Kerala Rasam.

Nadan Rasam Recipe / Rasam Recipe / Kerala Style Rasam Recipe.

Tomato Rasam / Traditional Kerala Rasam Recipe / Onam Sadya Rasam Recipe / Kerala Thakkali Rasam / Sour and Spicy South Indian Tamarind Soup.

My husband is fan of this rasam. This is a quick fix comforting and very simple, easy to make soup from South India which goes well with rice, especially when we don’t have time to make so many curries and it’s so economical too. Rasam, rice, pappad and one vegetable stir fry, a simple and satisfying meal, a heavenly combination is much enough for a lunch. Rasam is having some soothing effect to those who suffer from sore throat, cold or fever.

As the recipe is very easy, even bachelors can give it a try or a beginner in cooking can also try out without much hassle. This rasam is a good option for lunch on the days you feel so lazy to cook. This rasam, which is thin in consistency, I made during the last winter here in Kinshasa. I didn’t mean to post it in my blog, but in the last minute thought of taking some pictures, in fact it was reminded by my cook Mr. Ngoyi.

In some of the South Indian restaurants they give us rasam in a tumbler to drink. If all the combinations of spices are exactly combined well, oooh la la, your day is made then.. 

The main ingredients of rasam are tamarind and some spices like black pepper, cumin and garlic. You can make the home made rasam powder or can use the store bought rasam powder. I didn’t make rasam powder on my own so far but usually use ready-made ones which are available in the market. This time I made rasam with homemade rasam masala like how my mom makes rasam, very fast by taking the whole spices and crushing it with a pestle and mortar and then tampering it. Within minutes the tangy rasam is ready to be served. 

Rasam has got a lot of ingredients which has medicinal properties and so it really helps fighting for cold, sore throat etc.

My father worked in different south Indian states and many years he was in Chennai and Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Of course it was natural that he got addicted to rasam, since rasam is an integral part of the everyday meals of Tamilians along with rice!! We used to stay in these places during our school and university vacations and have hundreds of relishing memories related to the life we spent there along with our Papa. The days we go for outings on weekends, the days we spent late nights on the terrace of our building by chatting and playing carrom board, chess game or cards game, the days we go to church daily for early morning Holy Mass, the days when my dad used to bring so many books to read!! the days he brought home a lot of bakery items in the evenings.. All these are my nostalgic memories.. How can I forget these memories!! One of the workers from his office used to come by bicycle to our house to collect the tiffin box on afternoons. My mom starts to work immediately after my dad leave for office to make all his favourite curries for filling in the long layered steel lunch box.. When the bicycle guy, Manoharan (I still remember his name!) comes to collect the tiffin box, he taught us cycling on his own big bicycle, a tough time for him under the scorching heat of the sun!  All three of us; me, my sister and my brother learned cycling from him and so much indebted to him for that..

Yes, now coming back to the subject Rasam..  There are a variety of rasams like plain rasam, tomato rasam, tamarind rasam, lentil rasam etc.. Today I am presenting Tamarind Rasam. Let’s have a look.. This is a must sauce / ozhichukootan for the Kerala Sadya Recipes.
You may also like,
Moru Kachiyathu and
Kerala Sambar.

Serves: 5

Ingredients for Kerala Rasam:

Tamarind – one small gooseberry size.
Tomato (chopped finely) – one medium sized
Water – 3 cups
Salt – to taste.

For the Rasam Masala:

Garlic Cloves – 4
Black Pepper – 1 tsp.
Dry Red Chillies – 1 nos.
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp.

For Seasoning:

Oil – 1 tbsp.
Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp.
Shallots sliced – 2 nos.
Dry Red chilly – 1
Asafetida powder – ¼ tsp.
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp.
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig.

For garnishing: coriander leaves finely chopped.

How I Made Kerala Sadya Rasam:

Soak Tamarind in ½ cup of water for 15 minutes. Extract its juice and keep it aside. Make a semi coarse powder with the ingredients given under ‘Rasam Masala’ using a pestle and mortar and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and wait till they pop up. Add the shallots and wait till it gets golden brown colour. Add one dry red chilly. Now add the curry leaves. Then add asafoetida powder and turmeric powder and stir it well for few seconds. It’s the time now to add the finely chopped tomatoes along with ¼ tsp. of slat. Sauté it well until soft. Now add the tamarind pulp and mix well.

It’s the time now to add the coarsely ground rasam masala. Add it and mix it well until a nice aromas comes. Now add the water and salt. Boil it on medium to low flame to get its good flavour. Once it gets boil, simmer it for another five minutes.

Add the chopped coriander leaves. Tomato rasam is ready now and serve it hot.

My Recipe Notes on South Indian Rasam:

1. I have used tamarind pulp which is readily available in the market. If you are going to use that, 1 tsp. tamarind pulp is sufficient. Dissolve it in ¼ cup of water before using it.
2. Adding tomatoes is completely optional, but it gives a yummy taste.
3. If you are using rasam powder add 1 ½ tsp. powder while seasoning.
4. Using ghee instead of oil gives an ever drooling and yummy taste.
5. Rasam is usually a spicy accompaniment with rice, but you can adjust the spices to suit your taste buds.
6. You can season rasam either before or after preparing rasam.
7. It is beneficial to the health because of its digestive qualities.
8. You can use a bit of jaggery to give a nice flavour.
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Happy Cooking.. Cheers.. Seena.


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Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 15 mins


Here is the sour, spicy and tangy Kerala Nadan Tamarind Tomato Rasam for sadya. Learn how to do it using its stage wise pictures.

Keywords: Kerala, Rasam, spicy, tangy, nadan, tomato, tamarind, onam, vishu, sadya, thakkali, traditional.

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