Pineapple Rasam Recipe
Classic rasam is usually made using a tomato base but since I enjoy a little bit of chaos in my life every once in awhile, I have decided to mix it up and go the non-traditional route by way of Pineapple Rasam! Don’t knock it till you try it, it’s pure liquid gold. There are lots of different variations of rasam but this combination is my favorite since I am also a big pineapple fan. If you prefer, you can omit the pineapple and substitute it with green mango, green papaya or even star fruit. You can also feel fee to try your hand at other rasam varieties such as garlic rasam, lemon or lime rasam, jeera (cumin) rasam, coconut rasam...
Now rasam powder is a wonderful mixture of spices essential to making any rasam. Ready-made rasam powders are easily available in any Indian grocery store or feel free to make it yourself using the recipe provided below. It’s easy to make and using freshly made rasam powder will give your rasam a wonderful bold fresh flavor. If you don’t have rasam powder, no need to worry, just substitute ¼ tsp black pepper combined with ¼ tsp ground cumin powder, ½ ground coriander powder and red chili powder to taste.
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp chana dal (split chickpeas)
2 tbsp toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas)
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
4-5 dried red chilies
6-8 dried curry leaves
½ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds), optional
large pinch of asafetida (hing)
Dry roast all of the ingredients, let cool and grind to a fine powder. Store in the pantry for up to 1 month and in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
PINEAPPLE RASAM (Spicy South Indian Pineapple Soup)
½ cup cooked toor dal (aka split yellow pigeon peas or arhar dal), well mashed
1½ cup of fresh pineapple, finely diced
1 small tomato, finely diced
½” piece of ginger, peeled & finely grated
1½ tsp rasam powder
¼ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp tamarind paste (or tam concentrate or tam powder)
¼ tsp sugar (or jaggery aka gul), to taste
salt, to taste
3½ c water (or add 3 c water and ½ c fresh pineapple juice or you can use the cooking liquid from the dal)
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
2-3 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
8-10 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida (hing)
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola), or you can use ghee
freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
In a medium size soup pot on medium high heat, add 3½ cups of water along with the cooked/mashed toor dal. Mix well to combine and add the pineapple, tomato & ginger. Stir & let cook for a few minutes before adding the spices (rasam powder, turmeric, sugar & salt) and the tamarind. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for a few minutes. Feel free to add more rasam powder accordingly to taste.
In a small saucepan on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When they stop splattering, quickly add the cumin seeds along with the green chilies, curry leaves & asafetida. After 30 seconds, very carefully pour this hot oil mixture over the pineapple rasam. Garnish with cilantro leaves & serve hot with rice.
Basically use the recipe given above but instead of the pineapple ---
*To make Garlic Rasam: add 4-5 large garlic cloves, finely minced to the dish instead of pineapple.
*To make Lemon or Lime Rasam: add the juice of 1 medium lemon or lime along with a little zest.
*To make Jeera (cumin) Rasam: add 1 tsp ground cumin powder to the rasam and add 1 tsp cumin seeds to the hot oil.
*To make Coconut Rasam: decrease the amount of water to 2 cups and add 1½ cups of coconut milk, also add freshly grated coconut (or frozen coconut or unsweetened desiccated coconut to the rasam).
*To make Beetroot Rasam: roast 2 medium beets until tender & finely dice. Then just add to the recipe in place of the pineapple.
*To make Green Apple Rasam: peel & dice a large apple, finely dice & add to the recipe in place of the pineapple.
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