Pepper Rasam: No one can deny the fact that rasam is one of the principal dishes in a South Indian cuisine. It is that bowl of delight which every south Indian food lover can relate to! Rasam is basically a shorba-like soup (without corn flour starch). This soup is prepared with lentils, tamarind, curry leaves and spices, and is touted as a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and several other nutrients. Rasam, as per food historian KT Achaya's book 'A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food', is also called saar, saaru, chaaru and pulusu in other south Indian languages. He also mentioned that the British colonials adopted it as a pungent soup called mulligatawny.
On that note, not every rasam recipe has lentils in it and one such example is the very popular pepper rasam or as traditionally called milagu rasam. This rasam is like a clear soup, which works great to ward off cold and flu. The ingredients that are used in milagu rasam, especially black pepper, garlic and haldi, are known for strengthening our immunity. Hence, in the southern part of India, this rasam is said to be served as home-remedy for these common cough and cold (just like a hot bowl of soup!).
Immunity : Here's The Recipe For Milagu Rasam Or Pepper Rasam:
Tamarind pulp- 2 table spoons
Tomato- 1 (chopped)
Curry leaves- 10-12
Black peppercorn- 1-2 tablespoons
Garlic- 4-5 cloves
Dry red chilli- 3
Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
Hing- half teaspoon
Coriander leaves- 1 tablespoon (freshly chopped)
Salt- to taste
Haldi- half teaspoon
Mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
Oil- 1 tablespoon
Dry roast 2 red chilli, black-pepper, cumin seeds, garlic and 4-5 curry leaves.
Coarsely grind them in a mixer and keep it aside.
Take a kadhai and heat oil.
Add chopped tomatoes and the rest of the curry leaves, haldi and some salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Now add the coarsely ground masala and mix well.
Add the tamarind pulp and 2 cups of water and simmer the heat.
Close the lid and let it cook for at least 10 minutes.
In another pan, add some oil (or ghee).
Put mustard seeds, 1 red chilli and hing and temper them till the seeds start crackling. Do not burn the spices.
Now add the tempered spices in the kadhai (where the rasam is getting cooked).
Switch off the flame and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves, and if you want sprinkle some black pepper powder.
Just remember, do not over boil this rasam.
Serve milagu rasam/pepper rasam hot as an appetiser or with steamed rice and enjoy a delicious bowl of immunity booster!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.