Healing South Indian Tomato Rasam

Healing South Indian Tomato Rasam

Tomato rasam is ubiquitous in Southern India.  It is like tea in China, or pasta in Italy.  It is a standard.  This simple, flavorful soup is as delicious as it is nourishing and satisfying.  It pairs well with rice, but can also be served on its own with rice papad.  Either way, it is delicious, light, and healing.

Healing South Indian Tomato Rasam | cookglobaleatlocal.comTomato rasam is such a common food that there are practically an infinite variety of ways to make it. Preparations depend on the family, their region of origin, and — of course — the individual cook.

When I lived in Bangalore before my eldest son was born, I drank many rasams.  Some were amazing.  Others were mediocre.

The Rasam Cure

However, the most memorable rasam I drank was on an Indian Railways express train which ran between Chennai and Bangalore.  Normally, I would avoid the train rasam, as it wasn’t the best.

However, on this particular day, I was suffering with the flu.  So, I grudgingly accepted the rasam on the train and drank the entire cup.

Thanks to the pepper and the tamarind in the rasam I drank on the train, I felt sufficiently better to be able to take a nap.  Within twelve hours, one of the worst flus I’ve ever experienced had completely disappeared.

Obviously, I am not a doctor.  So, I cannot say the rasam cured me.  However, I can say that ever since that experience I have craved rasam each and every time I’ve felt any sort of virus coming on. Moreover, on many occasions, I’ve felt better shortly after drinking a homemade rasam.

Healing South Indian Tomato Rasam | cookglobaleatlocal.com

This Recipe

There are many different varieties of rasam, as I mentioned earlier.  However, rasam usually involves a bit of dal (lentils).  I will share my “standard” recipe, including dal, with you on another day.

Today, I have chosen to prepare rasam without dal, because it the quickest and easiest of rasams to prepare.  I also think it is the recipe that’s easiest to rush through on a busy weeknight when you might be feeling a virus coming on.

As we get closer to the festive season, we all get busier and busier, and this particular rasam is the best medicine for the viruses our fatigue might bring on.  I hope you love it as much as I do, and I hope you drink it in health.  Bon appétit!


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