Its been ages since I made a rasam and as I scrolled through my dog earred handwritten recipe book (scribbled in the weeks before I got married) I found moms lentil- free, easy tomato rasam recipe, which is my absolute favourite and decided to adapt it a little bit for this one.
I substituted one of the two tomatoes in her recipe for 2 slices of pineapple, chopped the pineapple into bits and added it to the usual list of rasam ingredients, skipped the tamarind for Kokum/ mangosteen leaves (see notes below for more on kokum leaves) and 15 minutes later I had a tummy warming, palate cleansing, invigorating tangy soup whose aromas were wafting through the whole house….awakening those hunger pangs. It was delicious.
Best eaten with plain rice and poppadums ( lentil/ rice based crispies) or served as an appetiser.
Warning: Avoid making this rasam if you are on a low Carbohydrate diet, its astonishing how it can awaken those demons within the tummy that blanks the mind and makes your hand reach out for those prohibited second and third helpings of rice…lol.
To make Pineapple Rasam
Fresh Pineapple-2 slices
Tomato-1 firm medium size
Kokum leaves: 3-4
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: a few
Rasam powder: 1- 1.5 tbsp (or more according taste, I used MTR’s)
Hing: 2 pinches
Salt to taste
Jaggery to taste
Oil: 2-3 tsps
1. Soak kokum in the 3 tbsps hot water for 30 mins
2. Cut pineapple and tomato into small cubes, place along with soaked kokum and its soaking liquid in a large vessel with 750ml hot water. Bring to a boil.
4. Once the tomatoes have softened, turn heat down to lowest setting and do tadka.
5. For the tadka/seasoning:
Heat oil, add mustard seeds, when it sputters add curry leaves and chopped garlic flakes fry till garlic slightly browns, add hing, take off fire and add rasam powder. Pour seasoning over the rasam.
6. Add salt and jaggery to taste. Allow the rasam to simmer gently for 2-3 more minutes. Turn off heat.
1. If you do not have pineapple, add another medium size firm tomato.
2. Kokam is the sun dried outer covering of the kokam/ mangosteen fruit. It very commonly used as a souring agent in Mangalorean/ Konkani and Marathi cooking. The fruit is also known as amsol, bhinda, katambi, looikya, sour apple or panarpuli. Substitute with tamarind or vinegar if you cannot get hold of the dried kokam pieces.If you do not have kokum leaves/ mangosteen substitute with a lemon size ball of tamarind. Soak the tamarind in warm water and add its squeezed out juices.
Carol Sequeira Pereira.