Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Ginger Rasam – No Need of Rasam Powder !!!


There are really only two ways people look at Ginger – They either love it or they hate it! In my opinion Ginger is pretty under rated. We use it in appetisers, main courses, salads, dressings, desserts, cookies and even bread! It supposedly helps with digestion, is an effective cure for coughs and colds, boosts immunity and helps combat cancer. In the long list of medicinal properties I love the fact that its been around for thousands of years. In fact I love it in my tea for the zing that it provides. I have been contemplating making my own ginger cough drops, but that`s a project for another day. Ginger Rasam needs no prep work and no Rasam Powder. It`s one of those things you can prep,cook and finish in under 30 minutes or less. Use it as a rasam or simply drink it as soup. Its hearty, warming and extremely good for you.

One word of caution – I see many varieties of ginger in the markets. The smaller thinner varieties are in my opinion more potent so slightly reduce the quantity thats recommended. I use the slightly fatter bigger variety thats available in the Indian stores in the US.


1 Ripe Tomato.

2 Cups Diluted Tamarind Water.

1/4 Cup Cooked Toor Dhal.

1 Inch Ginger Crushed roughly.

1 Tsp Crushed Pepper.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric.

1 Tbsp Jaggery or 2 Tsp Sugar.

Salt to taste.

Cilantro to garnish.


2 Tsp Ghee.

1 Tsp Mustard Seeds.

1 Tsp Jeera.

1 Green Chilli sliced long.

1 Tbsp Grated Ginger.

Handful of curry leaves.

Pinch of Hing.


  • Chop the tomatoes fine. Grate the ginger as needed. Crush the 1 inch piece in your mortar.
  • Dilute the 1/4 Cup cooked toor dhal with enough water and bring it to about 1 cup.
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel heat the ghee and slowly add the ingredients for tempering – Mustard Seeds, Cumin seeds, slit chilli, grated ginger, hing and the curry leaves .
  • When they splutter add the chopped tomatoes and allow to saute until soft.
  • In a few minutes add the diluted 2 cups of tamarind water and then the turmeric powder, salt, crushed ginger, and the crushed black pepper.
  • This broth has to boil and slightly reduce until all the raw smell is gone.
  • When done, add the  1 cup of diluted cooked toor dhal water and mix.
  • When it setttles down add about 1 tbsp jaggery or 1 1/2 tsp of sugar as needed.
  • Boil the rasam on medium flame so it slowly starts frothing and just begins to boil.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Keep the vessel tightly closed until its time to serve.
  • Delicious Ginger Rasam can be mixed with rice or simply drink it like soup!!


  1. Some peoople do not prefer to taste the grated ginger pieces. In such cases just mash up the ginger in to rough chunks.
  2. It`s a great option as a hot warming soup.
  3. Moderate the amount of jaggery/ sugar so as to give the rasam a hint of sweetness over the sharpness of the ginger and the pepper.



Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Sweet & Tart Pineapple Rasam. ( Tamarind Broth simmered with sweet pineapple chunks and spices)

My all time favorite fruits have always been Pineapples and Jackfruits, and they will always remain so. I am guessing its something to do with my olfactory senses and maybe its colour! Every time I smell fully ripe pineapples or jackfruits, I must must have them right away. Growing up in T.Nagar and having my roots in Palakkad must definitely have something to do with this favouritism I am guessing. Whenever little sis S and me used to go to Pondy Bazzar or shopping anywhere near RMKV or Pothys, its an unwritten rule to buy cleanly sliced pineapple pieces,and tart mango slices  generously hashed with fiery red spicy chilly powder and salt and spices and wrapped with juices flowing ,in pages of last month`s tamil magazine. The other vendor would have his ripe jackfruits wrapped in a green banana leaf and believe me or not, buying these fruits and relishing them in the hot and breezy summer evenings would give us more pleasure than any dress or salwar bought after hours of seiving through shelves of stacked clothes!

On my first job at the bank, we would have Sangeetha Restaurants right opposite our branch and lunches would always be Sangeetha Quick Lunch consisting of little portions of pulav, side dish, raitha, and Pineapple Kesari, in bright bright yellow! I cannot even begin to explain how much I love their Pineapple Kesari.. It was an amazing feeling to eat your favorite fruit in your favourite dessert! Now thats a post for another day, but today I made Pineapple Rasam, rich with the sweetness of the pineapples, tart from the tamarind broth, and earthy from the cilantro. There is something about Pineapple and Cilantro, they are great together in a Pineapple salsa as much as they are in a candle fragrance!!!


1 Cup Ripe diced pineapples.

3 Cups Thin Tamarind Water.

1 1/2 Tsp Rasam Powder.

1 – 1 1/2 Tsp Jaggery.

1/4 Cup Cooked Toor Dhal.

A few drops of Pineapple Essence.

Chopped Cilantro.


Salt to taste.


Mustard Seeds,

Curry Leaves.


  • Take a flat bottomed vessel and add the pieces of chopped pineapple and let it sit for a couple minute.s.  Take about 5-6 pieces and grind to a smooth paste with water and add this paste to the tamarind water.
  • Place the vessel over the stove and allow the jaggery to cook in the tamarind water.
  •  Add salt,hing,  jaggery, turmeric, rasam powder, cilantro and curry leaves and let it simmer and reduce a bit.
  • Take the cooked toor dhal and add about a cup of water and mash and mix it well until its a thin dhal water.
  • Add this dhal water to the reduced rasam and check for salt and sweetness.
  • Depending on the brand of jaggery and the sweetness and tartness in the pineapple, add a little more jaggery if needed.
  • Enhance the flavour and aroma of the pineapple by adding a couple drops of pineapple essence. You can omit this step if you want to.
  • When the rasam froth up, add chopped cilantro, remove from the stove and keep covered until ready to serve.
  • You will enjoy the aroma of sweet ,cooked pineapple combined with the intense citrusy earthy smell of the chopped corriander leaves.
Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

GUEST POST – Tangy Tomato Porichcha Rasam.( Tomato broth with roasted spices simmered to perfection)

This post comes to  you straight from the middle of the world, all the way from Ghana, from a very good blogger friend and my guide in so many culinary aspects – Lata Raja.of Flavours & Tastes, ..Yes, lets hear it for her!!! I had always wanted the authentic tamil recipe for Poricha Rasam and I urged Lata to post it on Anubhavati for the Guest Blog Series. She felt it was way too simple for a Guest Post – But in many ways, the most tasty things in life are extremely simplistic. So here goes…the recipe for Poricha Rasam,. Try it and I am sure you`ll love its delicate flavours of tamarind, tomato and the zing from the roasted spices.

Porichcha rasam:

Porichcha rasam can be made quite easily as it does not involve soaking the tamarind and extracting pulp. Also the dhal used is far less in quantity, that you may use the more lighter water that surfaces on the top after the thick precipitate settles down, which we may eventually use for sambhar.
Tomatoes 2 large
Toor Dhal extract 300 ml ( pressure cooked thuvar dhal, mashed and water added to it)
Asafoetida powder a pinch
Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste.
To be dry roasted and ground to a paste:
2 teaspoons channa dhal
3 pieces dry red chilli (adjust according to spice requirement)
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4-6 black pepper corns.
1 teaspoon ghee
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
few curry leaves.
Fresh coriander leaves.
  • Boil tomatoes and remove the peel. Mash the  pulp and add to the dhal extract.
  • Add some more water and bring this to a boil with salt and turmeric powder added to it.
  • Add the ground paste and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Add asafoetida powder.
  • Remove from the stove top and temper with the ingredients listed.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped  coriander leaves.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice.
  • Optionally some coconut may be added to the grinding of the roasted spices to make a variety of Mysore rasam.
  • On days you dont have cooked toor dhal ready,  you may mix paruppu podi in water, if you have handy, and add to the tomatoes. In such a case, reduce the spice because the paruppu podi will have salt and spice in it.
  • For a more tangy taste, squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lime fruit after removing from the flame. Alternately you may make a small ball of tamarind and boil along with the tomatoes and remove the scum while pulping the tomatoes.
  • You may choose to grind only the channa dhal and coriander seeds along with red chillis and add the cumin powder and black pepper powder to the tempering.
I tried Lata`s version of Porichcha Rasam yesterday and loved the results. I did have loads of tomatoes leftover from the making of Delicious TOmato Thokku, which were slowly beginning to get over ripe. …I remembered Nupur`s event and I quickly tried Lata`s Poricha Rasam but made a few modifications though.
  • I used dilute tamarind water for a base as I prefer rasam with a little tang.
  • I also used “Arkansas Tomatoes” as i felt that they were almost close to the flavourful tangy tomatoes that you get in India. I was very pleased with the results.
  • I dry ground the dry roasted spices and added them to the toor-dhal-tomato water.
  • Aromatic and tang infused Porichcha Rasam was very delicious and comforting.
  • Served with Beans Poriyal and Ten  Minute Cucumber Kootu.