Navarasam – Nine types of healthy South Indian soups

So far I have not touched on the subject of kitchen, bachelor cooking and recipes.
They are all available in plenty on Internet.

My grandma and mother used to make at least nine types of ‘Rasam’ the typical south Indian soup. All over the world ‘Vada Sambhar’ and ‘Masala Dosa’ is famous. But the rich ‘Rasam’ is not famous. Only soups are famous as appetizer.

Rasam is not soup. It is to be mixed with cooked rice and taken along with papads of any type, vadams and Vada.

I am just mentioning here the types of Rasams and its medicinal properties. Rasam has the digestive power because of the ingredients mixed in the Rasam powder namely, fenugreek, turmeric, dhaniya, pepper, jeera, red chilly, and thur dal. And the main ingredient for each type changes.

Garlic Rasam:
Here Garlic is roasted in small amount of ghee and grounded along with small amount of pepper. And garlic cloves are added and boiled with the Rasam. Garlic has many medicinal properties. Though traditional Brahmins avoid garlic, they make this Rasam once a month for medicinal effects of garlic.

Kandan Thippili Rasam.
This ingredient is available in Tamilnadu’s famous herbal shops called as ‘Nattu Marundu Kadai’ (Country Medicine Shop). This ingredient is small twigs of a tree. It is roasted plain with small amount of pepper, ground and added to Rasam powder and boiled. This Rasam can cure any kind of cold, fever and one must rest after taking this.

Lemon Rasam.
For all types of Rasam tamarind water is added. Here after the Rasam is boiled without tamarind, Lemon juice is added.

Jeera Rasam
Here Jeera is the dominant ingredient, which is roasted along with small amount of pepper, thur dal in ghee and grounded to a paste and boiled with tamarind and Rasam powder. A powerful digester normally consumed after a heavy marriage buffet or reception.

Tomato Rasam.
Here tomatoes are cut to small pieces and along with hara dhaniya (kotta malli in Tamil) and boiled along with Rasam powder and tamarind. In all Rasams finally the boiled thur dal pulp is added.

Gottu Rasam.
Simple to prepare, with no ingredients except tamarind, Rasam powder and water. All mixed and boiled. Fast to prepare.
Red Chilly Rasam (Killu Milagai Rasam)
Those who like spicy Rasams – Red chilly dominate here.

Mysore Rasam
Here dhaniya and grated coconut paste added gives a typical taste. I do not know why it is called as Mysore Rasam. May be it is common in Karnataka, previously known as Mysore state.

Paruppu Rasam
Here thur dal pulp is added in abundance and is less spicy. Suitable for infants and kids.

More than Sambhar, Rasam is the main item in South Indian meals.
But papads are must to crack them with Rasam and rice. And sure it is tasty of and healthy.

Navarasam has one more meaning – showing nine different character qualities like anger, happiness in Bharatha Natyam.


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