Jeera Milagu Rasam Recipe / South Indian Pepper Cumin Soup
I was on a break last month for 10 days and took off to South India for our yearly ancestral temple visits and came back home to an empty refrigerator. Both of us were craving for some piping hot Jeera Milagu Rasam for dinner as the weather had been crazy during our travels.
As a South Indian, when you are feeling slightly under the weather, always resort to Rasam, especially Jeera Milagu Rasam which is also popularly known as South Indian Pepper and Cumin Soup.
South India had been majorly impacted by Gaja Cyclone a week just before we landed and hence it was raining in most parts. While the news hasn’t even covered 1/4th of the devastation, we could see the havoc it had created, especially in the hills of Kodaikanal. The Forest has taken an excessive brunt of the heavy winds and rainfall.
So, once we came back home, all we wanted was comfort food to soothe our senses and cure a bad blocked nose. A quick order and delivery of basic grocery and I was on my way into the kitchen to cook and savour the most popular South Indian comfort food – Jeera Milagu Rasam.
Rasam is clearly every South Indian’s go to medicine to cure the basic issues that one faces with weather change – cold, cough, body ache and fever.
This Milagu Jeera Thani Soup or the Pepper and Jeera Rasam is an ideal antidote to blocked sinuses too. I have made a No Tamarind Rasam preparation here and used Thakkali or Tomatoes instead of tamarind or puli in Tamil, for the tangy effect. Not to mention it cuts back time of soaking and squeezing juice from tamarind or puli, thereby speeding the cooking time. Ideal in situations when you are busy, tired or just plainly lazy.
What is Rasam?
A delicate thin flavoured broth or soup from the South Indian cuisine that is tamarind based, has freshly ground spices, some dal or lentils and curry leaves. Rasams are very much alike the shorba that can be consumed as an appetizer or can be sipped through out the day when suffering from nasal congestion. It is warm, comforting and soothing. For me, Rasam feels like a warm hug in a tumbler (glass in Tamil)
Each family has a signature style of making Rasams, with different spice mixes. However, nothing beats the magic of consuming piping hot Jeera Milagu Rasam with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee or nei. A simple side of vegetables or papads makes it even more interesting.
Some of the best combos of vegetable sides to this delicious bowl of Jeera Milagu Rasam are Cabbage Paruppu Usili or cabbage with lentil crumble, Karamani Keerai Poriyal which is Cow Peas and Mixed Greens Stir Fry. Rasam and Avial which is a mixed vegetable curry with coconut based gravy is very popular combination in South India, especially Kerala.
While Rasams (also called as Saaru and Chaaru) are popular everywhere and have umpteen varieties, The Jeera Milagu Rasam, in particular, is the perfect antidote to seasonal weather change and related ailments.
The Rasam recipe, I share here today, is very similar to what my Mother usd to make but I have skipped the Tamarind and used Tomatoes instead. We at home are not very huge fans of Tamarind and hence we opt for extra tomato loaded rasams instead.
Also, this No Tamarind Jeera Milagu Rasam uses no Rasam Powder and is made with simple roasted and ground Pepper and Jeera along with few basic spices.
The Jeera Milagu Rasam is Gluten Free. I have cooked the Rasam in ghee followed by a tempering in ghee too since it is recommended to consume ghee during winters, especially when down with fever or cold. Hence the recipe is not Vegan. You can use veg oil or sesame oil instead if you are looking for a vegan option.
Let’s head over to the recipe with step by step pictures and make a steaming bowl of Jeera Milagu Rasam and enjoy during winters.
Recipe for Jeera Milagu Rasam Recipe / South Indian Pepper Cumin Soup
Prep Time – 10 to 15 minutes
Cook Time – 30 minutes
Serves 3 to 4 nos.
- 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of cooked Tur Dal or Arhar Dal
- 2 tblsp of Black Pepper
- 2 tblsp of Jeera or Cumin
- 1/2 tsp of Turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp of Asafoetida
- 2 tsps of ghee or clarified butter + 1 tsp ghee for tempering
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 2 or 3 nos. whole red chillies
- Curry leaves as required
- Finely chopped coriander leaves as required
- Salt as required
- Water as required to adjust the consistency
- Dry roast black pepper and jeera (separately) and pound them into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle.
- Heat a kadhai and add ghee, followed by some mustard seeds (use half the quantity as prescribed in ingredients).
- Once mustard crackles, add hing or asafoetida (use half the quantity as prescribed in ingredients).
- Now add some curry leaves and chopped tomatoes.
- Allow the tomatoes to cook and turn mushy (try and mash with the back of your spoon)
- Add turmeric powder, water as per your desired consistency and allow it to reach a boil.
- Once it boils, add the coarse black pepper and jeera powder.
- Mix well, add salt to taste and allow it to simmer on low heat for atleast 5 to 7 minutes.
- Now add the cooked Tur dal and mix well.
- Check for salt and add more if required.
- Add finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
- Once the Rasam turns frothy on top, switch off the flame and prepare for tempering
- Temper the Rasam with some mustard seeds, red chillies, ghee and asafoetida and add it on top of the Rasam.
- Mix well and add some more finely chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve piping hot as Soup or Mix with Steamed Rice and enjoy.
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