When I have guests over for a south Indian meal, I usually serve this ginger and lime laced rasam as an appetizer and as a drink.
This drink kindles the digestive fire in the stomach, arouses a healthy appetite and opens up the taste buds to experience the other treats on offer.
And when the weather changes to rainy season or chilly winters, this ginger and lime drink is a surefire way to soothe a sore throat, a nasal congestion or a nagging cold related headache, all symptoms usually manifesting themselves during seasonal changes.
When it was raining outside and I found myself with a headache which was just about to start and was threatening to leave me indisposed, I made myself this rasam, spiked with the medicinal and curative properties of ginger and lime and relished every sip with the accompanying soothing sensation. With simple ingredients, easy techniques and absolutely no fat in it, this traditional Indian soup is an important formula in my repertoire of recipes.
Ginger has been used as a spice and medicine in many herbal traditions for thousands of years to cure a number of ailments. And the miraculous, healthful properties of lime are widely recognized too. Ginger and lime in this fatless soup, provide a healing and tasteful touch making it a soothing drink which once had cannot be easily forgotten.
Ginger And Lime Rasam (Ginger And Lime Lentil Soup) Recipe
Serve this drink with extra pieces of cut lime and thinly sliced ginger for guests to help themselves.
60 gm (1/3 cup) red gram dal (arhar dal)
2 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chili
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp asafetida powder
1 liter (4 cups) water
3 tsp salt
juice of 1 1/2 or 2 limes, depending on size and individual preference
Wash the dal well and soak in water for 15 to 30 minutes.
Assemble the ginger, pepper, cumin, chili, turmeric and asafetida and grind to a fine paste in a grinder or a mortar and pestle.
Place the dal, the ground paste, water and salt and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles or until done. Alternatively cook in a saucepan until done, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Turn off the heat, put in the lime juice and serve hot.
Serves 6 to 8
Note:- Make sure you stir in the lime juice after you turn off the heat. Heating the soup with the lime in it will destroy most of the vitamin C.