If I had to pick only one soup to eat for the rest of my life, it would be rasam. Rasam is a beautiful menagerie of healthy and delightful spices that come together to produce a soul-lifting soup. Curry leaves, roasted spices, tamarind water, and dry red chilies permeate a steamy, hot liquid that dances on the taste buds in your mouth. Rasam is an important part of south Indian cuisine that serves as a celebratory dish, a health-reviving elixir, and an everyday staple. Today, I’ll share an easy Kerala style rasam recipe that is one of the tastiest versions of rasam.
What Is Kerala Rasam?
Whether you are nursing a cold or stimulating your appetite before a big meal, Rasam is a delicious and ideal food. The tanginess of tamarind pulp and chopped tomatoes mesh perfectly with healthy and warming spices like turmeric powder, black peppercorns, red chili powder, and garlic cloves to produce a spectacular south Indian soup full of health benefits and unique flavor. Using my homemade rasam powder recipe or an instant rasam powder, you can make this easy Kerala rasam recipe, that will fill your house with beautiful aromas and watering mouths.
Rasam is a spicy soup that is an essential part of South Indian meals and a key component in onam sadya (banana leaf festive meal). It is also believed that rasam has medicinal properties, and it is a good option to cure congestion and cold. There are many rasam varieties made in different ways, like the tomato rasam recipe or the thakkali rasam recipe made with ripe tomatoes, which is a staple in many homes. Normal rasam recipes in many households include a spice mix that is a coarse powder made out of coriander seeds, dry red chillies, fenugreek seeds, pepper corns, and one teaspoon cumin seeds. These spices are then given a dry roast and stored as a ground masala to use in south Indian rasam. There are different variations of tamarind rasam, and they are all super tasty.
Today I am going to share the easiest and quickest rasam recipe that I love. You can have it as a traditional soup before a big meal, or a side dish with vegetable stir-fry and rice, or just as it is. This easy rasam recipe is closer to a Kerala tomato rasam or a Kerala thakkali rasam, and it is my favorite version of rasam.
So, let us have a look at the ingredient list for this rasam recipe before we get started.
Ingredients For Easy Kerala Style Rasam Recipe
For this rasam recipe, you just need a big, ripe tomato, some chopped coriander leaves, 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic, and some green chillies (optional).
The main spice base is provided by the rasam powder itself. However, you need to add a few fragrant whole spices to get a nice flavor in your Kerala rasam. For that, you need turmeric powder, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and a pinch of asafoetida powder. You can skip the asafoetida for a gluten-free version. You also need a bunch of curry leaves and two dried red chilies, because South Indians literally do not cook anything without them.
You need a gooseberry-size ball of tamarind. Soak tamarind in a cup of water to get tamarind extract and tamarind paste for this rasam recipe.
Rasam powder, or rasam podi is an essential basic ingredient for a good rasam. While you can get instant rasam powder from the market, I recommend using a homemade rasam powder that you can make at home and store for a long time. I have shared the recipe for an easy homemade rasam powder on my blog. You can follow that recipe for an aromatic rasam powder.
Ghee or Coconut Oil
You also need some clarified butter (ghee) or coconut oil for this recipe.
Step by Step Instructions for Kerala Style Rasam Recipe.
Now that we have everything we need, let’s get cooking, shall we? Follow me with these step-by-step pictures and instructions for this quick recipe.
To start, soak a gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind in a cup of hot water to make the extract.
Now take a sauce pan, and put it on medium flame to heat coconut oil or ghee. I prefer using ghee to splutter mustard seeds. Add about one teaspoon mustard seeds to the ghee. Crackle the mustard seeds to release their flavor. Then add cumin seeds, broken red chilies, and crushed garlic and cook them for a minute.
Then wash and chop the tomatoes roughly. Next, add chopped tomatoes to the mixture.
Now add homemade rasam powder and sauté till the tomatoes turn mushy.
Now add a cup of tamarind extract, turmeric powder, salt, and asafoetida, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Then add one or two cups of water, depending on how you like the consistency of your Kerala rasam.
Boil for about 5 minutes, but make sure to not over boil, and at the end add chopped coriander leaves.
Cover and rest for 30 minutes to achieve the best taste.
Serve with plain rice. Enjoy your rasam!
Serve your rasam with hot steamed rice or just by itself as a soup or a starter and enjoy. This is a great everyday meal, and also the perfect partner for cough and cold season. I bet you will love it.
Rasam is a great source of minerals like calcium, niacin, zinc, potassium and magnesium. It is also full of Vitamins A and C. Moreover, it is an excellent source of fiber from the tamarind and the black pepper helps speed metabolism which promotes weight loss.
Rasam is a soup that originated from South India, it is made of tamarind, tomatoes and spices.
Rasam is not just a tasty soup, but it is also well-known for its digestive properties and for treating constipation with all the fiber that tamarind provides. It is also good for cough and cold.