This year Mother’s Day coincided with a sniffles bout (for me). Celebrating seasonal ramps, I cobbled this together to recreate the Southern Indian thin soup- rasam. It turned out as delicious and as cold-busting as the original. Enjoy!
- 1 bunch ramps: thinly slice and separated the bottoms from the leaves
- Sputtering base:
- 2 tbsp oil
- whole spices: 1 tsp whole mustard+2-3 stalks curry leaves+ 2 red chillies + 1/2 tsp whole black pepper (optional)
- Ground spices: 1 tsp rasam powder (or sambar powder) + a dash of heeng
- Flavorings: 1 tbsp tamarind paste (+ optional: 2 cubes of sugar)
- Veggies: 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups water (or, more as per taste)
- salt to taste
- Garnish: coriander leaves
On medium heat, place the sputter base ingredients till mustard seeds begin to pop. Reduce heat to minimum and add ground spices (so that they dont burn). After a minute or so, add the bottoms of the ramps and let saute for a minute. Then add the tomatoes, turn up the heat to medium and cover and let soften in its own juice (3 mins or so). Add the flavorings and water and salt to taste. Cover. As it comes to a slow simmer, add the sliced tops of the ramp. Cover and turn off heat.
Serve hot, with garnish.
NOTES, HINTS, TIPS:
- The use of sambar powder in rasam may shock the purists. But, I have used this in a pinch, and, it has served me well.
- Feel free to add other veggies of your choice. Just remember that this is not meant to be a thick soup- so do retain its thin consistency.
- Instead of heeng– you could use 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced. Mix it in with the sliced ramp bottoms and follow the above steps.
- Lacinato Kale Rasam: Kale instead of ramps. Separate the stalks from the leafy parts. Chop the stalks very fine. Stack and roll the leaves, then chiffonade into thin slivers.