Rasam is a tomato based spicy soup which is eaten separately or mixed with boiled rice and is enjoyed by all south indians in their everyday meals. It is traditionally prepared using tamarind juice and tomatoes as its base and there are so many different versions of it and each one has its unique taste and flavour of spices and seasonings. Eating a vegetarian thali served with rasam and sambar followed by a glass of flavoured butter milk on a hot summer day is so comforting!
This soup can also be made in Instant Pot in 5 minutes.
Tomatoes – 4
Garlic cloves – 4
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Ground black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Cilantro chopped – 1 tbs
Tamarind – a marble sized ball
Water – 2 Cups
Curry leaves – a few
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Crushed garlic cloves – 2 small
Asafoetida – a pinch
Canola/Vegetable oil or ghee – 1 tsp
1. Cut tomatoes into quarters, peel the garlic cloves and cook them with a little water in a sauce pan. Add turmeric, cumin and pepper powders.
2. When tomatoes are soft mash them with the back of the spoon, add more water and let it simmer.
3. Soak tamarind in a little water, extract its juice and add it to the tomato mixture.
4. Adjust the salt, strain the tomato rasam and add chopped cilantro.
5. For making it in the instant pot, just dump in all the ingredients and spices including the tamarind and one cup of water, then steam for 5 minutes. When done, mash with a hand blender, strain add one more cup water, adjust the salt, then follow the next step for tempering.
6. For the tempering, use a small tempering pan and heat the oil/ghee. When it is hot first add the mustard seeds and wait till they start to splutter. Now add the crushed garlic and as soon as it turns golden brown (do not burn it) add the cumin seeds. When they start changing colour add the curry leaves and a pinch of powdered asafoetida.
7. Immediately add the tempering to the rasam. The rasam is now ready to enjoy.
Notes: It is better to use ghee for tempering for a great flavour.