Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Rasam - ரசம் - A simple remedy

Back home my mom made rasam twice a week. We must drink rasam after washing our hair and an oil bath every Saturday. And sore throat before catching a real cold was no exception. It heals, warms up the body, and nourishing in its own way. Warm, spicy liquid on trickling down the throat is quite an experience. 

A simple Rasam for cold and sore throat:

A handful of toasted coriander, cumin, Tellichery pepper all ground coarsely together 
A spoonful of tamarind paste
1/4 tsp asafoetida
A few curry leaves (optional)
Couple garlic cloves, crushed but chunky
**Adjust the salt and tamarind according to your taste buds

Mix the ground spices with two cups of water and let it boil. Once the water's bubbly, turn down the heat and simmer (covered or uncovered) for about ten minutes. A couple minutes before turning the stove off stir in the curry leaves, garlic asafoetida cover and let it sit for a few minutes. Strain the liquid and enjoy. I like to drink it with hot basmati rice and dhal curry. These three simple home remedies provide me the warmth and healing I need when I am suffering from a cold. 

Although rasa powder is available commercially, I prefer to make my own using good quality spices. There are several different ways of making rasam and this simple version is my favorite.