Beetroot rasam is a spicy, tangy and delicious variety. Unlike regular rasam recipe, beetroot rasam has light sweet tones of the beetroot blending beautifully with the sour and spicy taste of tamarind, black pepper and dry red chilies.
Rinse, peel and then chop 1 medium or 2 small beetroot in small cubes. You will need ½ cup heaped beetroot cubes. Take them in a bowl. Also add ¼ cup water in the bowl.
The beetroot cubes need to be steamed. So you can steam them with rice or dal or alone in a cooker or steamer. i have pressure cooked and steamed beetroot with rice.
For steaming in a pressure cooker, take 1.5 cups water in a pressure cooker. Place the bowl or pan with the beetroot in the cooker.
Pressure cook on medium flame for 5 to 6 whistles or for about 8 minutes.
When the pressure settles down on its own, remove the lid and keep the steamed beetroot outside.
Do not discard the water which is there in the bowl. Let it be in the bowl. Let the steamed beetroot cubes become warm or cool at room temperature.
Meanwhile take 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon coriander seeds and 1 dry red chilli in a spice grinder or a grinder jar.
Grind to a semi fine powder. Remove the powder and keep aside.
making beetroot puree
In the same grinder jar, add the beetroots along with the cooked water which is there in the bowl.
Also add 1 tablespoon tamarind. Do make sure that there is no seed in the tamarind.
Grind everything to a smooth puree. There should be no fine chunks or pieces of beetroot in the puree.
making beetroot rasam
Heat 1 tablespoon oil. Keep the flame to a low and add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle. The oil to be preferably used is sesame oil (gingelly oil). Though you can use peanut or sunflower oil also.
When the mustard seeds crackle, then add 1 dry red chili (halved and seeds removed), 9 to 10 curry leaves (chopped) and 1 generous pinch asafoetida (hing).
Stir and fry for a few seconds on low flame till the red chilies change color and the curry leaves become crisp.
Now add the ground spice powder.
Mix and fry on a low flame for a couple of seconds till the spices get aromatic. Keep the flame to its lowest, so that the spices do not get burnt.
Add the beetroot and tamarind puree. mix well.
Now add 2 cups water. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder. Season with salt as per taste.
Mix and simmer the rasam on a medium-low to medium flame for 7 to 8 minutes. By this time the rawness of the tamarind will also go away.
Simmer till you see some froth on the top. Do not over boil.
Lastly switch off the flame and then add 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves.
Serve beetroot rasam hot with steamed rice.
You can also have it as a soup or starter before south indian meals.