Milagu jeera rasam sadam is a spicy and brothy rice dish. The soupy rasam is flavored with cumin, black peppercorn, tomatoes, and tamarind and is poured over fluffy rice for a hearty meal.
What is rasam?
Rasam is a South Indian tomato and tamarind based brothy soup that is popular in Tamil Nadu. It is commonly ladled over sadam or rice for a warm and hearty meal. When I am sick, rasam is my go to. I just sip on it to help relieve an achy throat and the warm spices help clear out those sinuses.
There are so many different varieties of rasam out there from parappu (lentil) rasam to pineapple rasam. For these rasams, it is common to use a rasam powder to flavor the broth. This is a spice blend that definitely comes in handy and when it is a homemade recipe it makes a good rasam great!
Simple rasam without rasam powder
This rasam recipe does not use rasam powder; instead, it uses Milagu and jeera. Milagu and jeera, which translate from Tamil to cumin and black pepper, are slightly toasted to bring out their essential oils and then ground to make a flavorful broth.
This rasam allows these these two ingredients to shine and creates a quick and easy soup packed with earthy and spicy flavors. Of course, I love to pour it over some basmati rice so the rice can absorb all the delicious goodness. My favorite way to enjoy rasam sadam is with copious amounts of rasam, a dollop of ghee for richness, and a side of masala roasted potatoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't have tamarind pulp, you can substitute ~2Tbs of lemon juice or 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate to help mimic the sour taste. You can read more about tamarind in this blog post.
You can use any tomatoes that are in season. I mostly use roma tomatoes because they are easy to cut up and drop into the rasam. On special occasions, I use cherry tomatoes because they are slightly sweeter in taste and add a pop of yellow and orange color to my rasam.
Those who are Iyengars, Bhramins, and Jains often do not consume garlic and onions. So for this recipe, just omit the garlic and add a pinch of hing as a substitute.
Yes! You can absolutely make this rasam in an instant pot. Just use the saute functionality on your instant pot and follow the instructions as stated.
For rasam sadam it is traditional to use Indian medium-long grain varieties of rice like basmati or ponni rice. Jasmine rice also tastes great with this dish. Avoid short grain rices like sushi and arborio rices for this dish.
You can; however, note that the dish won't be as flavorful when using powders in place of seeds. This is because once the seeds are ground, they start losing their flavor, so it is best to toast and grind the seeds right before making the dish for maximum flavor. The exact substitution amounts are listed in the notes section of the recipe card!