I've been down with a bad cold for the past few days and my Mom suggested this really quick and soothing rasam that I called "avasara rasam", meaning, "a really quick rasam to make when you are rushed". It didn't take more then 15 minutes to make this rasam. It has garlic and black pepper powder in it which treat cold well.
Ingredients (about 2 servings):
Tamarind soaked in water - 1/4 inch ball
Tomato - 1/2 medium sized cut into small cubes
(If you are using tamarind paste, about 1/4 teaspoon of it)
Cooking oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a pinch
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Garlic - 3 cloves crushed
Dried red chillies - 2
Black pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cilantro for garnish - a few strands
Salt to taste
1. Extract about 2 cups (using a measuring cup) of the juice of tamarind soaked in water or dilute the tamarind paste with about 2 cups of water and set aside.
2. Heat cooking oil in a small pan, pop some mustard seeds, add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, dried red chillies, turmeric powder, garlic cloves and tomatoes and fry until the tomatoes get cooked.
3. Add the tamarind water from step 1, salt and black pepper powder and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the stove once it starts boiling.
4. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot as a soup or with cooked rice.
I didn't have all the energy to stand beside the stove, but this was so easy, tasty and soothing as it could get.