Cranberry Rasam

Rasam or ‘Saar’ as it is called in Tulu, my mother tongue is a soup like dish eaten with rice prepared in most South Indian homes. Every family has a special recipe they like to follow and so do I. The rasam powder is amma’s recipe which she has been making for years which has again been handed down by my dodamma.

Let’s get to the cranberry part, sounds very unique right? Cranberry is in season now so thought of making rasam. Since cranberry is sour you do not need to use tamarind which is one of the main ingredients. It tastes heavenly with hot rice and papad with a dollop of ghee. There are many kinds of rasam  which includes black pepper, lemon, regular with tomato, pineapple, mango etc. 

Udupi Ashta mutt communal dining hall always serves tomato or regular rasam along with other delicacies for people visiting the temples.The experience of sitting on the floor while eating and hot food served course after course on a banana leaf is a must try if you are visiting that part of the world. 

Padmasana or sitting on the floor with legs crossed is a yoga pose which has many benefits like correct posture, better digestion and relaxation.

On to making rasam now…

Servings

4-6 people

Prep Time

15 minutes, to make powder

Cook Time

20-25 minutes

Total Time

About 35-40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup tur/arhar dal or pigeon peas
  • 1 tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp jaggery
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 red chiles
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • 3-4 tsp rasam powder
  • For rasam powder:
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 8-10 red chilies, byadagi variety
  • ½ tsp fenugreek or methi seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ⅛ piece fresh asafetida or powder
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

PREPARATION

Step 1
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.

Step 2  
Wash cranberries. Pressure cook cranberries, dal, tomato, salt, turmeric and jaggery. Release pressure naturally.

Step 3
If using Instant pot place all the ingredients and manual set the pressure to 4 minutes. Release pressure naturally.

Step 4
Using a whisk blend the mixture well.

Step 5
In a pan add the dal mixture and bring to a boil. Add 2 tbsp rasam powder and 1 sprig of curry leaves to the rasam and mix well and cook for 5 minutes.

Step 6 
Heat oil in a small pan add mustard, red chilies, cilantro and the remaining curry leaves. When it splutters add to the rasam and serve hot with rice and papad.

Notes: yields about 3-4 tbsp of rasam powder. The remaining powder can be stored in an airtight container for future use.

While making rasam powder you can add a tsp or two of oil but I prefer to skip.

The chilies I use here are originally grown in Karnataka called Byadagi, which is known for its red hue minus the spiciness.

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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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