Thursday, December 21, 2006

Vellanga Rasam

Rasam, a simple dish is a staple in most South Indian homes. Lunch or any special mid day meal is not complete without rasam. I did not have a special liking for rasam when I was growing up. It was available every meal but I don't remember ever relishing it. All of that changed ofcourse when I came here, I longed for the smell and taste of rasam, especially the Vellanga Rasam. It was always prepared at my grandparent's house and the smell was heavenly. The herbs and the pepper healed even the worst colds. Seeing Mint Rasam which won second place in the Souper Challenge on Sugar and Spice I was reminded of this rasam. My nose was running and it was time to make this awesome rasam.

This is going to be my submission for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. This week's theme is Holiday cooking with herbs. This recipe is not a special Holiday recipe per se, but it would come in might handy when you are down with a cold or sore throat.


Herb Powder
1.thuthuvalai (solanum trilobatum)
2.musumusukai (mukiamaderaspatana)
3.chinnathalai (seerathlai, don't know botanical name)
4.vathanarayanan (delonixelata)
5.karuveppilai. (curry leaves)
All the above are dried and powdered

My mom brought this powder when she came here for a visit, the botanical names and the herb names were all supplied by her. But the above herbs can be substituted with fresh Curry Leaves and Corriander leaves.

1. 4 red pearl onions
2. 3 pods garlic
3. 2 tsp pepper (depends on how spicy)
4. 1/2 tbsp cumin
5. 1/2 tbsp corriander seeds
6. 1 tsp herb powder or 2 sprigs of curry leaves and corriander leaves
7. one small lemon sized tamarind
8. 2 pearl onions chopped and mashed, curry leaves, mustard
9. 2 tsp of ghee

grind all the above ingredients with water into a coarse paste or grind 1-6 into a paste and extract the tamarind juice

1. Heat ghee in a pan, add the mustard and curry leaves and when the mustard starts to pop add the onions and saute till translucent.
2. Reduce the flame to slighly below medium, add the ground mixture with 2 cups of water (the consistency should be watery) and enough salt.
3. Boil till small white bubbles start to appear on top.

Serve as a soup or with steamed rice. The smell is amazing and it warms you.


  1. Innndoooo! waaaa!!!
    Except Karuve..which I know curry leaves ,I don't know the others!

    The rest of the recipe I can do,sounds wonderful.I like Rasams too.

    Now I have to google all those!..sigh..thanks girl:)

  2. did you get the herb powder from India ? love this rasam. thanks for sharing

  3. Lakshmiammal12/21/06, 1:41 PM

    Hi ISG,
    Never heard of this. Seems interesting, but where do you get thuthuvalai in US? Thanks for the special recipe

  4. I love Rasam, though we don't make it, I like it whenver I have it at restaurants or friend's house. But I have had only the tomato version
    BTW where can we get the difficult sounding powdered herbs, or should I come knocking to my neighbouring state :)
    I loved that name "musumusukai"

  5. Rasam yumm!! I will pick rasam as a meal anytime of the day/week. Its the best comfort food avaialable, isn't it? This joins my must try list.

  6. Asha, you can substitue with curry leaves and corriander leaves. It would still taste heavenly.

    Krithika, Lakshmi yes my mom brought the powder from India.

    Sandeepa come on over, try this rasam you would love it.

    KA try the rasam never fail to buoy me up

  7. Indo, if only u told us where to get the other herbs too. sounds lovely.

  8. Now thats unheard of ! Great fo this cold winter and perrrfect for cold or sorethroat.

    Thanks for mentioning about the soup challenge !

  9. Hello Indo,

    Itz me Anisha. Hot rasam, dry fish or potato, some (soft) hot rice is my favorite dinner at my Naanima's place. After marriage, I miss Rasam a lot, as my hubby is from Orissa and u kno they make sweet rasam, sweet pickle, sweet shrimp fry...ah... name it!! Well, atleast once in a month I do prepare rasam, and wud definitely try this one, sometime. But do you get thoothuvalai in US? Do you know wat it is called as?

  10. Anisha, are you from Kovai(CBE?)
    I don't think we get thoothuvalai here atleast not that I know of, my mom got them from India dried and powdered.

  11. Oh my! I have this powder in bulk (courtesy: mother-in-law). I had no clue about the name though. And now I have a recipe for this (I used to put this in my normal rasam till now).

    Thanks for writing about this.

  12. I have thoothuvalai powder. can i make rasam out of this??

  13. Sudha you certainly can try.

  14. Wow..I am posting your link in my Facebook.. Don't know cooking much..but I am from Coimbatore..Loving your blog..



Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate you taking the time.
Comments embedded with links, spam and in poor taste will not be published.