Rasam or chaaru is a soup that is very popular in south India. It is served with rice or can be consumed like soup. It is prepared with tamarind and/or tomatoes, spiced with black pepper and/or chili powder and some lentils. There are many types of chaarus and I prepare tomato and meriyala (black pepper) chaaru. There is more information about rasam and different varieties of rasam on wikipedia.
Chaaru is one of my favorites and on a cold winter day, hot chaaru served with rice is heavenly. That is exactly what I did last monday, when there was a snow storm on the east coast and was very cold. I prepare tomato chaaru in different ways depending on my mood and that day, I made this quick and easy tomato chaaru.
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
- 1 ½ – 2 tbsp Oil
- 1 Cardamom (opt)
- 1 Clove (opt)
- ¼” Cinnamon (opt)
- ½ tsp Cumin or Sahjeera
- 2 Bay leaves (opt)
- 4 Curry Leaves
- ½ small Onion Chopped
- 4 small Green Chilies cut length wise
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- ½ tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- ½ tsp Black Pepper Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 medium sized Vine Tomatoes diced or 1 ¼ – 1 ½ cup diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp Tamarind Paste (adjust to taste)
- 3 ½ c – 4 cups water
- Cilantro garnish
- Heat oil in a pan; add clove, cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon and cumin. Once those change color, add onion and curry leaves and cook until onions are translucent.
- Add ginger garlic paste and chilies and sauté for a minute.
- Add coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, pepper powder and mix well.
- Add Tomatoes, tamarind and salt and cook until tomatoes become tender. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
- Add water, bring to boil and boil for 5 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat, garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice.
- I used vine ripe tomatoes. I prefer the vine tomatoes as I find these tomatoes sour. One could use tomatoes of their preference.
Rasam or Chaaru is on of my favorites. My aunt knew this and she use to make it only for me, when I ever I visited her, any time of the day. Sometimes, when I landed up at her place announced, just before dinner, she would quickly make some chaaru just for me. I am sending this over to Sanghi’s Fall In Love (FIL): Tomato event. I thought of sending it to Sanghi when I posted it and it just slipped my mind. Just came to know that this event is extended to March 31st. So here goes my Tomato Rasam to Fall In Love: Tomato.