Rasam recipe, a traditional, authentic South Indian soup or appetizer made with tamarind.
No South Indian traditional meal or thali is complete without ‘rasam‘. Literally translated, ‘rasam’ means extracted juice or liquid . There are numerous versions of the basic rasam recipe prepared down South with each home cook lending his or her own unique touch to the rasam preparation.
Recipe Type: Soups and Appetizers
Cuisine: South Indian
Preperation Time:  10 mins 
Cooking Time: 20 mins 
Total Time:  30 mins
Serving: 5
Tarmarind - 1
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Tamarind - Indian gooseberry size, soak in 1/2 cup warm water for 10 mts, extract juice
Tomato - 1, small, crushed (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 6
Coriander leaves with stalks - finely chopped (1/4 cup)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp, freshly hand pounded in a mortar pestle
Garlic cloves - 2-3, crushed (optional)
Black pepper corns - 1/2 tsp, freshly crushed
Salt to taste
For tempering:
Oil or ghee - 1 1/2 tsps
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilli - 1, tear and de-seed
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
In a vessel, add water, tamarind extract, turmeric powder, asafoetida (1/4 tsp), crushed tomato, jaggery, half of the chopped coriander leaves with stalks, salt and curry leaves. Bring to a boil and cook on high flame for 2 mts and medium high flame for 7 mts.
Add crushed cumin seeds and black pepper corns and bring to a boil for a little less than a minute.
While the rasam is simmering, heat ghee or oil in a small vessel for tempering. Once it turns hot, add mustard seeds and allow to crackle. Immediately add cumin seeds, red chili, curry leaves and asafoetida and turn off flame.
Add this tempering to the boiling rasam and turn off flame. Add remaining fresh coriander leaves, place lid and allow the flavors to meld for at least 30 mts to an hour.
Serve warm with hot rice and papad.
Taste the tamarind water for sourness. Adjust water accordingly. If its too sour, add more water.
At Step 2, you can add spices of your choice.
You can add 2 crushed garlic cloves also along with cumin and black pepper corns. Garlic gives a wonderful flavor to the rasam.
You can add a heaped tbsp of cooked tur dal.
If tomato is not on hand, you can omit it.
Vegans can omit ghee and use oil. The tempering is good with oil too.

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