by Aruna Kamath
After nearly 10 days of incessant rains, we’ve had some respite for the last two days. The sky is clear, the sun is out and the air is crisp with a gentle nip. It’s the perfect weather to laze around, snuggle in bed – with a book for company and something spicy to nibble. But, on the flip side, this weather can make you fall sick easily. It’s easy to catch infections – and you could be laid-up in bed for days-on-end instead of enjoying the glorious weather.
I am always wary of my children falling ill in this season. So as a precautionary measure, I give them warm soups and rasam (traditional South Indian spicy soup) as often as I can. One of the rasams, I had prepared during their recent rain holidays was the instant tomato rasam. It’s one of their favourites and they love having it with a dollop of ghee swirling on the top ! The best part of this rasam is that it can be made in a jiffy without any elaborate preparations. All you need is some fresh, juicy tomatoes and some basic kitchen spices. It’s also one of the few recipes that comes in handy when you’re hard-pressed for time or lazy to make elaborate dishes.
Most of the ingredients used in this rasam – pepper and garlic for instance – are effective to treat a cold and fever. So you can give this to your toddler by reducing the quantity of spices. For a slightly older child, you could increase the quantity of spices depending on his or her spice intake levels.
One thing to remember while preparing rasam: Don’t over boil it. Turn off the heat as soon as it begins to boil along the sides.
What you need
- Tomatoes (medium sized) – 4 to 5
- Tamarind pulp – one tbsp (optional)
- Garlic pods – 4 to 5
- Coriander leaves – a handful, finely chopped
- Salt – to taste
- For tempering
- Oil – Two tsps
- Mustard – ½ tsp
- Curry leaves – 1 spring
- Dried red chilly – 2-3 or more
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
To be dry ground coarsely
- Pepper – ½ tsp
- Jeera – 1 tsp
How to Proceed
- Roughly chop tomatoes and grind it along with the garlic pods in a mixer to form a fine paste
- Heat oil in a deep pan and add the items under “for tempering’ followed by the coarsely ground spices.
- Fry this for a minute and then add the pureed tomato.
- Add salt and one glass of water to dilute the consistency. You can keep adding the water to your consistency
- Boil it until bubbles are formed on the sides
- Garnish with coriander
- Add a blob of ghee and drink it piping hot