South Indian Garlic SoupĀ (Rasam)

December 23, 2014


Author Notes: This has been handed down to me by my mother in law and one I learnt when I learning to cook. I follow her recipe to the T and it has never let me down. Best eaten with hot rice and a dollop of clarified butter or ghee with a side of roasted potatoes this is what I would call "comfort food" in my home.Malini Ratnam

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 Large garlic pods
  • 1/2 cup Chopped cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon Whole black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste, or soak a lime sized ball of tamarind in hot water and squeeze the pulp
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 Dry red arbol Chile
  • 2 teaspoons Ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 teaspoon store bought rasam powder (available in most Indian stores).This is optional and you can skip if you don't have this ingredient.

Directions

  1. Mix the tamarind paste in about 1 1/2 cups water. If using fresh tamarind, add about 1 1/4 cups water to the tamarind and let it soften to squeeze out about 11/2 cups of tamarind water.
  2. Take 3 garlic pods, 1/4 cup cilantro, black pepper and 1 tsp cumin seeds in a blender, with a tbsp of water and grind to a fine paste.
  3. Now take the tamarind water in a heavy saucepan, add the rasam powder, the remaining cilantro and let the mixture come to a slow boil on a medium flame. This will take about 5-7 minutes, till the raw smell of the tamarind and the rasam powder goes away.
  4. Let the mixture boil for about 5-7 minutes till you no longer smell the raw garlic. Add chopped cilantro, and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Now temper the soup. Heat about 2 tsp ghee (clarified butter or brown butter) in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds when ghee is hot. After they splutter add the cumin seeds, red chili and curry leaves. Add the chopped garlic. Saute for a minute, and then add the tempering to the rasam. Cover the rasam with a lid until you are ready to serve, This keeps the flavors of the tempering intact and lets them infuse in the rasam.

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