Rasam which literally means the juice is a thin soup-like liquid that we South Indians have mixed up with cooked rice. It is my comfort food and rice mixed with rasam was my daily breakfast during school days. Mom would mix some mashed tur dal (pigeon peas) and some ghee with it to make it more nutritious and filling.
Even today I can live on it. Our people considered it as a good digestive. These days I am coming across lots of reports that rasam is a very good immune booster too. So time I did my bit by posting my recipe 🙂 .
In different parts of India, it is called by different names- saaru, chaaru, charu pani, etc. The taste also varies from region to region. In some places, even vegetables are used in making rasam which makes it more like a soup.
In those days it was made in eeyam or tin-plated vessels, the taste of which they say is incomparable with the ones made these days. Though I could not source an eeyam vessel, I try to make it in earthenware as much as possible.
Rasam is considered very effective in fighting colds and coughs, and there is a particular variety ‘milagu rasam’ with lots of pepper which moms make when kids are down with cold. ‘Inji rasam’ made with ginger eases stomach related issues.
Then there is ‘kalyana rasam’ which is served at marriages. Somehow at every marriage rasam never fails to impress.
Lots of fun scripts have also been doing rounds for a long time on this. That the rasam served at marriages is the thin part of the sambar collected from the top once the sambar settles 😀 .
In fact, most people like to have the clear part of the rasam, thou’ in our house we prefer to mix it up before serving. I and my sister would fight for the garlic pieces 🙂 .
Rasam seems to have originated in Madurai a district in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu. Our Tamilnadu rasam, which I consider is the best of all is made primarily with tamarind water as the base.
The basic ingredients mostly remain the same though everyone has their own way of making. Tur dal water can be replaced with horse gram water to give ‘kollu rasam’ which is considered very good for weight loss.
It stays good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. So you can make a bit more and heat up just the quantity you need for the day.
On this page, I shall be posting all the different rasam varieties that we make in our houses. Umpteen varieties are there and I shall post each of them here in due course. Methods vary from family to family but the basic ingredients remain the same.
Rasam is something very delicious and satisfying for the tummy. That is why doctors down South recommend ‘Rasam sadam’ or rasam rice when you are unwell. Definitely it does not give you diarrhea as depicted in some movies and serials 😀 .
My Rasam recipes