ cup tur dal (pigeon pea lentils or arhar dal) in a 2 litre pressure cooker with ¾ to 1 cup water and ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder on medium heat. Cook for 5 to 6 whistles or more till the lentils have softened completely.
Once the pressure cooking is complete, let the pressure fall naturally in the pressure cooking then only open the lid.
Tip 1: If cooking in a pan, then soak the lentils for one hour. Drain and then cook them with the required amount of water.
Tip 2: You can also use moong dal instead of tur dal or a mix of both the lentils.
2. Mash the cooked lentils very well with a spoon or wired whisk and set it aside.
3. In a mortar, take 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 5 to 6 medium-sized garlic cloves.
4. Crush coarsely with the pestle. Keep aside. You can also use a small spice-grinder to crush these spices.
5. Chop the pineapple into small cubes and keep them aside. You will need 1 cup of pineapple cubes or 140 grams of pineapple.
Note: Make sure that the pineapple is sweet with a touch of tanginess to them. Do not make this rasam with overly sweet pineapples or very sour and tangy pineapples.
6. Now add half of the chopped pineapple cubes in a grinder jar or small blender.
7. Blend to a smooth puree. Take this puree in a bowl and set aside.
8. To the same jar, add 1 medium-sized tomato, quartered or roughly chopped. You need about 75 grams of tomatoes.
9. Pulse the jar a couple of times to crush the tomatoes. You don’t need to make a puree. You can even crush the tomatoes with your hands.
Tempering and Making Pineapple Rasam
10. Heat 1.5 tablespoons oil in a pot or pan. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle. You can use any neutral flavored oil.
11. Now add the crushed coarse paste of garlic-pepper-cumin and 2 to 3 dried red chilies (broken and seeds removed). Simply mix and stir once on a low heat so that the spices do not get burnt.
12. Immediately add 6 to 7 curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida (hing).
13. Stir and then add crushed tomatoes.
14. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on a low to medium heat till the raw aroma of tomatoes goes away. You should also be able to see the oil leaving the sides of the pan.
15. Add the pineapple puree.
16. Stir and mix very well and sauté for 2 minutes.
17. Then, add the cooked and mashed lentils.
18. Next, add the remaining half of the chopped pineapple cubes. Stir to combine.
19. Add 1.5 cups water.
20. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons rasam powder. The addition of rasam powder is optional and you can skip it if you don’t have it.
21. Season with salt as per taste.
22. Mix very well and bring the rasam to a simmer on low to medium heat, without the lid for 8 to 9 minutes.
23. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve the Pineapple Rasam hot with steamed rice or as an appetizer soup.
The consistency of this Pineapple Rasam is thin and runny. So, you can consume it like a soup. In South Indian households, it is served with steamed rice, sambar and a side vegetable dish. Most of the times, even I serve it the same way.
Although sometimes I also like to have this Pineapple Rasam with idli or vada. The fried urad dal fritters or vada taste exceptionally good with this tangy and spiced rasam.
- Use lentils that is fresh and within its shelf life. Do not use aged dal as it takes a lot of time to cook and does not taste good.
- You can even use moong dal in place of tur dal or a mix of both the lentils.
- Traditionally, a Tamil Nadu style rasam is made with gingelly oil, which is a wood pressed oil extracted from raw sesame seeds. Other than this, sunflower oil, peanut oil or any neutral oil also works well.
- While sautéing the coarse paste, make sure to keep the heat to low so that the spices don’t get burnt.
- You can skip the use of rasam powder if you don’t have it.
- To make the rasam spicier and more robust, you can increase the amount of black pepper.
- Make this rasam gluten-free by skipping asafoetida or using gluten-free asafoetida.
- This rasam tastes best when it is served as soon as it is made. If you plan to store, then refrigerate for a few hours only. While serving, simply reheat the rasam in a small pot or pan until warm or lightly hot.
There is no need of adding tamarind as a souring agent in this rasam as the sour taste comes from the pineapple and tomatoes.
Yes, you can. But I would recommend using it as it gives a really good flavor to the rasam.
I would not suggest freezing rasam as the taste and flavor changes when you refrigerate rasam for a day or freeze it. Rasam is best had as soon as it is made.
Yes, it is healthy and immune boosting. It is made with a mix of herbs and spices that help in relieving cold and aid digestion as well.
This rasam stays good for a few hours in the refrigerator.
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for cooking dal
- ¼ cup pigeon pea lentils (tur dal or arhar dal)
- ¾ to 1 cup water for pressure cooking dal
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- 1 cup chopped pineapple – 140 grams
- 1 tomato medium-sized, 75 grams
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 to 2 teaspoon Rasam Powder (optional)
- salt as required
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves – for garnish
to be crushed coarsely
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 5 to 6 garlic cloves – medium-sized, optional
for tempering pineapple rasam
- 1.5 tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 to 3 dried red chilies – broken and seeds removed
- 8 to 10 curry leaves or 1 sprig curry leaf
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- Rinse the lentils a few times in water. Then transfer them to a 2 litre pressure cooker. Add ¾ to 1 cup water and turmeric powder. Pressure cook on medium heat for for 5 to 6 whistles or till the lentils have completely softened. If cooking in a pan, then soak the lentils for one hour. Drain all the water. Cook the lentils in a pan or pot adding required amount of water.
- After the pressure cooking is complete, open the lid only after the pressure falls naturally in the cooker.
- Once cooked and softened, mash the lentils very well with a spoon or wired whisk and keep it aside.
- In a mortar, take the cumin seeds, black pepper and garlic cloves.
- Crush coarsely with the pestle. Set aside. You can also use a small spice grinder to crush these spices.
- Chop pineapple into small cubes and set aside. You will need 1 cup of pineapple cubes.
- Add half of the chopped pineapple cubes in a grinder jar or small blender.
- Blend to a smooth puree. Take this puree in a bowl and keep aside.
- To the same jar, add the roughly chopped tomato.
- Pulse the jar a couple of times to crush the tomatoes. You don't need to make a puree. You can even crush the tomatoes with your hands.
Tempering and making pineapple rasam
- Heat oil in a pot or pan and keep the flame to a low. Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle.
- Now, add the coarsely crushed paste of garlic-black pepper-cumin and dried red chilies. Simply mix and stir once on a low heat so that the spices do not get burnt.
- Quickly add the curry leaves and asafoetida.
- Mix again and then add crushed tomatoes.
- Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on a low to medium heat till the raw aroma of tomatoes goes away. You should also be able to see oil leaving the sides of the tomato and spices mixture.
- Add the pineapple puree. Stir and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Then add the cooked and mashed lentils. Next, add the remaining half of the chopped pineapple cubes. Stir and mix again. Add 1.5 cups water.
- Add rasam powder. This is optional. You can skip if you don't have rasam powder.
- Season with salt as per taste. Stir very well and bring the rasam to a simmer on low to medium heat, without the lid for 8 to 9 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve Pineapple Rasam hot with steamed rice or as an appetizer soup.
- You can also use moong dal instead of tur dal or a mix of both the lentils.
- Make sure to make the rasam with pineapples that are sweet with a touch of tang. Do not make the rasam with pineapple that are very sweet or pineapples that are overly sour or unripe.
- To make the dish gluten-free, skip adding asafoetida or use gluten free asafoetida.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Pineapple Rasam post from the blog archives first published in November 2015 has been republished and updated on 21 April 2022.