Rasam is one of the most vital dish in a South Indian menu. It is taken with cooked rice and any dry curry (of course pappads) as a side dish. Some even drink it as a soup. Rasam has a very simple recipe but as one wears the apron to make it, trust me its very difficult to get the same taste every time. The secret to a perfect rasam lies on the way tamarind juice gets cooked. Over-cooked rasam will taste sour.
There are “n” number of rasam varieties and I personally have tasted more than 10 at home. I can proudly call my mother as a “Rasam Expert”. The rasam she makes, has the perfect taste and every one in my family will agree to this.The magic behind her spicy rasam is her own “rasam podi”.
I still remember this scene in our kitchen.
It was the summer of 1997, I was sitting on the kitchen slab and was watching my mom make her “rasam podi”. I would enter the kitchen either to carry my huge snack box to the living room or to fetch water, other than that I used to feel that kitchen wasnt my domain. This was during my summer vacation and I was totally engrossed in hearing my mom’s childhood tales….her cooking experiences…the stories she heard from her grandmom… (that made me enter the kitchen he he). My mom lifted me and made me sit on the kitchen slab.As, I was passing her spices-dabbha (box) from the rack above my head, she kept telling me the significance of each spice she uses to make this podi and how medically important are they in our day-to-day living. I wasn’t really concentrating on her talk and was busy munching my fav “Kaju fry”. Years passed, n it was in 2007 when I was watching the movie “Mistress of Spices”, I was reminded of this incident. Immediately, I called up my mom and we had a chat about the movie and also about this rasam-podi-making story of 1997. She was surprised that I remembered it.
Ummmm!!!… small incidents in life are deeply etched in our hearts forever and one such incident to me was this.
Health Benefits of the Ingredients used in “Rasam Podi”
- Cumin seeds have digestive, stimulant and cooling properties. It is an excellent remedy for stomach disorders, flatulence, colic and diarrhoea.
- Pepper balls improve digestion and promote intestinal health.
- Toor dhal is rich in protein.
- Coriander seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals. It provides calcium, phosphorus, iron and some other vitamins such as vitamin B and vitamin C to the body. It is also used as a carminative. Coriander helps to prevent digestive disorders such as indigestion, flatulence and gas.
- Curry leaves are the rich source of Vitamin A. It controls the cholesterol level in the body and also prevents graying of the hair.
The post for today is one of my most favourite rasam : PINEAPPLE RASAM
Tangy Pineapple Rasam
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 lemon size tamarind
- 1-2 tsp chilli powder
- 2-4 tsp coriander powder
- 2-3 tsp rasam podi
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tbsp toor dhal
- 1/2 pineapple – cubed
- 1/4 bunch corainder leaves
- 1 tsp sugar
- Oil for cooking
- Pressure cook the toor dhal with more than a cup of water and finely mash them. It should be more watery in consistency.Keep aside.
- Keep 5-8 cubes of pineapples aside and grind the remaining into a fine paste. (Use minimum water)
- Prepare the tamarind juice and keep them aside.
- Heat oil in a kadai on a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. Let them splutter.Now add the tomatoes and cook them till the raw smell disappears, then add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder. Saute for about 5 min. Pour in the tamarind juice and cook on medium flame for 8-10min. Check for the taste, if the tamarind is raw let it cook for next 3-5min.
- Pour in the toor dhal and bring the whole mixture to boil. Finally add the pineapple paste, cubed ones and sprinkle the sugar.Add salt to taste.Garnish with finely chopped coriander.
- Serve this exotic pineapple rasam with potatoes fried in onion-garlic mix/ any spicy curry. You can also serve it as a soup with fried pepper pappads.