Rasam is a Sri-Lankan spicy soup made with either tamarind juice or tomatoes and flavoured with garlic, onions, and a bunch of different spices. Bones or meat with bones can be added to make different types of rasam such as chicken rasam and mutton rasam which are both great during cold and flu season as well as allergy season. Although rasam powder is available at all Sri-Lankan/Indian stores, I prefer grinding my own mix as I find it more fresh and aromatic that way. I also like to grind the garlic, ginger, and shallots along with the spices to create a wet spice blend that I add to flavour the rasam especially when I make chicken or mutton rasam.
Lately my two little ones and my dad have been suffering from asthma and allergy-related symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, and cough. During this time I often make soups and rasams to help with the runny noses and scratchy throats. My children enjoy chicken rasam that I specifically prepare for them with a lot less spice and since my dad doesn’t eat chicken I like to prepare mutton rasam for him.
Rasam is great served on its own as a soup but it can be served with a crusty bread or plain rice and vegetable curries on the side as well to make it a more wholesome meal.
Mutton Rasam RECIPE
- 1 lb of mutton (bones and flesh)
- 4 L of water
- 1 and half tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
- 1/8 cup chopped mint leaves
- 12 curry leaves
- 6 shallots
- 4 dried red chillies
- 2 inch piece ginger, sliced in half
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1 green chili
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- salt to taste
- Optional: 1/2 tsp of each freshly ground black pepper and red chilli flakes
- In a pan on medium heat, dry roast the dried red chilies, coriander, cumin, fennel, peppercorns and fenugreek seeds until aromatic. Toss in the garlic cloves, ginger, and shallots and roast for two minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Let it cool slightly.
- Blend the pan-roasted ingredients and green chili to make a fine paste. Add a little bit of water to help blend if needed.
- Add the mutton, water, salt (about 1 Tbsp), turmeric and half of the spice blend mixture in a large stock pot. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil and then cover. Let the stock boil on medium-high heat for about an hour to 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. Once done, the meat (if using) should be tender and any meat on the bones should be falling off the bones. There will be a noticeable layer of fat at the top.
- Add the rest of the spice mixture, chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves, mint leaves, and curry leaves. Boil for an additional half hour.
- Add the freshly ground black pepper and red chilli flakes. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
- Serve warm.
- If making this rasam for children, omit the dried red chillies, de-seed the green chili (or omit completely) and reduce the amount of black peppercorns used.
- To make chicken rasam, substitute chicken with bones for the mutton called for in this recipe.
- To learn about the health properties of the ingredients used in this recipe, read Ingredients that Help Battle Cold and Flu Symptoms.
- If you liked this recipe, you may like Sri-Lankan Chicken Yellow Curry.