If you hail from any of the five beautiful states in southern India - Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, you are obviously familiar with “Rasam” in Tamil, Malayalam, “Chaaru”, “Pulusu” in Telugu and “Saaru” in Kannada. This tangy fluid stock is served alongside warm white rice, as one of the staple dishes for a typical South Indian lunch and dinner, besides sambar, kootu, stir-fried vegetables, curd, pickle and appalam. Although being a quick, easy recipe, the humble rasam has been touted for its outstanding health benefits since ancient times and is recommended even today as a standard cure for sore throat, indigestion, in addition to bolstering immune functions.
Usually a blend of boiled tamarind extracts, fresh tomatoes with an array of herbs and spices including pepper, garlic, cumin, a cup of rasam is not only flavourful and comforting but also effectively alleviates cough, flu, common cold, fever. sans onion and garlic. A very versatile dish, rasam can be made with or without adding lentils, tomatoes, tamarind, as a purely vegetarian satvik food, sans onion and garlic and can be consumed either with rice or just as a soup. Moreover, it is considered an age-old remedy for treating a host of gastrointestinal issues like constipation, bloating, flatulence, as well as for enhancing digestion, regulating bowel movements, building strong immunity and uplifting metabolism.
Nourishing And Tasty Rasam Recipes For Immune And Digestive Health:
Of course, you have relished the common recipes of rasam prepared with tomato, lemon, garlic, ginger and cumin or jeera a countless number of times by now. So this weekend, introduce some novel tastes to the timeless dish of rasam, by cooking some unique recipes of “Kandathippili Rasam” using the medicinal herb long pepper and “Ulava Charu,” a protein-rich spicy soup with the legume horse gram. Packed with ample nutrition, these two rasam varieties are bound to be both, a truly mouth-watering treat for the taste buds and a soothing warm dish to augment overall health.
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3 pieces of kandathippili i.e. long pepper
3 tsp toor dal
2 small tamarind pieces
2 tsp rasam powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt, as required
2 tsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 medium red chilli
A pinch of asafoetida
A handful of curry leaves
A sprig of coriander leaves, for garnish
In a pan, heat ghee on medium flame, put in the kandathippili pieces and toor dal, sauté for a few minutes until the lentils turn golden brown.
Transfer this to a mixer and grind thoroughly to obtain a fine powder.
Immerse tamarind in warm water for 15 minutes, then filter the juice.
Cook the tamarind extract on medium flame in a vessel, along with turmeric powder, rasam powder, needed amount of salt and curry leaves for 10 minutes so the raw tart smell diminishes.
Pour in the kandathippili pieces and toor dal blend, add 3 cups of water and cook on low flame for another 15 minutes, then switch off the stove.
Heat a bit of ghee in a small saucepan, add mustard seeds and once they begin to crackle, put in the asafoetida, curry leaves, red chilli and sauté for 1 -2 minutes.
Combine this tempering with the cooked tamarind broth, top it off with fresh coriander leaves and serve this appetising Kandathippili Rasam along with warm rice, ghee and potato fry for a hearty meal.
Kandathippili or long pepper is renowned for its numerous phytonutrients like piperine, glycosides, alkaloids, which possess gut-promoting and decongestant traits. It is hence an efficacious therapeutic aid for lung problems of asthma, bronchitis, activating appetite, stimulating metabolism and mitigating diabetes symptoms. Tamarind juice is laden with vitamin C for preserving dynamic defence mechanisms and shielding the body from diseases. Vast reserves of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous in coriander leaves fortify bones and joints.
1 cup ulava i.e. horse gram, soaked overnight and pressure cooked
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, cut into pieces
1 green chilli, slit vertically
½ cup grated coconut
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt, as per taste
1 ½ tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
A bunch of curry leaves
1 tsp urad dal
1 dry red chilli
In a mixer, add the onions, tomatoes, green chilli, grated coconut, turmeric powder, salt, with some water and blend completely to obtain a paste.
Heat the sunflower oil in a pan on medium flame and cook the spice paste for 10 minutes, stirring continuously.
Once the oil begins to rise, pour in the boiled horse gram along with residual water and cook for another 5 minutes.
Adjust for salt, spice and turn off the flame.
Heat a bit of oil in a pan, put in the mustard seeds and once they pop, add the urad dal, curry leaves and dry red chilli.
Add this tempering to the horse gram stock and savour this hot, spicy Ulava Charu with warm rice, ghee and mixed vegetable stir fry for a wholesome meal.