Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Quick N Easy Garlic Rasam – For those cold rainy days!!!

Garlic Rasam
Garlic Rasam

Garlic Rasam was not something that we would make at home a lot…In fact Maduraiamma would never ever have garlic. Over the years Amma used to make her version of this Rasam and my sister D would love it. I make two versions of this Rasam – One with Toor Dhal and the other without. Although not even adding Toor Dhal would rob the Rasam essentially of the protien, on those lazy days when you want to finish cooking as soon as possible and curl up to have it watching a nice movie or read an absorbing book….I make the quick version of it!!!


2 cups of Tamarind Water Extract.

1 tomato

5 Garlic Pods



1 Spoon Rasam Powder.


Mustard Seeds, Jeera, Hing, Curry Leaves, 3 Red Chillies, and 1 spoon of Ghee.


  • In a mixer jar, add a tomato, 2 pods of garlic  and some tamarind water and give it a quick pulse. Pour this in to the vessel with the tamarind water and place on the stove on medium low.
  • Add salt, turmeric, rasam powder,hing and curry leaves to the tamarind water.
  • In a small frying pan add a spoon of ghee and when its hot, add jeera, mustard, 3 mashed garlic pods, 3 red chillies, and curry leaves and add this to the tamarind water.
  • Allow this to boil for 20 minutes or until the raw smell is gone.
  • Switch off and garnish with chopped corriander and curry leaves.
  • Enjoy Hot Garlic Rasam with Alu Fry or Carrot Subji.
No Need of Onions!!! · Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Delicious Home Made Tomato Rasam.

Thakkali Rasam

Rasam – slurp!!! It`s my all time favourite comfort food. Even a not so intersting day is made spicy and special simply thinking of making rasam. Of all the rasams that I love, my favourite has always been the home made amma`s piping hot tomato rasam. In India of course, there is a lot of tang to the tomatoes, that amma makes tomato rasam with almost no tamarind. Here, sometimes I need the kick of tanginess from the tamarind so I do liberate myself by using the tamarind water base in the makng of thakkali rasam. On days when I get tomatillos, I use them on their own. I make this rasam in a zillion ways, but here is one of them…


1 big heirloom tomato/slicing tomato/2 roma tomatoes or 3 tomatillos.

1 cup of tamarind extract from a lime sized ball of tamarind.

1 spoon of Rasam Powder.

A pinch of turmeric.

A pinch of hing.

Curry Leaves.

Sprigs of Cilantro.


1/3 cup of cooked toor dhal.

2 vertically slit green chillies.


A spoon of ghee, mustard seeds, curry leaves, pinch of jeera.


  • In a mixer container, drop half a tomato, a few sprigs of cilantro, curry leaves and 4-5 spoons of tamarind water and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Add this to the tamarind water already prepared and put in the rasam pot and place over the stove.
  • Chop the other half of the big tomato in to little pieces and add to the pot.
  • Slowly add salt, hing, rasam powder, little cilantro, curry leaves, turmeric and allow to simmer on medium low flame.
  • It`s important that the rasam is simmered in the pot over a low flame for maximum taste.
  • Take the cooked toor dhal and add a cup of water and using your fingers, mash the dhal and mix it well with the water.
  • Add this watery toor dhal to the reduced rasam concentrate in the pot.
  • Stir well and when you see the first boil, switch off, add the remaining sprigs of cilantro and curry leaves, the slit chillies and close with a lid immediately.
  • In a small kadai, season in ghee using mustard seeds, jeera and a dash of hing and pour over the rasam in the pot.
  • Serve PIPING HOT!!!
No Need of Onions!!! · Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Tangy Tomatillo Lemon Rasam.

Tangy Tomatillo Lemon Rasam.
Tangy Tomatillo Lemon Rasam.

Cold weather and rains always make me remember Comfort Foods….Foods that have been a part of our growing up, something that I always took for granted for a long long time. When I went to stay in the hostel for my Masters, I realised the warmth and love that goes in to the food our moms make for us. Nothing that I can have in restaurants can even come close to the lingering fragrance and warmth from food cooked at home with loving hands.

After a festival or function,we would crave for amma`s home made simple pathyam food to cleanse our systems.  I always loved her simple lemon rasam with Beans Curry or Chow Chow Kootu and Appalam. I am not so happy with the tomatoes here in the U.S, as I feel they lack tartness and tang. Yesterday when I saw tomatillos at the local produce store, I bought a pound or two, all the while imaging endless possibilities. Tomatillos can be stored in paper bags and kept in the refridgerator for around 2-3 weeks. The tomatillos have a protective outside husk. Remove the husk and wash before use. Tomatillos are used in many places in teh treatment of fever. I had to make this lemon rasam today, as its been pouring since morning and I suddenly yearned for amma`s cooking…

Tomatillos with husks...
Tomatillos with husks…Pic Courtesy


2 Tomatillos or 1 Tomato

1  Jalapeno  slit vertically.

2 red chillies.

2 1/2  cups of water

4 spoons of cooked Toor dhal.

1 Inch Piece of Tamarind.

1 Tsp Rasam Powder


Curry Leaves.

1 Lemon.


Cilantro / Curry Leaves to Garnish.


  • Chop the tomatillos in to little pieces so it saves cooking time. Dilute the cooked toor dhal in the 2 1/2 cups of water and set aside.
  • In a kadai, add a spoon of ghee and when it is hot, add mustard. When the mustard splutters, add hing, curry leaves, red chillies, slit jalapenos, and finally the chopped tomatillos.
  • Allow to saute for a few minutes till the tomatillos are a little mushy.
  • Add 1 cup  of the dhal water at this stage and allow to simmer. Add salt, hing, Rasam powder and  turmeric.
  • After about ten  minutes, remove in a spoon, a few cooked pieces of tomatillos and crush them with a spoon in a cup. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of toor dhal water to the crushed tomatillos and pour it all back in to the kadai.
  • Allow the whole rasam to simmer and then switch off in about 15 minutes or so. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and curry leaves. Keep the rasam closed.
  • After the rasam has cooled down a bit,  squeeze the juice from the lemon and keep closed again until time to serve.
  • Serve HOT with Beans Poriyal or Pumpkin Poricha Kootu. Alu Fry is always the recommended option!!


  • The same rasam can be made with regular tomatoes too. I add a pinch of  tamarind to the dal water as it cooks.
  • Adjust the tartness based on the sourness of the Lemon/ lime etc.
  • For added taste,  you can zest the lemon a little bit after switching off the stove
  • Add a marble size of jaggery for added taste.

Let me know what you think! Did you try it?

Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Milagu Jeeraga Rasam (Tomato broth simmered with roasted cummin,pepper and lentils.)

Milagu Jeeraga Rasam - Pathya Samayal.
Milagu Jeeraga Rasam - Pathya Samayal.

Milagu Jeeraga Rasam is also part of the comfort food series…On a cold day to have a dose of steaming pepper rasam along with piping hot rice and your favorite side of vegetable like vendekkai kari, Amma`s Alu Fry or “kootu” is something I can never trade anything else for!!! Whenever its the rainy season and we come down with a cold or cough, amma or Madurai amma would make piping hot rasam and we would feel fussed. It`s also “Pathya Samayal” as its given to people when are they not keeping well, to purify the body, build immunity and to recuperate. The flavor of the “rasam” is enhanced when you add a drop of ghee – what else can you call that aroma and taste – Divine!!!

This morning my husband was not keeping too well, complained of cold and sore throat and I thought this was a good day to make comfort food. Its lightly flavored with the sourness of the tomatoes and the pepper and cumin gives it that extra kick that enhances the warmth around the throat. Here it is, from my kitchen to yours…


1 1/2 cups of tamarind water extracted from a lime size tamarind .

1/4 cup of cooked toor dhal. (Optional)

1 Tomato.



Salt to taste

Curry Leaves.

Roast Dry:

Dry Roasted Ingredients.
Dry Roasted Ingredients.

1 1/2 spoons of pepper.

1 spoon of jeera (cumin)

3/4 spoon of Bengal Gram

5 curry leaves.


Mustard, Vepampoo and curry leaves.


  • In the mixer, grind the dry roasted ingredients to a powder and THEN add one tomato chopped coarsely with a little tamarind water and grind to a paste.
  • In the copper bottomed vessel, add the ground paste and the remaining tamarind water.
  • Add salt, hing. curry leaves and turmeric and allow to boil on a medium low flame.
  • When the raw smell is gone and the liquid is reduced by 1/3, dilute the cooked toor dhal with 1/2-3/4 cup of water and pour it in.
  • If you are making this for a person who has an upset stomach, you may skip the toor dhal and simply dilute it with 1/2 cup of plain water.
  • When it begings to boil, switch off the stove and add chopped corriander.
  • Season in ghee with mustard, vepampoo and curry leaves.
  • The Vepampoo or the Neem Flower is believed to aid in digestion and stimulate the liver and also prevent many kinds of cancers, so I thought it would be a good idea to add some more nutrition and build immunity in to our systems.

Sending  piping hot pots of  Pepper Jeera Rasam to “Think Spice – Think Pepper” event hosted by Divya Vikram of Dil Se and started by Sunita.