It's called RASAM in Tamilnadu and SAARU in other states of the south and it is eaten with Rice only in South India and many call it the enjoying combination as a good meal, after eating the first portion of a meal with Sambar or the prepared curry a second helping goes on with Rice, Rasam Pa pad and pickle, mixed thoroughly with all the five fingers and a good fist fight goes on between the mouth and the plate. This Tamarind water that is tempered with spices is an essential dish in all function meals and is a must.A milder non spicy form of Rasam is mixed well with rice and given to a person who is Ill with fever, and this is very true with the contents of pepper and cumin in it , would bring down the temperature of fever.
now try this simple recipe from my ancestors, the good old Tomato Rasam............................
Tomato 3 nos (ripe and firm)
Tamarind 1 marble size
Jeera seeds 1 tsp
Pepper 1 tsp
Red chilly 3 nos
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
Asofoetida 1/2 tsp
Garlic 6 cloves ( with the skin on)
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaf 1 sprig
Coriander 1 1/2 tbsp ( finely chopped)
Salt to taste
Green chilly 2 nos (deseed and slit)
Oil 3 tsp
-Boil the tomatoes in 2 cups of water, cool it and remove the skin and then smash the tomatoes in the same water and keep aside.
-Mix the Tamarind in 2 cups of hot water and extract the pulp, keep aside.
-Broil the Jeera, pepper, fenugreek------ cool and powder and add to the tomato extract.
-Heat the oil in a small vessel add the mustard when it crackles add the curry leaves, asofoetida, crushed garlic, slit green chilly and saute well .
-Pour in the tomato extract, the tamarind pulp and mix well add salt and cover to boil, as it boils add the chopped coriander stir well cover and put the flame off.
-Serve this with plain hot Rice with Pickle and Papads as accompaniments.
This is great for a cold winter afternoon or rainy day