Rasam is a quintessential component of South Indian food. Tamarind water, tur/arhar dal or pigeon peas and rasam powder mainly comprise this simple dish. I remember my uncle (dad’s sister’s husband) almost never had a meal (except breakfast) without rasam. Such was his love for rasam. Whenever he visited us amma would make a pot of rasam. Many of you would have family members who love rasam to this extent.
Pineapple rasam is a variation of the same dish. I first had it in a friend’s place and instantly fell in love with the taste. Tangy, sweet and spicy in perfect balance makes this dish irresistible served with steamed rice. The mellow fruitiness of pineapple is very pronounced in the dish. I have used pureed and cubed pineapple to get the flavor.
- ½ cup tur dal, cooked and mashed
- 1 cup pineapple puree
- ½ cup pineapple, cut into small cubes
- 2 tsp tamarind paste, optional
- ½ -1 cup water
- 1 tsp jaggery, optional
- Salt to taste
- For rasam powder:
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 8-10 red chilies
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp mustard seeds
- ⅛ tsp fresh asafetida or powder
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- For seasoning:
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 2 red chiles
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1-2 tsp oil
To make rasam powder dry roast red chilies in a pan until crisp for about 5-7 minutes. Dry roast all the ingredients one by one or altogether and keep aside. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
Take a pan, add pineapple puree, pineapple cubes and water. Bring to a boil.
After 2-3 minutes add cooked dal, salt, jaggery (if using) and tamarind paste. Adjust the consistency by adding more water if needed.
Add rasam powder and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the flame
Take a pan, add oil and the seasoning ingredients, when the mustard splutters add it to the hot rasam. Serve with steamed rice.
Notes: Before adding tamarind paste check the taste, if the rasam tastes tangy do not add tamarind paste. This is because sometimes the pineapple can be sour.
The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.
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