What is Rasam ?
Rasam is a south Indian traditional dish. Rasam means juice in Tamil which is what the dish is. It is made of tamarind extract with the addition of tomatoes and freshly ground spices, toor dal and sometimes garlic.
We have rasam as a part of our everyday meal with rice. The consistency of the rasam rice is also flowing and mildly spiced. Even though tamarind extract is the main base, there are so many varieties of rasam. All you need to know is how to balance the tangy tamarind with the spices. It is slightly tangy and it has the bite of the pepper heat.
You can flavour them with lime juice, pineapple, garlic, coriander and one of my friend recently did a beet rasam as well.
Indian culture strongly appreciates food as a preventive & healing medicine. Rasam is one of a heal and nourish dish. It is considered as an effective home remedy for sickness and especially cold. It is fluid in consistency almost similar to an all clear soup. So this can also be had like a soup, all by itself. It's warm and soothing and it is so satisfying.
There is a reason for this dish to be of fluid consistency. In a traditional meal this is had in between meals. It acts as an digestive aider. It is eaten after sambar rice and had before curd rice. If you are not familiar with the south indian dining, let me tell you we have a purpose and reason for having the food in an order. Sambar being heavy (with lentils) is had first and then comes the Rasam which aids in your bowel movements and lastly comes the curd/yoghurt a natural probiotic that cools and again good for digestion.