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Showing posts with label SOUPS / RASAM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SOUPS / RASAM. Show all posts

Friday, June 5, 2020


Thai cuisine has some beautiful vegetarian dishes or rather dishes that can be made into vegetarian or even vegan without altering much of the taste. 
One such recipe I had earlier shared in my blog was Som Tam (Click on the hyperlink for the recipe)
The thing that I love about Thai cuisine is; it’s simple to cook and they use so many aromatic herbs and sauces and chilly to enhance the taste and tickle the palate.
My trips to various parts of Thailand and having friends living in Thailand to guide us has helped us enjoy this cuisine.
Today I’m sharing the recipe of Broccoli Soup. Do try this Thai Broccoli Soup.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
Broccoli - 1/2 kg
Rice bran Oil - 2 tablespoons
Garlic cloves - 3-4
Ginger - 1 tbsp pounded
Green chilli padi - 1 pounded with the ginger
Shallots - 2 chopped fine
Lemon grass - 2 tbsps chopped
Kefir lime leaves - 4 (optional)
Salt as per taste
Coconut cream - 1/2 tin (1 tin = 13.66 oz) of Thai unsweetened Coconut cream
Spinach - 3-4 leaves (For colour only)
Coriander leaves - 5-6 Tbsps (For Colour and Garnish)
Lime juice - 2-3 tbsps
Vegetarian Fish sauce - 1- 2 tsps (optional)
Croutons for Garnish


Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan/wok.
Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, and chilly.
Sauté until the shallot is transparent. Add lemongrass and sauté 1-2 more minutes.
Add 1 cup water, kefir lime leaves, salt and broccoli and bring to boil – it’s OK if the broccoli isn’t all submerged, it will still steam.
Bring this to a boil, cover, lower heat and gently simmer 10-12 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.
Once tender, turn the heat off, uncover.
At this point, you could add a handful of spinach (Optional) to give the soup a more vibrant green colour.
Add 4-5 tbsps of coriander (save the rest for garnish). Let this cool down and blend until very smooth using a blender.
(Caution - Blending a blender full of hot ingredients will explode!)
Place the smooth blended soup back in the pot/wok, and let it simmer over low heat.
Stir in the coconut milk – you can start with half a can and add more to taste. After adding the coconut milk do not boil the soup. Just a simmer would do.
Add lime juice, and optional fish sauce (Vegetarians can use the Vegetarian Fish sauce) to taste.
Serve hot in a bowl, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and croutons.
You can add a dash of coconut cream as garnish too. I didn't because I'm loving the beautiful green colour.
Dunk into the steaming bowl of the hot soup and enjoy.
A solace on cold winter nights and rainy days...


· The coconut milk can be replaced with dairy for non-vegans

· If not adding the Fish Sauce, check for salt and adjust accordingly by adding a little more salt to taste.


· Blending a blender full of hot ingredients will explode. Please be careful. Allow the ingredients to cool down before running it in a blender.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

RASAM (The South Indian Soup)

RASAM (The South Indian Soup)History and originsRasam is known as Chaaru, in Telugu or Saaru in Kannada, means "essence," and on improvisation it means, "juice" or "soup."
Tamil Iyengars, called it 'Chaathamudhu' (Chaaru + Amudhu, the Tamil form of Amrit (ambrosia)). One must understand the benefits of a dish that is equated with Amrit or Ambrosia (elixir of life)
Sourashtras, an immigrant community living in Madurai from the 16th century, still call it Pulichaar (Puli = Tamarind + Chaar).... (Puli or Pulipu means tart (tamarind)).With hoteliers and restaurateurs expanding their joints in South India in the mid-twentieth century, it was popularised and came to be known by its Tamil name as Rasam. World over it is most popularly known as Rasam.
Interestingly, rasam is the basis of mulligatawny soup, which is an Anglo-Indian version of the same.In the olden days it was prepared mainly with black pepper and tamarind, the ingredients native to and abundant in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and South India in general.In a formal meal, the rasam course is served after the sambhar course and followed by curd rice.
It is eaten mixed with rice, or drunk by itself. but it can also be had as an appetizer before the beginning of a meal.

Traditional Method of making Rasam
A Brahmin household will always have rasam as part of their daily meal.
Rasam is traditionally cooked in an alloy vessel (Eeya pathram). Eeyam means lead in Tamil, since lead is poisonous, people stopped using the eeya pathrams(vessels) or eeya chombu(pot), but there is no lead involved in the making of this vessel. It is primarily an alloy of tin and other metals.
The Eeya Pathram is said to add taste to the rasam, though modern science doesn’t really advise us to do so.
Nowadays there is a craze of reverting back to the things that were traditionally done and Eeya patrams are becoming popular again and have re-entered the stores.
One should be careful while using this vessel, for, it melts when on fire. You could call it a melting pot!
Rasam is prepared mainly with the juices of tamarind or tomato with pepper and other spices. Lentils are added frequently and other vegetables optionally. It differs from sambhar in that it usually relies on tomatoes for its sourness rather than tamarind, and it is usually much thinner. The sambhar has more lentils than Rasam. Ideally the water of the cooked lentils are added to the Rasam, thus giving the benefits of the lentils but at the same time keeping its consistency drinkable. Every rasam in every household is unique (even when the same ingredients are used), holding the distinct character and imprint of its cook.
Health Benefits of having Rasam
This light broth is not only a treat to the mouth but also has medicinal values.
Soups are usually known to act as an appetizer, similarly the rasam when had at the beginning of the meal is said to increases the appetite.
Rasam contains many spices which are considered beneficial to health.
Steaming hot rasam is supposed to be very soothing when you are suffering from a cold, cough or sore throat.
Rasam is usually served to the person who is sick with fever and has no appetite and feels tastelessness in the mouth, it not only increases the appetite but also the spices in the rasam hit the mouth and throat increasing the taste in the mouth.
Rasam is also had when someone suffers from a headache.
No wonder it was consumed everyday. Nowadays people are so busy they don’t get the time to cook, so people make do with either sambhar or rasam. There are hardly a few households left which prepare both like the olden times.
Saaru in Karnataka
A special reference to the Rasam or Saaru as it is known as in Karnataka. Karnataka is very famous for it distinctive taste of the Rasam. They prepare many varieties of the rasam. Rasam is so popular in their households that it is enjoyed as a main dish in many regions of Karnataka. The saaru of Karnataka is different from the rasam of Tamil Nadu, and the chaaru of Andhra Pradesh. It has more protein, thicker consistency, and more varied ingredients. Typically lentils are set to boil along with a teaspoon of oil. Lentils are cooked with a curry powder known in Karnataka as Saarina Pudi (saaru powder), along with salt, sugar, lemon juice, curry leaves, fried mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida powder. The curry leaves are added towards the end. Optionally, chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut are also added.
You will be amazed at the variety of Saaru prepared
Milagu Saaru - Known in the West the Mulligatawny soup (milagu = pepper, tanneer = water).
Tomato Saaru - With tomato puree as main ingredient.
Tamarind Saaru - With tamarind extract as main ingredient and without lentils.
Hesaru Kaalu Saaru - Green gram soup.
Pappu Saaru - Common variant made with pulses and tomato stock.
Baellae Saaru - Most common variety with toor dal, coconut & tamarind juice.
Vankaaya Saaru - Eggplant & tamarind juice.
Majjiga Saaru - Soup made with seasoned buttermilk.
Ulava Saaru - Horse gram soup.
Kattu saaru - Kattu refers to the water drained from the cooked dal.
Kattina saaru - a semi-sweet rasam using jaggery.
Jeerige saaru - made with jeera, cumin.
Lemon rasam - a sour soup made with lemon juice.
Hurali saaru - another healthy rasam made with horse-gram.

Mysore Rasam - A fragrant soup made with fried grams/dals.
Bassaaru - Deriving its name from "busodu" (Kannada), which is the act of draining water from boiled vegetables/greens/lentils.
Kottambari jeerige Saaru - made with coriander and cumin seeds.
Kadale Saaru - Soaked black chickpeas, coconut and ginger.
Alasundae Saaru - Black eyed peas and potato, coconut and ginger.
Rasam in Tamilnadu
There are different kinds of rasam depending on the ingredients:
Tomato rasam – Made with tomatoes and spices
Pineapple rasam – Made with Pineapple and spices
Meriyala/Milagu (Pepper) rasam – Pepper being the main ingredient here
Jeera rasam – Cumin being the main ingredient here
Kandathippili rasam – A herb used for illness
Neem leaf rasam – Neem Leaves are used to make this rasam which has immense health benefits
Lime rasam – Lime being the main ingredient here
Ginger rasam – Ginger being the main ingredient here
Garlic Rasam - Garlic being the main ingredient here
Chaaru in Andhra Pradesh
The Andhra Chaaru is similar to the saaru and rasam but more spicy than its counterparts as Andhra cuisine usually is.
There are vegetable rasams, fruit rasams and herbal rasams. You will be seeing a lot of Rasam recipes in my blog.

Monday, February 12, 2007


JFI ENTRYThis was my first ever JFI entry, for those who don't know what JFI is refer to Indira's blog Mahanandi
I think its a wonderful event for all foodie fellow bloggers to come together. This month's event was hosted by Linda from Out of the Garden and the Ingredient was Toor Dal, It was the last day to send the entry and I had discovered about JFI that evening only, I decided to participate with a humble recipe of the Paruppu Rasam. Linda was kind enough to accept my recipe and I got to be part of this JFI.
Soon, I learnt that hosting the JFI is no mean business, a lot of hard work has to be put in, accumulating recipes, pictures, assimilating them and presenting them. And these women take their work seriously too. You can check their blog to know that. Isn't it amazing that women today manage their home, work, kids and their blogs so well. Here's my first ever JFI entry.

Paruppu RasamThe paruppu rasam is just the usual rasam, with the variation being, in this rasam, toor dal pulp is added in abundance and the rasam is less spicy. Suitable for infants and kids, so they can get proteins in their diet and also get introduced to the light spices in the rasam.

Tomatoes – 1 (optional)Tamarind Juice – 2-3 tablespoonsRasam powder – 1 tspCooked Toor Dal – 4-5 TbspsMustard seeds – 1tspCumin seeds – 1 tsp
Crushed Pepper – ½ tspAsafetida – a pinchSalt as per tasteGhee – 1 tbspCurry leaves – a sprigCoriander leaves for garnishing
Cut your tomatoes into ¼ inch cubes, and add the tamarind juice, add salt, rasam powder, crushed pepper powder, a pinch of asafetida and allow to boil till the tomatoes are soft. You can crush one or 2 pieces of the tomatoes with a karandi(spoon) so that the essence of the tomato enters the rasam nicely.
Add the cooked toor dal. Boil for another 2-3 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of Ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, Fry till the mustard seeds pop. Add curry leaves, let it fry, pour this seasoning on top of the rasam.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and remove from flame.
Serve with hot rice and pappads. Or can also be served as an appetizer.
Note: Tomatoes are optional.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Lemon Rasam
IngredientsLemon - 1Tomatoes - 1 bigFinely grated Ginger - a small pieceGreen chillies – 2-3Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoonRasam Powder – 2 teaspoonsAsafoetida – 1 teaspoonJeera powder (1 tablespoon) / Jeera seeds (whole - 1 tablespoon)Ground pepper – 1 teaspoonMustard - 1 teaspoonFenugreek (Methi Seeds) -1 teaspoonCooked Toor Dal (1 cup)Chopped fresh coriander for GarnishOil or ghee – 1 tablespoon
MethodSlit green chillies in the middle, Cut tomatoes into ¼ inch cubes, grate the ginger, keep aside.Put some oil / ghee (1 tablespoon) in a pan, add mustard, and when it crackles, add methi and jeera and let it get fried.To this add the green chillies, ginger and tomatoes, let it fry for a while till u see the tomatoes become soggy, then , add some turmeric powder, Asafoetida, salt and let it fry for five minutes or so.Once the tomatoes are slightly cooked, add water and let it cook. Add water as needed.Add jeera powder, rasam powder and the ground pepper to the broth. Allow to boil for a while so the spices enter the water. Take the cooked toor dal and make it into a watery pulp by smashing and adding water to it. Add this pulp to the boiling broth. Bring it to another boil. Add water as needed as the rasam should not be thick.Switch off the stove and let the rasam cool.Before serving, squeeze in the lime juice into the rasam.Add a little bit of salt. As lime usually sours the broth, so the salt in the broth reduces.Garnish with freshly chopped coriander.Tip: Don’t squeeze lime into very hot rasam as it may make the rasam bitter.
Don’t boil the rasam after adding the lime, even this will make the rasam bitter

Saturday, February 10, 2007

RED CHILLY RASAM (Killu Milagai Rasam)

Red Chilly Rasam (Killu Milagai Rasam)
As the name suggests, red chillies are the main ingredient used in this rasam. It is for those who like spicy Rasams. Red chilly has a very distinctive flavor.
Red chillies – 4-5
Tamarind - lemon size (soaked in luke warm water)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon.
Salt to taste.
Ghee or Oil – 1 tsp
Curry leaves -1 sprig.
Coriander leaves for garnish
Break the red chillies into half. In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and when they start to crackle add the red chillies. When the red chillies get plump, Add the curry leaves. Add the tamarind water. Squeeze our the tamarind pulp and add the concentrated water first and then the diluted one. Add salt and let it boil till the raw smell of the tamarind is gone. Once done, remove from flame. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

MOONG DAL RASAM (Pesara Pappu Charu)

Moong Dal Rasam (Pesara Pappu Charu)This is an input from our Andhra Kitchen
Yellow moong dal - 1 cup
Onion, one - cut into chunks
Red chilli powder - ½ tsp
Turmeric - ½ tsp
Small marble size ball of tamarind p
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Oil/Ghee – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coriander leaves for Garnishing
Roast the moong dal in a kadhai to a light brown color. Keep aside until it is cool. Take the roasted dal in a pressure cooker, wash and then add onion, red chilli powder, turmeric, tamarind along with about a glass of water. Pressure cook this. Once it is cooked add salt and mash the dal to smooth consistency.
In a vessel, take one teaspoon ghee, add the mustard seeds, once it splutters add cumin seeds, curry leaves. Add the smoothly mashed dal and two glasses of water.
See if anything is required, add salt, tamarind or chilly powder if required
Bring the broth to a boil and let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes on a low flame. Keep stirring lest the dal sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Remove from fire and garnish with coriander leaves.
Tip : If you like you can avoid the tamarind in the entire procedure. And after removing the rasam from the gas you can add lime. It tastes very good.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


Gottu Rasam.This Rasam is simple to prepare, with no ingredients except tamarind, Rasam powder and water. Gottu Rasam is basically rasam minus toor dal. This is a quick and easy instant rasam which can be prepared in emergency, if you come back after a trip and there is nothing in the house, except the basic spices.


Tamarind Juice – 2-3 tablespoons
Rasam powder - 2 tspsMustard seeds – 1tspCumin seeds – 1 tspCrushed Pepper – 1 tspAsafetida - a PinchSalt as per taste
Ghee – 1 tbspCurry leaves – a sprigCoriander leaves for garnishing
Take tamarind juice in a pan, add salt, rasam powder, crushed pepper powder,and a pinch of asafetida and allow to boil till the raw smell of the tamarind is gone
Heat 1 tablespoon of Ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, Fry till the mustard seeds pop. Add curry leaves, let it fry, pour this seasoning on top of the rasam.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and remove from flame.
Serve with hot rice and pappads. Or can also be served as an appetizer.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Tomato Rasam

Tomato RasamIngredientsTomatoes – 1-2Tamarind Juice – 2-3 tablespoonsRasam powder - 2 tbspsCooked Toor Dal waterMustard seeds – 1tspCumin seeds – 1 tspCrushed Pepper – 1 tspAsafetida - a Pinch
Salt as per tasteGhee – 1 tbspCurry leaves – a sprigCoriander leaves for garnishing
Cut your tomatoes into ¼ inch cubes, and add the tamarind juice, add salt, rasam powder, the crushed pepper powder, a pinch of asafetida and allow to boil till the tomatoes are soft. You can crush one or 2 pieces of the tomatoes with a karandi(spoon) so that the essence of the tomato enters the rasam nicely.
Add the water of the cooked toor dal. If there isn’t much water settled on top of your cooked toor dal then add some water and mix with the dal and pour the water that settles on top into the rasam. Boil for another 2-3 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of Ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, Fry till the mustard seeds pop. Add curry leaves, let it fry, Pour this seasoning on top of the rasam.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and remove from flame.
Serve with hot rice and pappads. Or can also be served as an appetizer.

Tip : Always use ghee for seasoning the rasam. It adds on to the flavor and taste of the rasam. Once you have used ghee for the seasoning you will never use oil again.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Sambar Powder is one of the staple Masala powders in my kitchen.
Every recipe has a story and this one is very interesting.
When I got married and moved to Singapore Amma made me a big ziplock bag full of Sambar powder. She was worried, her little baby is going to manage cooking in a country so far away. Not that I was a baby, but my mother never allowed me to cook or near the gas as she was afraid I would get burnt. I had a very protective mother or should I say overprotective🤔.
To cut the long story short, the sambar powder didn't last long as the whiff of the aroma of the Sambar made waves in the foreign land. People started visiting often requesting me to make my famous Sambar, But alas, when the sambar powder got over, I had to buy a packet from the store.
I Chose a good brand, changed brands but the taste was gone, the aroma was gone.
That made me think 🤔.
Everything was the same, the process, major of the ingredients, the only thing that changed was the sambar powder and I got desperate for Amma's Sambar powder.
I had to make it now if I needed the rave reviews that I had gotten famous for.
It was a matter of honor.
A quick call and the recipe was jotted down in my blue diary....
Sharing my Amma's secret Sambar Powder recipe, Also known as Iyer veetu Sambar powder (This is a typical Brahmin Iyer household recipe, every house has its variations).

Whole coriander seeds - 1 cup
Pigeon Peas (Toor Dal ) - 1/4 glass
Raw Rice - 11/2  tablespoons
Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds) - 11/2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds (Jeera)- 11/2 tablespoon
Black Peppercorns - 11/2 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 12 -15 (Preferably Kashmiri chilly) /Red chilly powder
2 teaspoons ground turmeric

I use organic dals, Sort the ingredients, check for stones if any. And you are ready.
In a wok, First dry roast the red chillies, saute for 2-3 minutes till you see the chillies starting to get plump.
Some people avoid this step but this is a must according to me, as only then will the chillies not have the pachha vaadai(Raw smell).
You can also avoid roasting red chillies and use the readymade chilly powder as per your family spice level. But I prefer to roast the red chillies for a fresher aroma.
Some people add a spoon of oil to roast the chillies, but I don't As I usually make batches that last me for about 3 months.
Dry roast the red chillies and keep aside.
In the same wok, dry roast all the other ingredients until you get an aroma of the roasted spices.
Once cool down, First, grind the dry red chillies, then the rest of the ingredients, add the turmeric powder while grinding. Blend into a fine powder.
Store in an airtight container and use as required.
I keep Sambar powder that I need for daily cooking in Glass Bottles
Since we live in Singapore which has a humid climate and I make big batches, I store the Sambar powder in Ziplock bags and freeze them.
Enjoy this simple Sambar powder Recipe and make loads of sambar and enjoy!!!


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