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Rasam, Indian Tomato Soup Recipe

Rasam, Indian Tomato Soup Recipe
  • Meal

    Soup

  • Cusine

    Indian

Ingredients

3 pounds plump, ripe tomatoes, cut into small dice or roughly puréed

8 curry leaves

1 green chile, such as a serrano, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons of amchoor, divided

Pinch of asafoetida

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

2 teaspoons of coriander seeds, ground

1/2 teaspoon of charnushka

2 teaspoons of black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon of sweet paprika

1 tablespoon of dark brown or raw sugar, optional

3 tablespoons of ghee or vegetable oil

Cilantro, for garnish

Directions

Heat your soup pot on medium-high. Separate your spices into three groups that can be added to the pot easily: mustard seeds, "wet" spices (the curry leaves, chile, and garlic), and the dry spices (reserving a teaspoon of the amchoor for later). Add the ghee or oil and let it heat till it shimmers and a cumin seed cracks instantly. Then add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. When the mustard seeds are popping everywhere, add the wet spices and stir to coat with oil. A few seconds later, add the dry spices, and stir to coat again. When the pot is intensely aromatic, add the tomatoes. It's important to do this quickly, so the spices get just toasted, but don't start to burn. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a moderate simmer. Let it cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, tasting often to add seasoning, any necessary sugar (which can make a huge difference in tomato dishes), and any additional water (I added about 2 cups towards the end of simmering). The broth should be quite thin but still flavorful. After 20 to 30 minutes, the spices should have married well together. Shortly before serving, stir in the remaining amchoor. Garnish with cilantro and serve as an appetizer or as a dipping broth for fritters.