It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato
This zesty tomato-tamarind rasam is thanks to my friends Kiran and Ranjit. Last weekend they dropped in for the evening and brought a bag of luscious homegrown tomatoes. What a nice surprise! I love tomatoes. As I was putting the bag in the fridge, somewhere at the back of my mind I tucked in a thought that I was going to make tomato-tamarind rasam out of them.
This rasam is generally had as an appetizer and what an appetizer it is! Unlike some other appetizers/soups which are heavy and tend to make you full, this rasam is light, warm, full of flavor and will surely satisfy your taste buds. Doctors and health magazines say tomatoes are rich in Vitamins A, C, B-Complex, potassium, flavonoids, and have anti-carcinogenic properties. They also seems to have this thing called Lycopene which supposedly keeps you young and all that. Well, all this sounds really good so keep eating tomatoes!
6 medium size tomatoes
fresh tamarind/imli (1 x 1 inch)
1/3 tea spoon rasam powder
1/4 tea spoon crushed black pepper
jaggery/gud/goL (1 x 1 inch)
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 sprig curry leaves/kadhi patta/mitho limdo
1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves/cilantro/hara dhaniya
For vaghar: 1 tsp butter/ghee, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, 2 whole red chilies
1. Blend the tomatoes in a blender with 1 cup of water and strain the liquid. Boil the strained tomato juice over medium heat for about 7-8 minutes.
2. Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of water for a few minutes, softly crush it with your fingers and extract the water and strain the liquid. Now Add the tamarind water, rasam powder, ground black pepper and jaggery to the boiling tomato juice. Boil for 5 minutes.
3. Add salt, curry leaves and 2 cups of water. Boil for 5 more minutes on medium heat.
4. Heat ghee/butter and do a vaghar/tadka of mustard seeds, and whole red chilies. Finally, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves/cilantro on rasam.
I chopped curry leaves/kadhi patta in small pieces but I think it’s better to put just whole leaves. Also, If you don’t like cumin seeds/jeera, or mustard seeds in your rasam, you can skip them.