Whether it’s to cure your homesickness or fight a cold, rasam, a popular spicy and tangy soup, is a healthy food choice you can make in under 30 minutes. And the best part? A rasam recipe is quite easy to recreate in a student kitchen.
Rasam is a staple in Indian cuisine, but did you know that it is also known as an immunity booster that aids digestion? The soup is a powerful blend of herbs and spices with a delicious golden hue. It has recently become popular during the pandemic for its health properties. So, what is a rasam recipe and how can students recreate it? Let’s find out.
What spices do I need for this rasam recipe?
It’s easier to find the right ingredients to whip up Indian food when you live in a major college town. Cities with immigrant populations often have grocery stores carrying the basic spices for this rasam recipe: black peppercorns, cumin, fenugreek seeds, and mustard seeds.
Indian students know them well, but if this is your first time trying this cuisine, ask for help identifying them. These spices are touted for their various health benefits: they help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and even fight bacteria. It is no wonder that ancient Indians were convinced that rasam could help you stay healthy during the pandemic. Together, the immunity boosting properties of these spices make rasam a healthy dish worth recreating in your small kitchen.
Fresh ingredients are also important
Besides the spices, you’ll also need a few fresh ingredients that are relatively easy to find – just look in your local produce section. They are:
- curry leaves
- Tamarind paste (which can be replaced with lime juice)
Chili comes in three forms: fresh, dry and powdered. Together with turmeric powder, it forms the bright color of the broth and the basis of its antioxidant properties. On top of that, curry leaves and cilantro are good for digestion, blood health, and cholesterol management. Once you have these ingredients, it’s time to try the rasam recipe.
Immunity Boosting Soup in 10 Easy Steps
You don’t have a stove? You can also try this rasam recipe in an electric rice cooker. When finished, enjoy the hearty soup on its own or over hot, steamed rice. This rasam recipe is perfect for two to three servings; if you make a big batch, just freeze and reheat it to enjoy over the next week.
- Soak the tamarind (about the size of 3 fingers) in a cup of hot water. Squeeze the seeds. Alternatively, mix 1/4 cup of lime juice with a cup of hot water.
- Pound three cloves of garlic, two fresh peppers and two sprigs of curry leaves with 1.5 teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of black peppercorns. No pestle and mortar? Instead, use a blender or cut the fresh ingredients into very small pieces and mash them with the spices.
- Add a crushed tomato in the tamarind / lime juice. Add another cup of water.
- Heat the oil in a pan or rice cooker; add 1/4 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, a teaspoon of mustard seeds and two dried peppers. Use more peppers if you have the corresponding spice tolerance.
- Add the crushed ingredients from step two and sauté. This is where it starts to smell like rasam.
- Add 1.5 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1.5 teaspoon of chili powder. Mix well.
- Stir in the tomato and tamarind juice mixture.
- Add another cup of water.
- Add salt and bring to a boil.
- Add the chopped cilantro and serve.