Pepper Rasam, commonly known as south Indian soup, is a dish that's quite popular. It is a spicy vegan dish made with tamarind flavoured with crushed black pepper, cumin and garlic.
The South Indian spicy black pepper rasam is also known as milagu rasam, menasina saaru and miriyala rasam in different regions. This hot and tangy dish contains healthy ingredients that can provide relief from cold and flu, improve digestion, and increase appetite.
This pepper rasam recipe is prepared without pre made rasam powder or dal or tomato and is simple. When you're feeling lazy or have no veggies, this recipe is a lifesaver. South Indian cuisine has multiple versions of rasam such as dal rasam, tamarind rasam, mysore rasam and tomato rasam.
When weekdays get hectic, there's nothing more satisfying meal than rasam, rice, and appalam/papad. Check the masala papad recipe to know more about frying papads. Pickles like spicy ginger pickle or tomato pachadi are a bonus to the meal.
- Whole spices: Black peppercorn, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chillies and asafoetida.
- Vegetables and herbs: Curry leaves, tamarind, fresh coriander leaves and garlic cloves
- Liquid: Water and cooking oil. I have used olive but feel free to use any cooking oil such as sunflower, peanut or coconut oil.
Find the quantities and a short video in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
How to make milagu rasam?
Place tamarind in a small bowl and rinse it with water.
Place tamarind in a pot, add 1 cup boiling water and soak for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, crush black peppercorn and cumin seeds in a mortar using a pestle until they become coarse.
Add the peeled garlic cloves and crush them with a pestle. Set it aside.
Use a potato masher to pulp the soaked tamarind.
Add 3 and half cups water to the pot.
To temper, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small pan on the stovetop.
Add half a teaspoon of mustard seeds and red chillies in hot oil and fry for a minute until the mustard splutters.
Stir in asafoetida and curry leaves, crushed pepper cumin and garlic, then switch off the heat.
Add the temped spices into the tamarind water followed by salt and coriander leaves.
Use a spoon or ladle to stir well.
Place the pot on the stovetop and let it simmer for 6-8 minutes until a layer of froth appears.
Turn off the heat as soon as the froth starts to break.
Pair steamed rice with a side dish of your choice and hot pepper rasam.
Variations and Substitutions
Peppercorn: Reducing peppercorns and red chillies can help balance the heat and sourness.
Garlic: Consider adding a couple of crushed garlic cloves to the tamarind water and remaining in tempering to elevate the taste.
Curry Leaves: In this milagu rasam recipe, I had to use dried curry leaves as fresh ones were not available at the nearby grocery store. Fresh sprig curry leaves enhances the taste of rasam. If available, use it.
Gluten free: Although asafoetida is naturally gluten-free, the powder is mostly manufactured by diluting with gluten flour, so check the label for gluten free powder or skip it.
It's an excellent appetiser when served as soup.
You can serve it innovatively at parties, like as an appetizer in small glasses, rasam vada, rasam bonda, or as soup, which will impress your guests.
Tips and Tricks
Rasam should be simmered after adding freshly ground pepper and cumin powder just until froth forms on top to keep the flavours of spices. Be careful not to let it overboil.
Adjust the spices to your taste.
Whole tamarind is better than the store-bought pulp. The pulp from tamarind extract gives rasam its delicious and flavourful taste.
Take out the seeds and strings from the tamarind.
More south Indian recipes
Ven pongal: A classic south Indian special dish prepared with rice, moong dal, a few essential spices and ghee.
Sweet pongal: A sweet prepared with rice, moong dal, jaggery, dry fruits, ghee and flavoured with cardamom and edible camphor.
Tomato bath: Vegan, gluten-free and flavourful rice dish made with tomato, coconut, herbs and spice-based ground masala.
Bisibelebath: A delicious pot meal made of rice, lentils, vegetables and a special spice blend.
Mango Dal: tangy and spicy Indian lentil curry made with raw unripe mango, toor dal and basic spices.
KEEP IN TOUCH
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📖 Recipe Card
Garlic Pepper Rasam Recipe
1 Cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon = 5ml
- 25 gms Tamarind remove seeds and strings
- 1 Cup Boiling Water
- 7 gms Black Peppercorn
- 7 gms Cumin
- 3 cloves Fresh Garlic peeled
- 3.5 Cups Water
- 1 Teaspoon Oil
- 3 Red Chillies each broken into 3-4 pieces
- Curry leaves handful
- ½ Teaspoon Mustard
- big pinch Asafoetida (Hing)
- Salt as required
- Fresh Coriander Leaves handful
- Place tamarind in a small bowl and rinse it with water.25 gms Tamarind
- Place tamarind in pot, add 1 cup boiling water, and soak for 10 minutes.1 Cup Boiling Water
- Meanwhile, crush black peppercorn and cumin seeds in a mortar using a pestle until they become coarse.7 gms Black Peppercorn, 7 gms Cumin
- Add the peeled garlic cloves and crush them with a pestle. Set it aside.3 cloves Fresh Garlic
- Use a potato masher to pulp the soaked tamarind.
- Combine crushed pepper cumin and garlic mixture, salt, chopped coriander leaves, and 4 cups cold water.Salt, Fresh Coriander Leaves, 3.5 Cups Water
- Use a spoon or ladle to stir well.
- To temper, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a small pan on the stovetop.1 Teaspoon Oil
- Add half a teaspoon of mustard seeds and red chillies in hot oil and fry for a minute until the mustard splutters.½ Teaspoon Mustard, 3 Red Chillies
- Stir in asafoetida and curry leaves, then switch off the heat.Curry leaves, big pinch Asafoetida (Hing)
- Let the pot simmer on the stovetop for 6-8 minutes until a layer of froth appears.
- Turn off the heat as soon as the froth starts to break.
- Pair steamed rice with a side dish of your choice and hot pepper rasam.
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Welcome to Flavours Treat. I share vegetarian recipes made with wholesome, mostly fresh ingredients. Every recipe has easy-to-follow instructions with process shots (detailed step-wise pictures), a short video and lots of tips to help your cooking journey. Read more