June 16, 2011

Rasam — Hot and Sour Vegan Soup

Rasam is synonymous with soup. Sassy, clear soup. A South Indian staple.

Pleasantly light, fabulously sour and delightfully spicy. With full flavors of—sweet, sour, salty, spicy—in every bite. Ahhh, bliss!

Besides, a glass of rasam is a surefire way to boost your health and spirits whenever you are under the weather. Oh yeah. The punchy flavors are good for whatever ails you, and -- equally good for digestion, too.



This lip-smacking recipe is flavored with tomatoes, lime juice and tamarind, imparting a powerful kick. Spices like pungent asafetida, hot red chilies, aromatic turmeric and coriander are added for a striking flavor, whereas, salt softens the bite of tamarind and tempers the heat of spices. Seasoning with mustard, cumin and curry leaves transports this dish to a new level with its compelling savory fragrance. In a nutshell, rasam is a much lighter and diluted version of sambar, yet with a distinct and more appealing flavor. A truly comfort food.

Enough. Let me stop this inarticulate babble and dive into the recipe.
 
Rasam — Hot and sour vegan soup

Ingredients

¼ cup pigeon peas or split yellow lentils (toor dhal), rinsed
7 cups water, or more per preference
3 large tomatoes, pureed
½ teaspoon asafetida
½ teaspoon pepper powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
4 dry red chili, broken into two
2 sprig curry leaves
2 small shallots, crushed
6 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger, crushed
¼ cup coriander leaves
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
lime size tamarind, soaked in 1 cup warm water for 15 minutes and strained
juice of ½ lime, or to taste
salt, to taste
2 tablespoon oil, or ghee (use coconut oil for authentic taste)
½ tablespoon powdered jaggery, or to taste
 
Directions

Puree tomatoes in a blender or food processor; set aside. Crush ginger, garlic ans shallots using a mortar and pestle.

Cook dhal in 4 cups water until very soft and mushy; then give it a quick pulse in a blender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoon oil in a large deep pan over medium-low heat. Add mustards and cumin and fry till they splutter, about 30 seconds. Tip in curry leaves, red chili and few coriander leaves and toss for 5 seconds. Add ginger, garlic and shallots and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Now add all the powders -- asafetida, pepper, turmeric, coriander -- and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in tomato puree and tamarind water and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour in mashed dhal, season, and cook for 6 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and dilute the soup by adding 3-4 cups of water, depending on how thick/thin you prefer it. Keep in mind that the flavors are punchy enough to be served very thin and still enjoyed in each sip.

Drizzle with the lime juice, tip in the jaggery, scatter with the remaining coriander leaves, and then simmer for 10 more minutes, until it starts to froth. Finally, taste and season with salt and a touch more lime juice, if you like.

Serve hot. Make sure to give a quick stir before ladling into glasses, as the spices tend to settle to the bottom.

Enjoy sips of rasam straight from the glass, or with steamed rice, if you like. Whatever, it’s very comforting and you’ll want seconds.
Bon appétit and happy weekend everyone!

70 comments:

  1. i love rasam...esp after something heavy or jlt....very well presented....u 2 havea nice weekend

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  2. Aiyyooooo! I am drooling all over the keyboard *slurp* . you have wonderful weekend too :) .

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  3. Nice spicy rasam, loved that authentic spice grinder.

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  4. OOOppss its rasam an all time fav!!OMG it cannot be presented better than this!!!

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  5. The pictures are amazing. Sounds yummy with all these lovely flavors going in there!

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  6. lovely .. u really take time ...!!!

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  7. a lovely tribute to rasam--- looks delightful & very very yumm !!

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  8. I have never made a sweet and sour soup, but simply must! Looks wonderful.

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  9. Tangy yummy rasam:-)Awesome clicks..

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  10. Makes me yearn for a bowl right now.

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  11. wonderful photographs! amazing post! love it

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  12. This is totally divine. This is what I am searching for. Never tried at home. But will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing. Wonderful clicks!

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  13. Gr8 pics as ever. Love the pot!

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  14. Comforting rasam, i can survive for many days with this wonderful soup..beautiful clicks as ever..

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  15. oh rasam looks really really yummy..........biriyaninte oppum rasam........atha ippo ente style............

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  16. To me rasam has never looked so beautiful. I loved the way you have presented the rasam.

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  17. ho spicy rasam ... makes me hunger :) wonderful presentation and looks awesome :)

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  18. Yummy yummy rasam..looks fabulous,lovely presentation and great pic as always dear.

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  19. i love rasam but rarely make it..even if i do i make it with a ready mix.. sacrilege i know hehe :)..that jug looks so darn cute

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  20. i love rasam and you have done a delicious job feel like having some now :)

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  21. Beautiful clicks kto Nashira :)...a M& P enikku othiri ishatppettu..
    Superb!!

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  22. Rasam is a fav here too....Kidillan pics....

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  23. Rasam .. my all time favorite comfort food. Lovely pictures and I like the pot too :)

    Vardhini
    Event: Dish it Out - Spinach and Garlic
    Event: Healthy Lunchbox Ideas - Broccoli

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  24. I've never made rasam at home and only had once at by friends house..will follow ur recipe and try this dish on the weekend..thanks for sharing! Again loved the clicks!!

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  25. Delicious rasam with a presentation like that will disappear in no time.Good weekend to you.

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  26. Lovely presentation and fantastic clicks !! Luv the rasam :)

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  27. Tempting clicks and wonderful rasam!

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  28. Very tasty and tangy looking rasam dear. Excellent preparation.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  29. Wow! wht a comforting drink. would love to have it any time.. Awesome click I must say..

    Sunanda's Kitchen

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  30. Rasam is my every day food but didn't know it can look this beautiful until I saw your clicks. Super delicious.

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  31. sure a tasty soup or rasam..liked ur recipe a lot..that jug is very cute..

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  32. Rasam looks so delicious.. very beautiful picture..

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  33. I love rasam and in a hot afternoon with some rice too! I have always enjoyed rasam but never made it at home :) Your clicks are just gorgeous and that white balance is so perfect. Please give me some gyan on how to work on reducing those shadows!

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  34. The Rasam is very appealing in the photos. Nice porcelain jug and brass mortar and pestle.
    Thanks to your prose I can almost taste this tangy soup.

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  35. whoooooooooooo...adipoli clicks, all I need is hot rice to enjoy this yummy, tangy rasam..sherikum kothiyaunuttooo..

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  36. This is really yummy .. I made this too..pictures adipoli aato

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  37. Believe it or not I never had rasam but I always wanted to make it. Hubby keeps raving about the rasam he used to eat at some restuarant when he was in Banglore ~ have been looking for a good recipe forever! Your rasam looks so spicy n flavorful will look forward to try it.
    P.S. I LOVED your morter n pestle :)
    US Masala

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  38. superb! Never seen such gorgeous rasam before!!!! Have to hand it to you to make anything look awesomely beautiful and mouth-watering... Rasam is one of my favourite things to have during the monsoons :) Which reminds me to make some :)

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  39. Absolutely stunning clicks...and rasam looks very comforting

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  40. Wonderful clicks! I too agree with sarah,never seen so gorgeous click of the rasam b4 so far!

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  41. Lovely clicks, my comfort food with rice ...perfect!

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  42. At home we too love rasams anytime...esp on a cold rainy day!!!! Ur clicks so appealing & lip smacking...Wanna grab that pitcher & savor it!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  43. absolutely inviting...loved ur version..:P

    Tasty Appetite

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  44. A magnificent soup! I love hot and sour food. Yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  45. You make everything looks superb dear...I really suck in taking d fotos of rasam..:)
    rasam looks sooperb n delicious..:)

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  46. Yumm.. I am all set with a plate of rice :D hihi Looks delicious

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  47. looks delicious dear..very tempting..love it..

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  48. Looks too good. Rasam is perfect for the kind of whether we have in Kerala. Love all the spices that go into it.
    Loved the 6th and 7th photos the most.
    I have shared a few awards with you. Kindly accept this from my blog. Thanks

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  49. Amazing flavors! It must taste wonderful:)

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  50. Always such interesting recipes and breathtaking photos.

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  51. First time here....
    rasam looks perfect dear...
    nice presentation with gr8 clicks

    U have a wonderful space, glad to follow u :)

    Visit my space when u find time.

    ArunaManikandan
    http://ensamayalkuripugal.blogspot.com

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  52. First of all your mortar and pestle looks amazing. My fav rasam. Loved the flavours. You make everything perfect dear.

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  53. I love rasam. Your recipe sounds wonderful. Will try your version next time. The clicks are amazing as usual..

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  54. Thanks a ton everyone for your ever sweet comments! You are the best!!

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  55. u have a lovely blog dear..thanks for following me....happyil i will be your follower...u.a.eyil iam from u.a.q..........do vist my my blog...

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  56. This looks great and is on my must-make list. Thanks for sending it to House Favorites!

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  57. Have shared few awards with you, please accept the same.Thanks!!

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  58. wonderful pictures - this looks great!

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  59. Next time I throw one of my famous Indian feasts, this will definitely be on the menu! I love that it's really light but flavorful. Thanks for posting.

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  60. Hi there, the June wrap-up of House Favorites is up. Thanks again for your entry!

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  61. This looks so good I want to try it!

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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  62. Thanks so much Beena, Claire, Suman, Simply Life, Cathy and Lisa!

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  68. Brilliant photographs! wow....lovely n delicious .it tastes yummy too!
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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi