November 24, 2013

Thippili Rasam

How to make Thippili Rasam/Long Pepper Soup

         With the holidays coming up, I had other things on my mind this week & had no clue as to what I was going to post for Valli's CCChallenge this weekend. Although, I did have a few posts in the draft; I wanted to make something different. Thanks to my MIL for suggesting this Rasam; after hearing my (mild, but annoying) cough. Whether it's just a tasty treat or a homemade cure for digestive problems or the common cold, I think we should value & preserve our family recipes & techniques, before it's too late. Don't get me wrong, I agree that the modern medicine has millions of concoctions for every ailment in the book; but sometimes, the homemade cure is all you need. Note the underlining here :)

          Thippili (Tamil), Pipara/Pipli (Hindi), also known as Long pepper (Piper longum) is a precious fruit known for the welfare of the digestive and the respiratory systems. These pungent, dried pepper fruits are filled with a myriad of medicinal benefits to our body. It's believed to help in digestion, act as an exceptional expectorant, increase memory & immunity, and strengthen the nervous system. Research Scientists at the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital have found that special compounds found in the Long pepper kill cancer cells. You can find more about Thippili on the wiki. Contrary to the name, this is not spicy as you might think (on your tongue), but you can feel the mild heat (think of cloves) down your throat. I found this recipe in a Meenakshi Ammal's cookbook, that my mom bought for me to save my future hubby, just before my wedding.

How to make Thippili Rasam/Long Pepper Soup - A herbal cure for many ailments.


Black Pepper - 1/2 Tsp
Dry Red Chilli - 2 no:s
Coriander seeds - 2 Tsp
Thippili - 4 to 6 no:s
Channa Dal/Bengal Gram Dal - 1 Tsp
Cumin seeds - 1Tsp
Curry leaves - 10 - 15 large leaves
Water - 750 ml (around 3 cups)
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Tamarind pulp - 2 Tbsp
Jaggery - 1/2 Tsp
Cooked Tuvar Dal - 1/2 Cup
Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp

  • Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pan, add the Black Pepper, Dry Red Chillies, Coriander Seeds, Thippili & Bengal Gram Dal & fry until golden brown. Cool & grind into a paste, along with 10 large Curry leaves and Cumin seeds.
  • Boil the ground paste, in a pan along with Tamarind pulp, water, Salt, cooked Tuvar dal & Jaggery; turn off the heat when you see the first signs of frothing. 
  • Heat the remaining oil - add Mustard seeds & remaining Curry leaves, once it splutters; add it to the Rasam.
  • Check seasoning & serve hot with white rice, any poriyal/curry & pappad.
Notes: Jaggery was not mentioned in the cookbook, I added it to enhance the taste of this healing rasam.

Disclaimer: Please use your own discretion & judgment to find a line of cure that's suitable for your needs.

Sending this post to Srivalli's CCChallenge

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