“A South Indian soup, traditionally prepared using tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, chili pepper, pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings” – Wait what? Is that all Rasam means to us? Of course, not! To a South Indian household, it is one of the staple diets. It might be called by different names, Chaaru, Saaru and Kabir, but the comfort that it gives us hasn’t changed overtime. On a cold wintry afternoon, you couldn’t possibly imagine anything better than a hot steaming cup of Rasam or hot rasam rice with ghee! Every time you fall sick, be it a cold, sore throat or a fever, the number of times hot hot rasam sadham has come to your respite is uncountable and the relief it provides, immeasurable. Rasam isn’t just a “south indian soup,” it’s a lot more than that. It’s something that your mom makes every day, it’s probably some secret recipe passed down for generations; It’s a constant.
Although it’s a constant, it has its own variables. There are atleast 15 different types of Rasam. The Top 9 are:
1) Paruppu Rasam: This is the one we make at home regularly. Easy to make and extremely tasty, this rasam is also called Thakkali(Tomato) Rasam.
2) Poondu (Garlic) Rasam: Garlic has been a natural antibiotic and a blood cleanser which helps in lowering blood pressure. This rasam is not only nutritious but also incredibly tasty!
3) Jeera (Cumin) Rasam: Jeera is known for its digestive properties. This is made frequently in many households to keep stomach ailments away!
4) Pepper Rasam: It is prepared with cumin seeds, pepper and garlic. It is very comforting and effective when taken during fever or cold.
5) Lemon Rasam: Tangy and sour, this rasam is made by many who want to cut down the use of tamarind! It goes well with hot rice and ghee along with any vegetable stir fry!
6) Pineapple Rasam: This is a twist in the normal rasam. Sweet and refreshing, this rasam is something completely different and is totally worth a try!
7) Mysore rasam: This is different from other standard types of rasam because of the use of coconut and a lot of spices!
8) Vepampoo (Neem Flower) Rasam: Neem flower has many medicinal properties and are used in treating intestinal worms. They are said to purify blood and remove toxins from the body. Although neem flower has a bitter taste, this rasam is absolutely delicious and the bitterness cannot be tasted!
9) Kandathippili (Long pepper) Rasam: This is the all in one medicinal rasam. It helps to cure cold, soothe cough and also helps with digestive and stomach troubles. This rasam is a testament to the fact that nature has a solution for every problem!
On a cloudy evening, sitting in the balcony, legs on the rails with a book in hand and piping hot Rasam. Bliss, isn’t it?
If you have difficulty preparing any of these nava rasas, either ask your mom/ grandmom or just order from www.moremilaga.com or 9884721737 🙂