Garlic Pepper Rasam recipe | Rasam for Cold and Cough
Garlic Pepper Rasam Recipe is a South Indian rasam variation with a strong flavor of garlic and black pepper. This rasam is made in every South Indian household and served with hot rice and clarified butter.
South Indian traditional food, which is largely nongreasy, consists of cooked rice usually served with pachadi, sambar, pappu like tomato pappu or palak pappu, dry and/or curried vegetables, papad, and curd. A thali in a fancy or swanky South Indian restaurant has all the above items along with puri or chapati and a dessert/sweet.
In our house, whenever a family member is down with fever, sore throat, or cough mom always makes rasam. Not only does it give relief to the nose and sore throat, but it also revives the palate that gets killed by the medicines (antibiotics).
This might sound a bit of an exaggeration, but trust me it really works wonders.
Also, on most weekends when mom would make a non-vegetarian dish, she would accompany it with rasam (tomato or garlic pepper). The second serving of rasam and rice comforts the tummy.
What is Rasam?
Rasam is a spicy and tangy South Indian traditional stew or soup made using tamarind as a base, with the addition of turmeric, tomato, green chili, black pepper, garlic, cumin, curry leaves, mustard, coriander, asafoetida, salt, coriander leaves, and water.
It is a watery or thin consistency soup as there is no use of cooked dal (lentils). It is a staple food in South India.
Rasam is also known as chaaru and miriyalu charu in Telugu and has umpteen variations – Tomato rasam, Ginger rasam, Beetroot rasam, Kalyana rasam, Raw Mango rasam, Pineapple rasam, Lemon rasam, and Tamarind rasam. Each rasam is simple in its preparation.
About Garlic Pepper Rasam Recipe
Garlic pepper rasam recipe is one of the simplest and easiest rasam recipes. As the name suggests, this rasam is loaded with flavors from garlic and sourness from tamarind, it is moderately spicy with black pepper, cumin, and dry red chilies going in.
In South India, each region has its own version and the recipe also differs from house to house. Some people add boiled lentils and some do not, some add readymade rasam powder and some make it without powder, some with tamarind, some without tamarind, some make it with tomato, and some make it without tomato.
I’m sharing the garlic pepper rasam recipe which my mother makes frequently at home. The recipe she learned from her mother.
This recipe is made without cooked dal, rasam powder, and tomatoes. Instead, garlic cloves and black pepper are coarsely ground with a few aromatic spices and herbs making this rasam aromatic and unique in taste. All you need is some Indian herbs and spices that are common in Indian kitchens.
Spices play a very important role in Indian cuisine. Fresh herbs and spices form a vital part of South Indian cuisine. These not only enhance the flavor of a dish but also helps in digestive function.
The best part of rasam is that there is no accurate measurement of the ingredients. Somedays, I add more garlic and on some occasions, I add more black pepper. Though there is a change in flavor profile, rasam is more delectable than the previous one.
This garlic pepper rasam recipe is an absolute savior when I do not have time or am not in the mood to make anything elaborate. The recipe is so simple that even a novice (beginner) can make it. Try this garlic pepper rasam recipe once, your family members will request to make it frequently.
Reasons to make
Easy, quick to make, and delicious
Spicy & tangy
Explosion of flavors
Have it as a starter soup while having a meal
Vegan (skip ghee)
Light on stomach
Elixir to stomach problems like constipation
The Ayurvedic health benefits of garlic and pepper rasam are numerous
Can be made in less than 20 minutes
Health Benefits of Garlic Pepper Rasam
The ongoing weather warrant to consume foods rich in bio-active components. The Indian tradition has a long history of looking at food as a medicine to prevent and cure diseases. Garlic pepper rasam is one such traditional functional food.
All the ingredients used in the preparation of rasam have scientifically claimed medicinal benefits. Turmeric, asafoetida, fenugreek, black pepper, curry leaves, coriander leaves, and garlic have many properties like – anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cholesterol-lowering, and antimicrobial.
The high content in rasam is a boon for various stomach problems. The use of black pepper and cumin in rasam helps in the secretion of acids that aid digestion and prevents flatulence.
The warming spices in rasam prevent water retention and promote the removal of toxins through body sweat and urine. It further increases the body’s metabolism and supports weight loss.
The properties of spices make it a perfect antidote to common flu and cold during seasonal weather changes.
Enriched with Vitamin C and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals (potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, copper, and magnesium), rasam naturally boosts immunity.
The ingredients in the rasam make it an excellent recovery food.
The secret of rasam’s taste lies in the spice blend used. So, do not substitute fresh spices with readymade powders.
Black pepper, garlic, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds are the main flavoring agents. I usually crush them the traditional way, in a mortar and pestle. The texture of crushed spices releases more flavor than the one ground finely in a blender.
Do not boil the rasam for a long time. It takes away the fragrance. Bring it to boil and then simmer it just for 7 to 8 mins.
Turn off the flame after the rasam froths up.
Adjust the quantity of spices as per your liking.
With loads of medicinal properties, rasam rice with ghee is an excellent meal for toddlers and kids. You can reduce the amount of black pepper and skip red chili.
Adding jaggery is optional but do not skip it. Adding in a small quantity will not make the rasam sweet but add nutritional value to this dish. It helps in better absorption of iron in the body and also balances the heating properties of other ingredients like black pepper and red chilies.
Add fresh coriander leaves along with tender stalks to add freshness and enhance the flavor.
To grind: garlic, black pepper, curry leaves, cumin, and coriander seeds.
For a no garlic version, you can totally skip it and just call it Pepper Rasam.
To temper: oil, mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, dry red chilies, and asafoetida.
Tamarind: A typical rasam has a sour ingredient (tomato/tamarind/lemon) as a base. In this recipe, I’ve used tamarind. There is no substitute for tamarind. It is easily available in Indian stores. If you can not find it, add lemon juice at the end. But, the taste will not be authentic.
I prefer to soak tamarind in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes. You can use store-bought tamarind paste.
Herbs & Seasoning: Coriander leaves and salt.
How to make Pepper Rasam with Garlic (Stepwise Photos)
1. Soak 1 medium tomato-sized tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Later, when it cools down a bit squeeze the soaked tamarind to a pulp. Strain and keep aside.
3. In a mortar and pestle, a coffee grinder, or a blender jar add garlic pods, coriander seeds, cumin, curry leaves, and black pepper. Crush or blend into a coarse mixture.
4. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil or ghee in a pan or kadhai over medium flame. When hot, add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, and cumin. Let them crackle.
5. Add dry red chilies, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Saute until leaves turn crisp.
6. Add the ground mixture.
7. Saute for about 30 seconds or until you get a nice aroma.
8. Add the strained tamarind pulp along with 1.5 cups of water. Give a good mix.
9. Add turmeric powder and mix.
10. Add salt to taste and mix.
11. Let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add jaggery and let it simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Check the taste and add salt, tamarind, or jaggery if necessary.
P.S: I missed clicking pic while adding jaggery.
13. Add coriander leaves along with tender stems, switch off the stove and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Garlic Pepper Rasam is ready. Serve it hot with steamed rice and your choice of side dish.
Garlic and pepper rasam is traditionally served as a main course with steamed white rice and some fried papads/poppadums. A side dish of veg or non-veg stir fry makes this meal even better. Here are some veg and non-veg stir fry dishes to serve with rice and rasam:
At times, I have it as an appetizing digestive drink before a meal.
In the South, rasam idli, bonda, and vada are popular combinations in tiffin centers and hotels.
Garlic pepper rasam stays good for a single day when kept on the kitchen counter. You can store the leftover for about 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Transfer it to an air-tight container before storing it.
Before serving, reheat in a microwave or in a pan on the stovetop.
A lot of South Indians make garlic pepper rasam with tomatoes and tamarind. If possible, use ripe local breed tomatoes or Roma tomatoes. Depending on the sourness of tomatoes, adjust the quantity of tamarind.
If you’ve tried this authentic Garlic Pepper Rasam Recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Feedback and suggestions are highly appreciated. Also, please share the recipes with your friends and family members.
You can also follow me on Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!
Garlic Pepper Rasam recipe | Rasam for Cold and Cough
- 6-8 Garlic pods (with or without skin)
- 1 tbsp Black peppercorns (adjust according to taste)
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 5-6 numbers Curry leaves
- 1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds
For the Rasam
- 1 medium tomato size Tamarind (soaked in 1/2 cup hot water)
- 1 tbsp Oil or ghee
- 1/8 tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 5-6 numbers Curry leaves
- 2 numbers Dry Red chili
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
- 1.5 cups Water
- 2-3 tbsp Coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
- Soak 1 medium tomato-sized tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Later, when it cools down a bit squeeze the soaked tamarind to a pulp. Strain and keep aside.
- In a mortar and pestle, a coffee grinder, or a blender jar add garlic pods, coriander seeds, cumin, curry leaves, and black pepper. Crush or blend into a coarse mixture.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp oil or ghee in a pan or kadhai over medium flame. When hot, add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, and cumin. Let them crackle.
- Add dry red chilies, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Saute until leaves turn crisp.
- Add the ground mixture. Saute for about 30 seconds or until you get a nice aroma.
- Add the strained tamarind pulp along with 1.5 cups of water. Give a good mix.
- Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well.
- Let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add jaggery and let it simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. Check the taste and add salt, tamarind, or jaggery if necessary.
- Add coriander leaves along with tender stems, switch off the stove and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Garlic Pepper Rasam is ready. Serve it hot with steamed rice and your choice of side dish.