Omavalli Rasam/Ajwain Leaves Rasam
Rasam is a popular South Indian dish prepared with tamarind, tomatoes, and Rasam powder. There are many variations of this dish, and each South Indian household has its own recipe for the proportions of the ingredients of the rasam powder. Therefore though Rasam is almost a regular feature in all South Indian households its taste is unique to each. No two Rasam recipes taste the same. Rasam is also a sought after comfort food in South Indian households when one has a Cold(Common Cold) or is a little under the weather because it is made of simple ingredients that are easily digestible and pepper that helps in combating the cold. A good Rasam powder makes for a flavourful Rasam, the recipe for the Rasam Powder has been included here.
Earlier the Rasam was an everyday feature in most South Indian households along with Sambar or Vatha Kozhambu or Moru Kozhambu and a part of the Main course. Some households follow it to this day, but as the eating patterns of people has changed and is now more global the humble Rasam has taken a back seat or is made on a festival day where there is a feast(Elai Sapadu) or sometimes is also being served as a soup in elite gatherings.
The Omavalli/Ajwain leaves are medical and are believed to cure a common cold and boost immunity. These leaves are also used in making Pakodas and are really flavourful. Other than Rasam and pakodas the Ajwain leaves are also used to make a raita. This Omavalli rasam can be relished with hot rice and ghee or can just be sipped as a soup.
Here is the recipe for Omavalli/Ajwain leaves Rasam. I have not given a stepwise picture for this recipe as I have included a video with important steps for guidance.
PREP TIME: 10 Mins COOK TIME: 20 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 Mins COURSE: MAIN / APPETISER
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN SERVINGS: 4
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram
Omavalli/Ajwain leaves 5 big ones (2 small ones chopped fine)
Tomatoes 2 large
Green chilli 1
Tuvar dal/ Yellow lentils 1/4 cup cooked in a pressure cooker
Rasam powder 3 tsp
Coriander leaves finely chopped
Asafoetida 1 tsp (split 1/2 while boiling and 1/2 for tempering)
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Roasted Pepper & Cumin powder 1 tsp( dry roast in the ratio 2:1 and grind coarse)
Directions: Grind the Omavalli/Ajwain leaves, tomatoes, and green chilli to a puree. Pour this puree into a 1-liter vessel and add 2 cups water. Put the vessel over the flame and add the Rasam powder, Salt, turmeric powder, and asafoetida and bring it to a boil. Keep boiling until the rawness of the tomatoes and the powders is gone. Now add a few chopped Omavalli leaves and continue to boil for 30 seconds. Add the dal water along with the mashed dal to the boiling puree. Add another 2 cups plain water and continue boiling until the rasam froths up and rises to the brim of the vessel. This should be done on low flame. When the rasam froths and rises, switch off the flame and add the juice of half a lemon. Now in a small tadka Kadai/pan take ghee/oil for tempering and heat. Add mustard seeds, as they crackle, add some Ajwain/Omam seeds, followed by asafoetida, cumin-pepper powder, and a few chopped Omavalli. Fry the tempering for 10 seconds. Put off the flame. Add curry leaves to the tadka/tempering. Now pour this tempering into the rasam, serve hot with rice and ghee or sip as soup.
Directions for making the Omavalli Rasam video here????
1. More Omavalli leaves can be used for an intense flavour.
2. I have also used the seeds while tempering, as it gives a nice aroma and flavouring to the dish.
3. I usually don’t use tamarind for variety Rasam recipes like Vetrilai Rasam, Pineapple Rasam, Murungakkai Rasam and Omavalli Rasam, as I feel the acidity of the tamarind will suppress the flavours of these vegetables and herbs. So lime juice is a subtler option for the tanginess. But if one prefers tamarind to lemon, go ahead, but since I have not used tamarind anytime for these recipes, I’m not sure about the taste.
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