This pineapple rasam has beautiful chunks of sweet pineapple that make for a sweet and spicy brothy soup that is complex in flavor but so simple to make.
What makes pineapple rasam so special?
Pineapple rasam is a special variety of rasam that is often called kalayana rasam or wedding rasam because it is served for special occasions. Additionally, this rasam does not include garlic or onion, which many brahmins, iyengars, and jains do not consume, which makes this type of rasam accessible to a larger population of folks.
I can slurp down many hot bowls of pineapple rasam because of how complex the flavor is. The initial flavor of the rasam is a subtle sweet and sour taste imparted from the pineapple. The second layer of flavoring tingles the back of your throat with a deep and peppery finish. The combo of the sweet and sour will make your heart pitter patter in excitement.
One of my favorite parts is getting a chunk of pineapple from the pot and eating it with fresh basmati rice. The pineapple soaks up so much of the peppery rasam broth and has the juiciest burst of flavor when you bite into its soft flesh. The pineapple chunks make the the rasam feel so hearty while still remaining light and refreshing.
Complex in flavor but simple to prepare
This pineapple rasam might have a depth of flavor but it couldn't be easier to make. I developed this recipe so it could be made be made on a busy weeknight for a hearty South Indian meal. This pineapple rasam comes comes together in 20 minutes in one pot and requires very little cutting.
The recipe uses cubed canned pineapple to save time on cutting the pineapple. Canned pineapple is almost always in my pantry whether it is to make this dish or to whip up a sweet pineapple kesari desert. Canned pineapple is also available throughout the year and is canned when the pineapple is at its best, so I can enjoy pineapple rasam even when it is not pineapple season. You can definitely substitute fresh pineapple in this recipe but just note it will take you slightly longer to cut the pineapple slices.
The next key part of this recipe which makes it so simple is that it does not have dal in it. You don't have to go to the extra length of making dal separately and then adding it to the rasam which saves you time. In addition, I wanted this rasam recipe to be really refreshing and rasams with dal tend to be heartier so leaving the dal out helps keep it light.
The best rasam powder for rasam
The key ingredient that will make your rasam stand out is homemade rasam powder. The rasam powder in this recipe is what gives the recipe its savory spice.
Homemade rasam powder is always fresher and in my opinion better than store-bought rasam powders. The reason is that store-bought powders have been sitting on shelves for long periods of time and their flavors are diminished by the time you get a hold of them. So that is why I opt to make my homemade rasam powder recipe. If you are short on time and looking to buy rasam powder instead, I would recommend the MTR Madras Rasam Powder because it is a brand that has a higher heat level, which my taste buds love.
You can absolutely use fresh pineapples. Just note that the prep time will be slightly longer.
Homemade rasam powder will always be the freshest tasting and will set your rasam apart from the rest. You can checkout my recipe for an instant rasam powder that will pack a punch. If you are tight on time, I recommend MTR Madras Rasam Powder.
Pineapple gives rasam a bright and tart flavoring to rasam. However, if you want to use other fruits, I would recommend apples, pears, or lemons!
Some iyengars, bhramins, and jains do not consume onion or garlic. This rasam recipe does not contain either of those ingredients and it is naturally vegan so it should be compliant for those following these diets.