Nava-rasams for monsoon

Here are nine recipes for rasam — the spicy, soupy goodness for the monsoon chill

author_img Arya U R Published :  27th May 2022 05:22 PM   |   Published :   |  27th May 2022 05:22 PM
Nava Rasam

Nava Rasam

The monsoon clouds will roll in soon and it will be time to enjoy the rain with a hot bowl of soup or a cup of tea. But how about piping some hot rasam along with some rice? The south Indian healing broth packed with peppers, tamarind and other spices is comfort food for many. 

The tangy rasam can be consumed as a hot soupy drink or as a side dish with idli and dosa. It obviously is a scrumptious addition to the lunch menu. The easy to make soupy staple with therapeutic ingredients can alleviate cold and is believed to aid in weight loss. The classic tomato-pepper rasam has gone through many transformations over the years. From fruity rasam to meaty ones, here are nine recipes. 
Inputs from:  @ooonuready @viji_moo

Lemon rasam
Lemon is a common ingredient in the kitchen. The citrus-infused pepper broth is good for every age group. A cup of hot lemon broth savoured after a heavy meal is good for digestion too. For rasam, squeeze one or two lemons. If you don’t want watery consistency, add some cooked masoor dal along and spices before spluttering with curry leaves and mustard. Add a few cut pieces of lemon with coriander leaves to elevate the taste. 

Strawberry rasam
It is the time of fusion food. Strawberry rasam is a must-try if you want to host a unique lunch party at home. This one will fill the room with a fruity aroma. A few strawberries can be ground and put to boil with rasam powder. It is a good dish to lure children to finish their rice bowls. It is a desi touch to the exotic fruit.

Raw mango rasam
Mango is an inevitable part of the Malayali kitchen. From preparing pickles to payasam, the fruit is a beloved part of Kerala households. The same goes with rasam also. The raw mango pulp is cooked and its puree is blended with rasam spices, pepper, crushed garlic, and salt to taste. Top it off with spluttering mustards and garnish with coriander leaves. Set it to cool and savour with rice.

Watermelon Rasam
This one can be a pre-monsoon rasam. The seedless pieces of ripe watermelon can be grind and strained before adding to the rasam ingredients. It is a seasonal rasam and can be enjoyed as a summer drink or side dish for lunch with some spicy pickles.

Pineapple Rasam
Pineapple rasam is a tangy-spicy and sweet rasam. Add tomatoes and lentils, it becomes an interesting blend. The cooked ripe pineapple pieces blended with spices and asafoetida with tomatoes become the base for the soup, which ensures body heat during the winter season. Need more sweetness, add a few pieces of jaggery.

Veldt grape (Changalamparanda) 
The plant, also known as devil’s backbone, is good for diabetics patients as it helps to reduce blood sugar levels. The leaf extracts of the plant can be used to prepare rasam for the health-conscious ones. The chutney prepared with the creeper plant is also popular in other south Indian states.

Chicken Rasam
Chicken rasam is a recipe derived from Chettinadu cuisine. It is basically a spicy chicken broth. The cooked chicken stock is taken along with bone pieces and then mixed with a few drops of lemon juice instead of tamarind. The solution is mixed with crushed garlic, ginger, pepper powder, chilly and rasam masala. The high boiled mixture is set free from fire and served with coriander leaves. The chicken rasam is rich with protein, touted to increase collagen content and is a good home remedy against flu and cough.

Gooseberry Rasam
A good immunity booster drink. Being a healthy variation, it is a mix of sour and spice. As gooseberries are tart, tamarind can be avoided. This rasam flushes out toxins from the body and is good for the skin and eliminates constipation too. The presence of Vitamin C rich gooseberry pieces and turmeric along with spices is also an antioxidant and it is perfect for a rainy day.

In a pan, pour 1 tbsp oil and roast the ingredient in step 1.
Grind this to a paste and boil it with 3 cups of water and ingredients in step 2. 
Temper the rasam with ingredients in step 3.
Recepie credits: 
Teena Augustine (@ooonuready)

Step 1
Toor dal- 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Peppercorns- 1 tsp
Dry chillies-2
Curry leaves- 5-6
Gooseberry- 4
Tomatoes- 2
Ginger- 1-inch 
long piece

Step 2
Turmeric powder- 
1 tsp
Chili powder- 1 tsp(optional)
Asafoetida- 1.5 tsp
Salt- to taste
Step 3
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Garlic- 6 cloves
Oil- 2 tbsp (or ghee)

Moringa rasam
The miraculous plant makes rasam healthy goodness. For a hearty welcome drink or after dinner or lunch, the leafy rasam can be served. One could use grind moringa leaf powder or leaf juice for the rasam. Boil with tomato paste and tamarind water with other spices for 10 minutes. It is good for cold and body pains. A unique variety to try with Moringa, if you are bored of Moringa thoran.