Jeeraga Rasam- A mild south Indian broth with the earthy goodness of cumin. Just perfect when you want a light meal or when you are down with a cold or the flu.
If you all read my blog frequently, then you must have discovered my passion and love for rasam. I love trying new varieties of Rasam and yet, it is the basic ones that are always a favorite. Today’s recipe is an adaptation from a small cookbook. The book itself is very special because it has been handed down to me by my MIL.
What is Rasam?
For the uninitiated, Rasam is a South Indian style light soup. You can even compare it to a thin broth. And it is a very common yet very special dish that makes its appearance at our tables. I say it is both because we make Rasam on a daily basis and for occasions too.
Jeeraga Rasam without Dal and tomatoes
As a rule of thumb, most Rasam recipes usually use tomatoes or cooked Toor dal. However, the recipe I m sharing today does not use both. And this makes it just perfect for days when you have an upset tummy or a cold or the flu.
Let me explain why- Tomatoes are generally considered to aggravate acidity according to Ayurveda. And Toor Dal is considered gassy. So, adding both these ingredients to Rasam is not recommended when you are sick.
- While making the spice powder for this Rasam, make sure to fry all the ingredients on low flame. The spices tend to burn quickly and it is always easier to control the heat when it s low.
- No matter what Rasam you make, I do not recommend allowing it to boil. Rasam should always be simmered on low heat until it begins to froth on the surface.
- Depending on whether your tamarind is old or new, the tanginess may differ. So, soak the mentioned amount of tamarind in the warm water, make the extract and do check if it s tangy enough. If you find it too tart, add upto ¾ c warm water to balance the taste. You can also add 1 tsp jaggery while the Rasam simmers.
- In case you do not have access to tamarind, you can always make this with tamarind paste. You will need 2 to 3 tbsp tamarind paste for 3.5 c water to make this Jeeraga Rasam. If you are using tamarind paste, mix the paste and the water well and proceed with the recipe.
This recipe uses Ghee aka clarified butter. If you are looking for a vegan Rasam, then ghee can be substituted with cold-pressed sesame oil in a pinch.
Cumin Rasam- Method
Making the spice powder
In a pan, heat ¼ tsp of oil or ghee.
Add toor dal and chili to this.
When the dal starts to turn a light brown, add other ingredients.
Roast this for 1 more min on low flame, taking care not to burn the mixture.
Once done, let cool.
Grind to a slightly coarse powder in a coffee grinder or small blender jar.
Making Jeeraga Rasam
Soak the tamarind in the warm water for 20 mins.
Mash this tamarind well into the water.
Discard the strings and strain this mixture through a tea-strainer.
Heat a pan with 2 tsp.
Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
When the mustard seeds pop, add the tamarind extract to the pan.
Now, add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
Simmer this mixture for 4 to 5 mins on medium flame until the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
At this stage, add the ground powder and mix well.
Turn down the heat to the lowest.
Simmer the Rasam until it is frothy at the surface.
When done, garnish with curry leaves and chopped cilantro leaves.
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- 1 tsp Toor dal
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Pepper corns
- 2 tsp Coriander seeds
- 2 Dry red chilies
- ½ tsp Ghee/ oil
For The Rasam
- 10 g Tamarind
- 3 c warm water
- 1 tsp Ground turmeric
- 1.5 tsp Salt or to taste
For The Tempering
- 2 tsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- For Garnish
- 10 Curry leaves a sprig
- 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
Making the spice powder
- In a pan, heat ¼ tsp of oil or ghee.
- Add toor dal and chili to this.
- When the dal starts to turn a light brown, add other ingredients.
- Roast this for 1 more min on low flame, taking care not to burn the mixture.
- Once done, let cool.
- Grind to a slightly coarse powder in a coffee grinder or small blender jar.
Making Jeeraga Rasam
- Soak the tamarind in the warm water for 20 mins.
- Mash this tamarind well into the water.
- Discard the strings and strain this mixture through a tea-strainer.
- Heat a pan with 2 tsp.
- Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- When the mustard seeds pop, add the tamarind extract to the pan.
- Now, add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
- Simmer this mixture for 4 to 5 mins on medium flame until the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
- At this stage, add the ground powder and mix well.
- Turn down the heat to the lowest.
- Simmer the Rasam until it is frothy at the surface.
- When done, garnish with curry leaves and chopped cilantro leaves.