Rasam In Tamil Nadu: History, Types And Top 5 Spots
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South Indian cuisine offers a wide range of mouthwatering dishes that are also packed with various essential nutrients. From idli for breakfast to spicy chicken curry for dinner, there is something for everyone in this cuisine. Talking particularly about Tamil Nadu, rasam is a staple dish in the state. Also referred as ‘king of soups’, this spicy dish is best served with plain rice and a vegetable side dish. 

This traditional South Indian soup is made with tamarind, tomatoes, warming spices and aromatic herbs. In Tamil and Telugu, the term rasam means “juice”. It has a tangy and spicy taste which also aids in digestion. Rasam is a comforting indulgence during colds, sore throat and stomach upsets as well. A steaming bowl of rasam also provides warmth during the chilly weather of winter.  

History Of Rasam 

Being rich in antioxidants, rasam is said to have originated in Madurai by a cook named Karunas in the 16th century. It is believed that the king’s son fell sick and would barely eat anything. So, the king announced a prize for anyone who could come up with a dish that the prince would love to eat. Karunas is said to have concocted rasam for the son to cope up with illness. This is how till today rasam remains a go-to saviour when we fall sick. 

Types Of Rasam 

Tomato Rasam 

Tomato rasam is incredibly delicious and it also aids digestion, increases immunity and detoxifies the body. This delicious and comforting soup is made with tomatoes, curry leaves, jaggery, tamarind and a variety of spices like red chilli powder, cumin and black pepper. You can pair it with rice or enjoy it as a soup on its own. 

Garlic Rasam 

Garlic rasam is also known as poondu rasam. It is spicy and sour in taste and is perfect to boost immunity during monsoon and winter. Made with chana dal, tamarind, black peppercorns, tomatoes and red chilli, garlic rasam gets its authentic flavour from the tempering of garlic, mustard seeds and ghee. 

Pineapple Rasam 

This is an exotic variety of rasam which is spicy and sour in taste. Made with lentils, tomatoes and spices like cumin, black peppercorn and mustard seeds, this side dish is incredibly delicious. Packed with many nutrients, pineapple rasam is perfect to enjoy with all three meals. Though commonly it has a robust taste you can adjust the flavours according to your preference. 

Pepper Rasam 

Also known as milagu rasam, this variety is special on its own. Made with aromatic and flavourful spices like black pepper, garlic and turmeric, it is tangy and spicy in taste. Enjoyed as an appetiser or with steamed rice, this comforting dish is great for curing stubborn colds and coughs. It also facilitates digestion and aids weight loss. 

Drumstick Rasam 

This is another rich, flavourful and healthy variety of rasam. Usually, drumsticks are added to sambar so this rasam can be little similar to it. However, the consistency of rasam is not as thick as sambar. This simple yet yummy dish is best served with rice and is also very popular in Andhra Pradesh. The main ingredients of this rasam are drumsticks, tamarind, jaggery, curry leaves and a few spices.  

Top 5 Places To Have Rasam In Tamil Nadu 

Ezham Suvai 

Located in Trichy, this restaurant is perfect for enjoying some authentic rasam and other vegetarian Tamil food. Established in 2012, they serve a fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine. You can visit this place with your family and friends to enjoy some of the best vegetarian food in the city. 

Shri Sangeethas Veg. Restaurant 

This is another amazing place for enjoying some authentic rasam in the city of Trichy. Located in Arivalayam, they serve a platter of delicious vegetarian dishes. Apart from rasam their breakfast menu, specially uttapam is worth trying. 

Savya Rasa 

If you are looking for authentic South Indian meal in Chennai, then Savya Rasa located in Kotturpuram is a must visit. It is an ideal place to enjoy both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Visit this restaurant with your friends and family to experience a wide range of traditional dishes. 

Sumthy Palakarakadai and Restaurant 

This humble eatery located in Karur serves the best rasam in the city. Apart from vegetarian meals, they are also known for serving some delicious cakes and beverages like tea and coffee. Established in 2016, it is a popular spot for snacks as well. 

Sri Saravana Bhavan’s Aasai Dosai 

This restaurant is located in Salem and is a well-known spot for vegetarian meals. Apart from rasam, this place is also a must visit for sambar, vada and masala dosa. They offer some great coffee and tea as well. This pure veg restaurant was started by Mr. V.C.S. Shivraman in 1993.