Today I made fresh Pineapple Rasam after quite a while. The taste was as usual refreshing and with rice, appalam and fried karela/ pahakkai, was an absolute treat. Once the ingredients are kept ready and the pineapple and tomato pureed as required, it takes very little time to make the rasam.
This recipe has appeared first on the blog Tangy Tales when fellow Food Blogger Aparna Parinam asked if I would do a Guest Post on her blog. I had been experimenting with different rasams, all using my homemade rasam powder, and looking at the fresh sliced pineapples on sale at my local grocers, I thought it high time I made the Festive Pineapple Rasam.
Rasam is the South Indian staple and every home has its own favourite recipe. My everyday recipe for Tomato Rasam is with the homemade Rasam Powder from my Mom’s traditional recipe. I sometimes stray from the narrow path and make some that are different and equally delicious. Like the Lemon Thyme Rasam (recipe link below).
This Pineapple Rasam however is now a special favourite and everyone at home loved it whenever I make it . My granddaughter Tamma, like most children, is very fond of pineapple and was delighted to find some in the savoury rasam I made for lunch when I visted her last.
The sweet and tangy tastes of the Pineapple Rasam, surprisingly go with each other. Pineapples are not easy to peel and slice, and one is never sure if they are ripe and sweet, so its nice to be able to get them already sliced or diced. I prefer them in rings as that makes the slices uniform in thickness and become easier to cook.
As I had written in blog post in Tangy Tales, the festive Pineapple Rasam is a great favourite in wedding lunches at Chennai as it brings a touch of the exotic to the regular sambar and rasams that are served in the traditional ‘ellai pottu’ or banana leaf lunch. It is also a popular item on the menu of the restaurants run by Hotel Saravana Bhavan, the large chain of vegetarian restaurants which have several branches in India as well as in many countries in the world.
Kitchen Tips for making Festive Pineapple Rasam:
- The rasam should be made and served when hot and fresh. Reheating can impact the flavours and its not advisable to keep in the fridge for later use and reheat. If you are not going to serve it as soon as it is made, you could keep the rasam as well as the tempering ready, without adding the pineapple puree. When you need to serve the rasam, add the puree to the rasam, boil it for about 30 seconds, add fresh coriander leaves and then the tempering. last of all. You would then be able to serve it freshly made.
- I use home made Rasam powder in this recipe as it gives flavour and authentic ‘rasam taste’. As I said earlier, you could substitute it with fresh ground pepper and cumin seeds (increase the volume of pepper and cumin in the recipe by 1 teaspoon). However in my experience, the festive Pineapple rasam tastes best with rasam powder.
- The measurements used in this recipe are based on 1 standard cup = 250 ml
- The aromatic and flavoursome festive Pineapple Rasam is easy to make though it needs a little more effort when compared to the regular tomato rasam. It can be made without rasam powder, using only ground pepper and cumin, but I like the more robust version below, with homemade traditional rasam powder. If you are buying rasam powder, try to get a South Indian brand as it is likely to be more authentic. And do follow the steps below to get the real taste of the rasam.
- The making of the festive Pineapple Rasam is different in some ways from the traditional rasam as we need to prepare the tempering separately and also puree the pineapple as well as the tomato to different consistencies, before they are added to the boiling rasam. There are several steps, however each of them is easy and it is worth the while when your family tastes this unusual rasam.
- The recipe below is laid out in stages to make it easier to understand and follow. However the tempering could be made while the rasam is boiling, to save time.
Link to my recipe for Home Made Rasam Powder
Other Rasam recipes on the blog, including Rasam Powder:
Festive Pineapple Rasam / Make Easy Pineapple Tomato Rasam
To cook the dhal
- 1/4 cup Towar dal - Thovaram Paruppu or Pigeon Pea Lentils
- a pinch turmeric powder
- 1 cup water to pressure cook dal
For making Pineapple Rasam
- ½ cup pineapple pieces - pureed
- ½ cup tomato pieces - pureed coarsely
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons rasam powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Fresh ground pepper
- a pinch asafoetida - hing/ perungaiyam
- 1/2 teaspoon salt - or to taste
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves - minced
To Temper the Rasam
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds - jeera
- 1 dry red chili
- 1 tablespoon curry leaves - minced
- ½ cup tomato slices
- ½ cup pineapple slices
- Pressure cook the thowar dal with turmeric powder, upto 3 whistles, so that the dal becomes soft. Remove from the stove and open the cooker only when the pressure has gone down by itself. Mash the dal well and keep aside till required.
Preparation for festive Pineapple Rasam
- Peel the pineapple and slice it into rings. We need about 3 rings for the rasam, depending on the size of the rings. Slicing into rings first is better so we will get slices of even thickness, which will help in uniform cooking of the pineapple.
Dice the rings into cubes about 1 cm square.
Wash the tomato and dice it into cubes of sizes similar to the pineapple.
- Puree 1/2 cup pineapple chunks in a food processor and transfer to a bowl. Keep the remaining slices for tempering as per instructions below.Coarsely liquidise 1/2 cup tomato chunks by briefly running them through the food processor. Keep the remaining tomato chunks for tempering as per instructions below.
- Crush/ grind pepper and cumin seeds.
Finely mince the coriander and curry leaves.
How to make festive Pineapple Rasam
- Heat 2 cups water and add rasam powder, hing (asafoetida), ground pepper and cumin. Add coarsely liquidised tomato and a little salt. Bring to a quick boil and then lower the heat. The rasam should boil for about 5 minutes or until the raw smell of the rasam powder has disappeared.
- Add the mashed dal to the rasam, boil it for about 2 minutes.
Add the pureed pineapple and cook on low flame. Once the liquid begins to bubble and froth or after 30 seconds, add the minced coriander leaves and immediately remove the pineapple rasam from the stove. Cover.
Note that boiling the pineapple for long would make the rasam bitter and reduce the flavours of the pineapple.
How to prepare Tempering for Pineapple Rasam
- Heat ghee and add mustard seeds. After the mustard has crackled, add cumin seeds and then dry red chili after 2-3 seconds. Sauté the chili for 10 seconds on low flame and then add curry leaves.
- Add the remaining tomato and pineapple pieces to the tempering and sauté for 3 minutes on a low flame.
- Pour the tempering on the rasam.
Serve hot, with hot rice, a dry poriyal or subzi, and appalam (pappad). This rasam does not take kindly to reheating, so have it when it is fresh and hot.
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