Rasam (Tamil) or Saaru (Kannada) – A spicy South Indian tomato soup (with pictures)

The recipe for ‘rasam‘ was my very first recipe post and rasam is what my site is named after. However, I realised recently that I hadn’t posted any pictures for this lovely dish. It just so happened that I made some this weekend and I took some pictures this time. So here they are along with some minor changes to the recipe.

The essence of this delicious dish is the spice mix called  rasam podi or saaru pudi. This is the mixture of spices that gives Rasam it’s unique taste. It is pepper and chilly based and is the cure for many a common malaise (Read about them in my Old wives’ page for Rasam).

The rasam or saaru powder is special in that every south Indian household has their own take on it. This is passed on through generations of mums, grandmas and greatgrandmas and in my opinion is the most valuable form of inheritance – knowledge. Needless to say, every south Indian person tends to be partial to their mum’s/grandma’s/greatgrandma’s take on the dish and I’m no exception. My mum’s rasam is the best rasam in the world and she makes it exactly like her mum did. Even as a child, I was unimpressed with the other rasams in the area and would report back to mum about how the rasam next door wasn’t the greatest. Never mind being thankful for the invitation to eat there.

Without much ado, let me give you the recipe for mum’s rasam podi and rasam itself.

Saaru or Rasam

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Rasam (Tamil) or Saaru (Kannada)

The very basis of this simple yet delicious dish is the rasam ‘podi’ (pronounced: ‘Po’ as in poll and ‘Di’ as in dig) or powder. This is the mixture of spices that gives Rasam it’s unique taste. It is heavily pepper and chilly based and is the cure for many a common malaise (Read about them in my Old wives’ page for Rasam).

The rasam or saaru podi is special in that every south Indian household has their own take on it. This is inherited from generations of mums, grandmas and greatgrandmas and in my opinion is the most valuable form of inheritance – knowledge.

Needless to say, every south Indian person tends to be partial to their mum’s/grandma’s/greatgrandma’s take on the dish and I’m no exception. My mum’s Rasam is the best rasam in the world and she makes it exactly like her mum (whom I call Papa) did. Even as a child, I was unimpressed with the other rasams in the area and would report back to mum about how the rasam next door wasn’t the greatest. Never mind being thankful for the invitation to eat there.

Without much ado, let me give you the recipe for it.

Continue reading