That Spicy Tangy Syrupy Nourishing Drink


http://www.deccanherald.com/content/205701/that-spicy-tangy-nourishing-drink.html

Radha Prathi

LIVING IN THE KITCHEN

Grandma’s favourite recipe for a bad cold, a spicy soup, and an accompaniment to go with rice — good old rasam is all these and more

The Sanskrit word rasa is probably one of the few words which has retained the various shades of colour and evokes a hoary tradition in Indian art. Rasa which means emotions, theme, taste, contents and colours in just about every Indian language has gained an enviable place in the world of fine dining.

No South Indian cuisine worth its salt can ever be complete without the quintessential rasam. Be it a wedding, festival, balanced baby food or a bout of illness, the rasam in one of its many avatars can prove to be a blessing. Today the rasam, has metamorphosed into the universal soup .

Though the world of art lays claim to nava rasams, the culinary world begs to differ by offering hundreds of creative variations. Some classical versions of the rasam concoctions can ease colds, coughs and simple fevers.

Traditional rasam drunk as soup or taken with hot rice can keep the body hydrated, nourished. Selected spices and the liberal lime juice which lace the magical liquid with plenty of medicinal properties and Vitamin C can raise immunity levels and cajole an ailing person to bounce back to good health.

Ginger rasam

Ingredients: ¼ cup ginger, 2 green chillies, 2 tomatoes — quartered, half a spoon of rasam powder, half a cup of moong dal, half a teaspoon of turmeric, 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons of salt, half a teaspoon of mustard, 1 teaspoon of cooking oil, 1 sprig of curry leaves, 1 sprig of coriander leaves.
Method: Peel the ginger, cut it and grind them with green chillies. Pressure cook moong dal with a pinch of turmeric. Add salt, rasam powder, tomatoes to a litre of water and allow it to boil to half its quantity on a low flame. Add chilli-ginger paste to the boiled contents and bring it to a boil. Add the cooked dal to the contents and add another half a litre of water and put off the flame when the rasam comes to a boil. Pour the lime juice to the contents. Add oil to a pan and throw in mustard seeds and season the rasam. Add freshly -washed and cut coriander and curry leaves to the rasam and serve it hot as it is or with some hot rice.

Buttermilk rasam

Ingredients:  2 tomatoes — quartered, half a teaspoon of rasam powder, half a  teaspoon of turmeric, half a litre of sour churned buttermilk, 2 teaspoons of salt, half a teaspoon of ajwain, 1 teaspoon of cooking oil, 1 sprig of curry leaves, 1 sprig of coriander leaves.
Method: Add salt, turmeric, rasam powder, tomatoes to a litre of water and allow it to boil to half its quantity on a low flame. Pour churned buttermilk to the contents and bring it to a boil. Add oil to a pan and throw in the ajwain seeds and season the rasam. Add freshly-washed and cut coriander and curry leaves to the rasam and serve it hot as it is or with some hot rice.

Pepper rasam

Ingredients: 2 tomatoes — quartered, 1 tablespoon of granulated pepper, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons salt -half a teaspoon of mustard, half a teaspoon of ghee, 1 sprig of curry leaves.
Method: Add salt, granulated pepper, tomatoes to a litre of water and allow it to boil to half its quantity on a low flame. Add another half litre of water and bring it to a boil. Pour the lime juice to the contents. Add ghee to a pan and throw in mustard seeds and season the rasam. Add freshly-washed and cut curry leaves to the rasam and serve it hot with some hot rice.

Jeera rasam

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of jeera, 1 teaspoon toor dal, 1 teaspoon of rasam powder, 1 tablespoon of tamarind extract, 2 teaspoons salt, half a teaspoon of mustard, half a  teaspoon of cooking oil, 1 sprig of curry leaves.
Method: Grind jeera, toor dal and curry leaves to a fine powder. Add tamarind extract, salt and rasam powder to a litre of water and allow it to boil to half its quantity on a low flame. Add another half a litre of water and add the jeera powder to the contents and bring it to a boil. Add oil to a pan and add mustard seeds and season the rasam. Add freshly-washed and cut curry leaves to the rasam and serve it hot with some hot rice.

Note: If you have neem flowers or dried solanum available in condiment shops, they can also be added to the seasoning of the pepper and jeera rasam to make it more medicinal and effective

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