The ‘Rasam’ Debate


‘Rasam’ is a South Indian dish. It is a watery soup that is eaten with rice. Rasam is a combination of many tastes – it is spicy, tangy, aromatic, and full of flavour. More than anything, Rasam soothes, comforts and invigorates. It can be eaten when you have stomach upsets, when you are down with a cold or fever or pretty much all the time.  It is also the dish you want to come home to after a long holiday,  and restaurant food.

Rasam is usually served as the second gravy (that’s mixed with rice) in a typical South Indian meal. The Rasam, as a dish, is so versatile that it can be made with different bases like tamarind, lemon, orange, pineapple, lemon grass and many more.  It can contain one or many of the following – tomatoes, garlic, ginger, drumstick etc.

It is a staple dish in most homes. A good South Indian cook is expected to make a mean cup of Rasam. 

Image courtesy – http://www.Dreamstime.com

Where I grew up, Rasam was a must-have with our afternoon meal. Piping hot rasam, with rice and papadams, eaten with spicy potato curry.

My mom is a Rasam connoisseur and I have inherited my intense love for Rasam from her. My mom’s Rasam is to die for, and I have many wonderful memories of tucking into wonderful meals with her aromatic rasam, with the monsoon winds sweeping outside.

Cut to many years later. I was a newly married woman, trying to impress my husband with my cooking skills. One of the first meals that I prepared was a Rasam-Rice combo with some vegetable.

When we sat down to dinner, my husband looked at the Rasam and said, “I don’t like Rasam at all.”

I was shocked. How could someone not like Rasam? I did a hardsell of my Rasam but to no avail. My husband’s family only had Rasam when they were down with fever.

So, for them, Rasam = Fever Comfort Food

For me, Rasam = The greatest dish ever…

How were we going to reconcile this? It was an even bigger debate than Coffee vs. Tea (Coffee for me, of course).

It’s been a long journey. The only consolation is that when my husband is down with a bad cold or fever, he asks for ‘my delicious rasam’. I keep telling him that my rasam is delicious even otherwise…but!

When I think about it, this Rasam debate in our home epitomises marriage. Two different people, with different tastes, who learn to live together and compromise on many things, but don’t on a few things…and can laugh over all this over a cup of rasam.

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25 Responses to The ‘Rasam’ Debate

  1. myinsightcom says:

    Simplest and tastiest dish

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dhanashree says:

    Rasam and rice….sssssssupppp!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zankhana says:

    Lovely. Beautifully written. I love all your delicious rasam preparations dear and my Favourite is pineapple rasam.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Megala says:

    Interesting debate!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha, ha! You are lucky if that’s your biggest debate. Kind of like me if I ever married someone who didn’t like chocolate…but then again…more for me!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. whimsical90 says:

    oh…i don’t like rasam too! totally with your husband on this one.. :D.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mukhamani says:

    The rasam powder which I make is my mother’s recipe. My son says it is the best:))

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Chaithra Mailankody says:

    I could kill for rasam 🙂 I am now tempted to cook some rasam for dinner tonight 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Rasam seems to be good in the cold times with all these delicious and warming spices, Nimi 🙂
    Do we get your favorite recipe?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aadhira says:

    I could totally feel your emotions as I too have gone through that debate.. And I could still not comprehend how someone couldn’t like that? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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