« Back to articlePrint this article

Recipe: Beetroot Rasam With No Tomatoes

July 24, 2023 16:31 IST

Tomatoes and paneer are two ingredients which always get an instant reaction from my Papa, who retired as a sous chef after working at a leading five-star hotel for over 35 years.

According to him, tamatar can, at times, be replaced with ingredients like tamarind or kokum or completely avoided. Using a tomato replacement, he feels, will not change the overall taste of the dish one is cooking.

Papa does admit that tomato puree brings in a rich, tangy flavour to most Indian curries and masalas.

Paneer, he says, is an "ingredient that has no identity or taste of its own."

A few weeks ahead of the price hike, I decided to surprise him with Beetroot Rasam.

I discovered the recipe online and had never tried it before. I was keen to find out how this rasam would taste minus the tomatoes. This particular recipe, that I adapted, blends boiled beetroot and uses almost the same ingredients that you would use for rasam. It tastes mildly sweet, a bit spicy and looks vibrant with a hint of red and magenta.

The end result? In Amma's words, it tasted "quite nice," more like a jaggery version of rasam. And it has my Papa's stamp of approval.

Beetroot Rasam may be had like a soup or with steamed rice and any poriyal,upperi or bhaji/sabji.

How to make Beetroot Rasam

Photograph: Divya Nair

Beetroot Rasam

Serves: 4


For the rasam

 For the rasam powder


To make the rasam powder

To make the rasam