Pineapple Rasam (Soup)

I have not had a pineapple rasam for over a decade, even though I really love it. That’s because my vegan doctor told me not to mix fruits with the main meal. Recently, another vegan doctor told me that it is perfectly alright to mix fruits with the main meal. I was confused. When I asked the original doctor, she explained that there is a 10% difference in the recommended diet among various doctors. Therefore assuming that I can mix fruits with main meals (perhaps minimally), I decided to make this super dish. When I wrote on FB that I am planning this, I received several requests for the recipe. So here goes. I had this rasam as a soup, though rasam is traditionally mixed with rice as the second course in South Indian meals. Have it any way you like, it’s equally delicious. The mélange of flavours will blow your mind. As the same time, the dish retains all the subtlety of a traditional rasam.

Pineapple Rasam

6 pineapple rings
2 tbsp pigeon peas (tur dal, thuvaram parupu)
3 tomatoes
1 tsp rasam powder (or use any masala mix)
1 sprig curry leaves
Coriander leaves, to garnish
Unrefined salt to taste
1 tsp black pepper corns (kali mirch, kuru milagu)
1 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
2 red chilis, broken into 2 pieces each
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
Cook the pigeon peas well and mash it
Set aside
Grind the pepper corns and cumin seeds into a coarse powder
Set aside
Roughly chop 3 pineapple rings
Transfer to a blender
Blend to a smooth paste
Set aside
Puree 1 tomato
Transfer to a cooking vessel and place on medium flame
Add 1 cup water to the puree
Add salt, turmeric and half the quantity of the cumin-peppercorn powder
Add the pineapple paste and rasam powder
Cook well for about 2-3 minutes
Meanwhile, chop the remaining tomatoes and pineapple rings into bite sized pieces
Set aside
Heat a wok and add the mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add broken chilis, asafoetida, curry leaves and the remaining cumin-peppercorn powder
Roast for 15-20 seconds
Add the chopped pineapple and tomatoes and mix well
Sauté for about 2 minutes
Add this ‘masala’ to the boiling tomato-pineapple puree
Add the mashed lentils
Mix well
Add 2 cups of water and boil till the froth begins to appear
Remove from flame and garnish with coriander leaves
Serve hot with red/brown/millet rice or as a soup

For an authentic taste, rasam powder will be ideal
Here is the recipe for rasam powder
2 cups dried red chilis
1 cup coriander seeds
1/2 cup pigeon peas
1 tbsp black pepper corns
1 tbsp cumin seeds
Roast each of the ingredients separately, till they are warm
Let them cool
Transfer all the ingredients to a blender
Grind to a fine powder
Store in an airtight jar for up to 6 months

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