Horse Gram Rasam

Horse Gram (aka Kulthi Bean) should be the next superfood. It is rich in nutrients and its many positive effects on the body. They say that it clears the throat and the sinuses which is why it is very comforting if you have a cold or cough. It is also so flavoursome that just adding pepper and salt to the water that horsegram is cooked in, and drinking it every day will provide nutritional benefits and might even help to to shed weight. So they say.

Read more about Horse Gram. It is easily purchased in Indian shops.

The beauty of rasam is that it can be as simple as water simmered with tamarind and spices, or as heady as lentil based tomato rasam with lots of spices and a small amount of vegetables. Today’s Rasam uses both the horse gram lentils and the cooking water, but see the notes below the recipe for an alternative approach – the cooking water can be used and the drained lentils used to make a sundal.

Similar dishes include Sprouts Usal, Tomato Rasam with Lime, and Tomato and Dal Peppery Rasam.

Browse all of our Horse Gram recipes and all of our Rasams. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Tomato Lemon Rasam

Rasam – I cannot say enough about this wonderful Tamil dish that wakens the digestive system and enlivens the palate. We have quite a number of different recipes. Today’s is one that includes some toor dal, is flavoured with tomato and uses lemon as its tart/sour flavour. It is similar to but much simpler than this Mysore Rasam. We use rasam powder today rather than make a fresh spice mix.

Similar recipes include Horsegram Rasam, Saar, Rasam with Curry Leaves, and Tomato Rasam with Lime Juice.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Tomato-Garlic Soup with Tamarind and Spices, with a Lemon Chilli Yoghurt

This is a soup unashamedly based on a South Indian classic – Tomato Rasam. Tomato Rasam is a soupy broth based on tomatoes, tamarind and tangy, hot spices. It is sipped and also ladled over rice, so cannot be equated with a Western soup. However we can take the flavours of Rasam – the tomatoes, the tang, the spicy heat – and with this inspiration create a more Western style soup to awaken the taste buds and enliven the palate.

This soup is full of garlic, ginger, black pepper and turmeric, all good for Winter colds and general immune system. It’s one of the soups that we make when laid low with a Winter lurgy.

Tinned tomatoes can be used if the fresh ones lack flavour. We would normally serve it with raita, plain yoghurt, cream or coconut milk but today chose to make it without any of these to be more friendly to those in the household with colds. It is just as good without.

Similar recipes include Horsegram Rasam, Tomato Shorba, Tomato Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger, and Tomato and Dal Soup.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes and all of our Indian Soups. All of our Soups are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Ayurvedic Rasam

Besides being over-the-top flavoursome, rasam serves to deliver a range of health-giving spices to the body. This one particularly. The spices it contains are all potent ayurvedic spices. It is like taking a weekly dose of nutrients via a tangy, spicy liquid. What can be better – healthy AND flavoursome.

Similar recipes include Horsegram Rasam, Lime Rasam with Green Chillies, Rasam with Curry Leaves, and Drumstick Rasam.

Browse all of our Ayurvedic recipes and all of our Rasams. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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Saaru | Udupi Rasam

Rasam is a favourite of every South Indian, and different regions have slight variations on the dish – also sometimes different names for the dish (languages vary from state to state).  In parts of Karnataka it is called Saaru, meaning essence. There are many recipes for Saaru from Karnataka. This tasty Udupi style Saaru is tasty and aromatic. Udupi is a coastal town in South West India in the state of Karnataka and has one of the major vegetarian cuisines of India.

Similar recipes include Ayurvedic Rasam, Lime Rasam with Cumin Seed, Garlic Rasam, and Tomato and Dal Rasam.

We have lots of Rasam recipes, and a Saar from Goa for you to check out. See our Udupi dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Indian Spicy Tomato Soup

My thinking about broths or stocks for soups has changed over the years. Once I regularly made vegetable stock from off-cuts and peelings, supplemented by chopped vegetables to get the right balance. I made loads of light Asian style broths and more layered all-in stocks for soups, risottos, and the like. There were miso based stocks, SE Asian coconut-curried stocks and Indian flavoured stocks. Keeping them in the freezer meant that they were always at hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I still use these regularly, but more often I use a different technique.

A new approach

No matter what, vegetable stocks are still “light” when compared to the earthy groundedness and depth of flavour of non-vegetable stocks. So, after pondering this for some time, I began to make stocks that included such treasures as bay leaves (European, Indian and/or West Indian), juniper berries, brown cardamom pods, cumin seeds or powder, coriander seeds or powder, black peppercorns and allspice berries. What a difference these made.

Miso

Again over time – some years – miso began to make an appearance in my Continue reading “Indian Spicy Tomato Soup”

Saar | A Goan Rasam

By the late 1990’s I was beginning to cook Indian food or at least attempting to make a fair representation of some dishes. Many of my early attempts came from Goa as that was my first port of call on my first trip to India. Later I expanded my love of Indian food to Tamil cuisine and South Indian in general.

Saar is similar to the Tamil dish Rasam, but with Goan twists. The recipe is from Tasty Morsels; Goan Food Ingredients and Preparation by Maria de Lourdes Bravo Da Costa Rodrigues. I picked it up on one of my early trips to Goa. It is like the Green and Gold of Goan Cuisine. I love to look through the book and remember my many visits to Goa over the years. I adore exploring the different areas of Goa, away from the tourist attractions, and dive into the different cultures. There were many times I travelled with a friend on his motorbike, exploring off-road areas and little-known beaches, as well as the local food markets, food stalls and tiny shops. Sleeping in thatched huts, eating at restaurants right on the beach, talking to women on the beach picking up inhabited shells to cook with rice. The smell of morning fires ready for cooking the day’s meals, the pink sands on the beaches, the sunsets, spice farms, hills, temples, music. Oh, Goa – I miss you!

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Poritha Rasam

Poritha Rasam is a rasam without any souring agent – no tamarind, lime juice or kokum, for example. Many recipes do contain tomatoes (considered a souring agent in India) and of course coconut (a defining feature of Poritha Sambar and Rasam).

The Queen of Tamil Food, Meenakshi Ammal, has a Poritha Rasam that contains no tamarind, lime, coconut, tomatoes, mustard seeds or chillies. It is indeed a simple rasam, but is still very very tasty. It has a toor dal base which helps. It is similar to her Lime Rasams, but without the lime juice.

We are working through the Rasams Chapter in Meenakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See as they are traditional Tamil recipes. Although we are not afraid to step away from the tree, going back to very traditional recipes (that can still be made in the modern kitchen) is an important way to get the hang of traditional as well as modern methods and flavour combinations. I hope you feel the same. There was a really lovely article on her and her books published recently.

See all of the Lime Rasam dishes here. Similar recipes include Saar, Mysore Rasam, Tulsi Rasam, and Pepper Rasam.

You might also be interested in the following article:

Our simply explore all of our Rasam recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer recipes.

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Lime Rasam with Green Chillies

There are four different ways of making Lime Rasam, according to the Queen of Tamil Food, Meenakshi Ammal. This is the first of the methods. Lime Rasam, made with green chillies and a base of toor dal for that slightly silky texture. The green chillies give a fresh green taste with the lime juice. There is no tamarind in this recipe as the lime adds sufficient sourness. In this version of Lime Rasam, very little spice is used beyond the chillies, some asafoetida and mustard seeds. It is deliciously hot and tangy. Perfect for a hot day (I like to make it in summer when it is 43C).

Similar recipes include Saaru, Poritha Rasam, Mysore Rasam, Pepper Rasam, and Tomato Lentil Rasam. There is also a version of Lime Rasam without the toor dal. Or browse our 30 Indian Dishes for Mid Summer.

You might also be interested in the following articles:

Our simply explore all of our Rasam recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Early Summer recipes.

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Tomato Rasam with Lime Juice

Tomato Rasam has to be one of the most loved Rasams of South India – it certainly is mine. We have a number of different recipes for Tomato Rasam, as well as variations on Lime Rasam, and today I am bringing you Meenakshi Ammal’s recipe. It is an interesting one, using lime juice as the souring agent instead of tamarind. There is no chilli in this recipe, rather black pepper is used to provide some heat. The top water of cooked lentils is also used for added flavour (and nutrition), akin to using stock in Western soups. It is a good practice, one I adopted years ago – when there is flavoursome water in which lentils have been cooked, make rasam. Or at least use in soups. I surprised a friend once – we were on holidays in Hawaii and had cooked some lentils for a lunch dish. I saved the water and whipped up a tasty rasam with some snacks for our afternoon tea. She adored it.

Back to our recipe today. This particular Tomato Rasam is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes. You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Lime Rasam with Green Chillies, Cumin Seed and Pepper Rasam, Kottu Rasam, and Tomato Rasam.

Browse all of our Tomato Rasams and all of our Rasam recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Autumn dishes.

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