Saturday, April 14, 2007

Miriyala Chaaru (Andhra Pepper Rasam)

This weekend, its very cold here in Houston, so thought I would make Pepper Rasam.
Rasam is South Indian thin soup that is often made with spices like pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, limes, . Modern chefs even use pineapple, raw mango and other exotic.

Before the advent of Spanish, who brought chili peppers to the Subcontinent, Pepper (from peppercorns) used to be THE spice. I salute this ancient spice, whose existence can be found in almost every cuisine.
Like Indian Garam Masala, everybody has their own recipe for this heavenly preparation. Here is my take on it. This item appears frequently in variations at our dining table as its easy to prepare, tasty and above all, very healthy. Whenever somebody shows any symptoms of cold, they would promptly be fed this Rasam.

What you need to make this Rasam:

1/2 lemon sized tamarind
5-6 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped cilantrosalt to taste

To be roasted and ground into coarse powder:
1 tablespoon senaga pappu (Chana dal /split chickpeas)
1 teaspoon kandi pappu (toor dal /split pigeon peas)
1 tablespoon dhanyalu (dhania/whole dry coriander seeds)
1 teaspoon jeelakara (jeera / dry cumin seeds)
1 teaspoon miriyalu (whole black pepper)
a pinch of menthulu (methi seeds/dry fenugreek seeds)

For popu(tadka) or seasoning:
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon each black mustard seeds, and cumin seeds
2 cloves of garlic, chopped coarsely
1/2 teaspoon each turmeric powder, and hing
1 sprig curry leaves


  • In a sautepan, roast chana dal, toor dal, dhania, jeera, peppercorns, methi in the order mentioned. Start with Chanadal, when its half done, add toor dal and keep adding other ingredients.
  • Pound the roasted ingredients into a coarse powder.
  • In a saucepan, boil water, tamarind and the ground powder for 5-7 minutes.
  • Strain the liquid, discard pulp. This liquid is unseasoned Rasam.
  • Add salt and cilantro. Stir well and keep aside.
  • In a small sautepan, heat cooking oil, add the items listed for seasoning in the same order.
  • Once sweet aroma starts coming from the seasoning, add the seasoning to Rasam.
  • Bring rasam back to stove and let it simmer for a minute.
  • Serve hot with boiled rice

This is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging


Anh said...

A fantastic recipe! I will save it for a cold day. :D

Anna said...

does this have a clean, sour flavour from the tamarind and herbs, then a spicy aftertaste?

the ingredients are all ones i love and the idea of them all in a soup seems like heaven.

thanks for introducing this to me!

Helene said...

What an inviting soup, will ease upcoming colds and is a must try for me.

Vani said...

Anh, Helene, thank you.
Anna, yes the soup is sour and fragrant (due to cilantro and cumin seeds) and leaves a spicy aftertaste. This aftertaste from black pepper sooths throat. :)

anusharaji said...

it sure is tasty

Kalyn said...

I'm intrigued by the sound of this. I'm sure I would love it!

Anonymous said...

Recipe is great and Being a bachelor,it helped us to cook Chaaru and enjoyed our lunch with it.

Vani said...

Raji, glad you enjoyed it
Kalyn, love your blog. thank you.
Anon, glad to hear that you enjoyed. Being a working mom myself, I often prepare quick-to-make meals. So, please come back and check it out. :-)

Anonymous said...

Extremely amazing recipe.. My all time favourite.. A must atleast once a week.. Lovely..

sai krupa said...

Thanks for the post that helps to have a quick recipes with the keen and simple procedural preparation, Good providing...