Recipe for Pomegranate Rasam – Spicy Pomegranate Lentil Soup
Pomegranate-BBC news calls this the fruity panacea. Packed with anti-oxidants (note the ruby red colour), it’s known to protect the heart, prevent prostate cancer, reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol). It’s rich in ACE Vitamins and iron, and no wonder doctors and many others are recommending a glass of pomegranate juice as a part of everyone’s diet
Fortunately, it’s available in India pretty much all the year round and this is one fruit, the more I read about it, the more I am convinced of it’s goodness.
Guess what I did with these ruby red seeds?
I made a pomegranate rasam!
Rasam is soul-food for any Tamilian. Be it a simple tomato rasam or the more exotic varieties like Mysore Rasam, Lemon Rasam or the fruity varieties made with pineapple, pomegranate, mangoes and so on. Pomegranate rasam is a recipe my father’s aunt makes quite regularly and now my mother makes it too. The delicate sweetness that the fruit juice adds to the rasam makes it rather unique.
This recipe has taken inspiration from my grand-aunt -Mythili mami in Chennai who probably makes the most amazing traditional Tamil food.
More Rasam recipes for the winter –
- 1/2 cup toor dal - pressure cooked (with 3 cups water and turmeric)
- 1 small lemon sized tamarind soaked in 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 tsp jaggery
- 1 pinch turmeric powder
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 8 - 10 curry leaves
- 2 green chillies slit length - wise
- To prepare pomegranate rasam, start by mashing the cooked tur dal with water until you get a thin soup consistency. You can even do this in a blender.
- Squeeze the tamarind pulp into the hot water. Strain and keep aside.
- Grind the pomegranate seeds with 1/2 cup water. Strain well to get roughly 3/4 cup pomegranate juice.
- In a pot/ a heavy bottomed vessel, place the mashed toor dal. Add the tamarind extract along with turmeric powder, pinch of asafoetida, rasam powder, salt and jaggery. Allow to come to a gentle simmer on a medium-low flame. Take the vessel off the flame.
- In a tadka ladle, heat the ghee. In hot ghee, add the ingredients for tadka. When they begin to crackle, put it into the rasam pot. Add the pomegranate juice, give it a stir and keep covered until you serve.This rasam is bursting with flavours- sweet, tangy, spicy. Served piping hot on a rainy day- it is heavenly bliss.