India is known for its diversity in religions, castes, regions, languages and many more such things. Every part follows its own culture, celebrates their festivals and even food habits varies from region to region. But, what makes India great is though there is huge variation in almost everything, Indians are still united by mind. They celebrate each other’s festivals and appreciates each other’s food as well. Like, Kolkata special Rasagulla, South Indian dishes like Idli, Dosa and Rasam, Gujarati Dhokla, Makke Ki Roti from Punjab and Madhya Pradesh’s Rabri is equally liked and appreciated by people from almost every corner of the country and one can now get these special dishes in their mother state as well.
Generally, South Indian cuisines are famous for its taste and low and light calorie values. The traditional South Indian food is generally rice based and is known for its perfect mixing of rice and lentils which gives delicious and healthy dishes. Some famous South Indian dishes includes Dosa, Idli, Medu vada and Uttapams, etc. Among all these dishes, Rasam is very famous and most loved dish in South India. The way Rasagulla is for Kolkata and Chhole Bhature is for Punjab, Rasam has acquired same place and dignity in South India. The South Indian meals are never complete without Rasam. It is generally served with Rice or Dosa or Uttapam or with other fried items.
It is called chaaru or saaru in Kannada and Telugu. Rasam has acquired 2nd place in the traditional 3 course south Indian meal, followed by Sambar in first course and Curd in the last. Rasam is a spicy and hot soup/curry, which is considered as very good for digestion. People also believe that, it is the best remedy for cold and cough, clears the sore throat and controls the headache as well. During rainy and winter season or some days when people suffers from cold, people have it in Mug or eat it with a bowl of hot white rice. Some people also enjoy Rasam with chicken or mutton gravy.
Rasam can be made with variety of flavors and generally, people follow their own favorite recipe that may vary from region wise or occasion wise or taste wise. Also, there are two option two make Rasam, with Rasam powder and without Rasam powder. Rasam powder is made from Chan dal, Tur dal, curry leaves, red chilies, black pepper powder and cumin seeds. All these ingredients are roasted on a pan and then grinded to make a fine and soft powder, which can be used to prepare tasty and yummy Rasam.
Some famous and popular Rasam types are:
- Tomato Rasam – Tomato Rasam is made completely with tomatoes and some spices. Once, all the spices like cumin seeds, garlic, black pepper powder, cloves are fried in oil, then tomatoes goes in. Once the tomatoes are soft and cooked, the whole mixture is grinded to make a fine puree. This puree with some water is then cooked for some more time and to add extra taste, Tadka is given to it.
- Dal Rasam – It is made using Tur dal or Mung dal. First, dal is cooked in a pressure cooker until it is completely cooked. In another pan, a mixture of tomatoes, tamarind, turmeric, asafetida and salt is added and is cooked till tomatoes are soft and perfectly ready. Later, the pre-cooked dal, tomato gravy and Rasam powder is mixed together and to add some more flavors, cumin seed Tadka is added to it. It is then left on the gas until it boils and is then garnished with fine coriander leaves, once it is ready.
- Garlic Rasam – It is very good during cold and cough. Also, it works well during fever and loss of appetite, since garlic acts as a natural antibiotic and a blood purifier. The recipe is an extension to Tomato Rasam recipe, as while cooking the tomatoes with other ingredients, add garlic juice and some cloves of crushed garlic to it.
- Lemon Rasam – Lemon recipe is exactly similar to Dal Rasam, with only difference is that, lemon juice is added to Dal Rasam when all the mixture is combined. Once everything is added, it is then cooked for some more time so as to mix the lemon flavor well.
Apart from above mentioned recipes, there are some other popular recipes like Pepper Rasam, Pineapple Rasam, Mysore Rasam, Instant Rasam, Jeera Rasam and many more.
Featured Photo by dksesh