NELLIKAAI RASAM -100th post - Guest post by my better half!

It's a milestone achieved. Yes, it's my 100th post and look who is sharing the bouquet with me. It's my dear husband who has guest posted and I am on Cloud 9. Thank you Sri, for being such a supporting, encouraging and motivating husband. I also take this opportunity to thank all my readers, family members and friends, fellow bloggers and acquaintances for their support and encouragement since the launch of this space. Thank you all again.

It is my turn to ‘guest post’ in my wife’s blog !! I enjoy cooking as much as Sowmya does, but I am mostly into South Indian recipes. I make sure to cook the new recipes when I learn from someone and my former room mates and friends have been witnesses to such trials - yes, positive !! I strongly urge all men to learn cooking. That it is a hobby, relaxing, enjoying -- Oh ! we have heard those - but my point is to learn cooking when being single to survive and after marriage, to be even more supportive to wife and family. That includes willingness to wash dishes, which many hate.  Motto - if you like eating, washing dishes comes along free (unless its the restaurant :)) )  But one cannot excel in cooking if one learns it for survival alone - earnest fervour needs to be an amalgamating factor, just like spices !!

Now, let me introduce a vernal recipe!!

Gooseberries have a long history in South Indian Tamil civilization. Known for medicinal properties, the use of gooseberries in cooking and especially in beauty products have no bounds.  Ayurveda calls it the ‘wonder fruit’. Writing about gooseberries can be an exclusive blog - but, let me limit myself in posting this tasty appetizer first.

Not everyone likes to eat gooseberries raw – the most favoured recipe would be a pickle. My mom makes different recipes with these wonder fruits – pachchadi (raitha, in multifold methods); thokku (a type of sweetened pickle); of course, juice with honey and a semi-liquid chutney (thuvaiyal).
Rasam, being a traditional home menu everyday, is always settled upon for a quick meal. This variety using gooseberries is simply appetizing, flavoursome and mellow !!!

Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
Recipe Category: Appetizer, main course
Recipe Level: Easy
Spice Level: Medium
Cuisine: South Indian
Serves: 4

  • 6-10 gooseberries (where possible, choose those of a ping pong ball size – they are juicy)
  • 1 cup Toor daal
  • 2 tbsp Dhaniya seeds
  • 3/4 black peppers
  • 3/4 red chillies
  • Pinch of asafoetida (Hing)
  • Coconut Oil to garnish
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt, as needed

To Roast and Grind
  • Using little coconut oil, roast dhaniya, pepper, chillies. Grind them into a powder.(If the quantity is too little to grind, increase the proportions of each. You could use the extra powder for a different recipe, as appropriate.)

To extract juice
  • Slice the gooseberries and remove the seeds. Grind them with little water. Strain and set the juice aside. 
  • Do not throw the pulp. Retain about 2 tbsp of the pulp to add into the rasam later.
  • Extract the Gooseberry in the end to conserve Vitamin C as it is easily destroyed by air and heat.

  • Cook toor dar, mash them well and set aside. You can also grind the toor dal with some water, strain it and use only the strained toor dal water. Dense toor dal will ruin the taste.
  • In the cooking pan, add this toor dal mash, salt and the freshly ground spice powder. Simmer for a few minutes.(you should now sense aroma from tool dar and spice : if so, you did it right !!  J)
  • Allow this toor dal mixture to cool.
  • Add the gooseberry juice AND the 2 tbsp of pulp. Allow it to cook and blend itself in the toor dal mixture in the off-flame heat.
  • Ensure that there is more gooseberry juice than toor dal.
  • After a few minutes (when even cooler), garnish with mustard seeds and a few curry leaves.
  • You might have noticed that I have not added turmeric powder and coriander leaves. That was intentional – to preserve the beautiful colour of the rasam and to maintain the natural flavour of gooseberry (coriander will suppress this).
  • Enjoy this as an appetizing drink or as common as it is, with rice (of course, ghee added !!).
  • Give me your feedback – Eager to know how it turned out to be !! Photos will be most welcome !!


  1. Well written Srivatsan ! I am definitely going to try this appetizing recipe. Congratulations Sowmya !!! Great achievement! You go girl.....

  2. Congratulations Sowmya on your milestone!
    We like 'Nelli',but never use it in a Rasam.This sounds so delicious and glad to read a recipe from your husband.

  3. Congrats..!!! Nellikkai rasam sounds so different.. Looks tasty..

    1. Thank you Sona. N rasam is a must try. It's different from the regular rasams

  4. Congrats dear on your milestone!!...Really appreciate your better half...Great job!!..Rasam looks very comforting!!

  5. Congratulations Sowmya on your milestone!
    This Nellikaai rasam is new to me, but looks so intriguing. This is an awesome guest post I must say! :)

  6. Congrats Sowmya and looking forward to more inviting recipes. I love this rasam, though never made and the next time I get my hands on some nellikaai, this is the recipe.


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