Rasam is a spicy, tangy southern Indian soup that’s a great start to any meal, especially served with some crisp papadums; it’s also fun in shot glasses for a cocktail party. It’s traditionally served as a light meal over steamed rice, especially to people who are feeling poorly. Rasam means ‘juice’ or ‘essence’ in Tamil and the essential element of this sour pepper soup is that it is light and thin. Yellow lentils are sometimes added and I often include a tablespoon with the water and then simmer it for about 20 minutes until they’re tender. This version has a bit of punch from the pepper, try it first then add more or less pepper or tamarind to suit your preference. Chef Ajoy Joshi of Nilgiri’s Indian Restaurant finishes his off with a dollop of ghee! I enjoy mine with a glass on Rondo rondinella rosé from Freeman Vineyards.
Serves 4 as a starter
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