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Uploaded on Sep 18, 2007
Rasam normally forms the second course in a traditional south Indian menu. There are various way of preparing it. It is normally mixed with Rasam is a traditional dish from the south India and is more like a soup. Rasam is prepared from the pulp of tamarind, tomatoes, pepper and other spices. To this even lentil stock is also added to give a nice flavor and make it nutritious. Rasam is actually a by product that evoked from the Sambar and a very popular and common dish that is prepared on a daily basis in every kitchen in south Indian homes. Rasam is also popularly called as Charu in Andhra Pradesh and Saaru in Karnataka.
It is said that in South India one of the Southern Indian Maharaja threw a grand party where they had prepared the sambar and this was completely consumed at the end of the party and nothing was left for the kitchen staff to eat after the party was over. At that time one chef through his innovative ideas picked up all the left over ingredients of the sambar like the tamarind juice, vegetables, and spices mixed everything and created a dish which was called the rasam. The rasam can be just eaten with plain hot rice or can also be taken as a soup. Rasam differs from sambar as it usually relies on tomatoes for its sourness rather than tamarind, and it is usually much more fluid.
Rasam is very light, tasty, spicy, sometimes only sour or sometimes sweet and sour too! There are various methods of preparing the rasam for example if you use lemon juice in the rasam then that would be called as lemon rasam. Other popular names are the pineapple rasam, garlic rasam, ginger rasam, etc. This dish is made with a variety of ingredients and has various methods of preparation in each home. However, the standard and important ingredients in this dish are tomatoes and tamarind juice. The taste of the rasam depends on the fresh tomatoes that are used in this dish. This flavored soup like dish is a very delicious combination with white rice, papad and pickle.
The tamarind in the rasam has good nutritional value and health benefits. The tamarind promotes a healthy heart by lowering cholesterol, good source of antioxidants that fight against cancer, helps to digest food, used to treat bile disorders. Black pepper also helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas, promotes urination, and promotes sweating. It is full of manganese, and it also has a good amount of iron and dietary fiber, as well.
The garlic used in the rasam is good for digestion problems. It has properties as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and also acts as a blood purifier. This condiment is often paired with onion, tomato or ginger. The pungent, spicy flavour of the garlic mellows and sweetens with cooking!
Here is the recipe for the famous South Indian mouth- watering 'Rasam'. At the last stage, as you temper/season this dish, your home will be filled with a tempting and wonderful aroma.