Updated: Feb 12
Roselle-Torch Ginger Flower Rasam | Turmeric Rice Noodles | Bitter Gourd | Vadai
Build Your Immunity. Eating healthy is our best line of defence.
My grandfather always said, "health is wealth" to me and my brother when we were growing up. He would compulsorily make us exercise during our vacation visits. My grandmom was responsible for filling us back with calories that we reluctantly burned that exercise morning. Grandfather would insist that we should eat vegetables and fruits that offer natural good health and my grandmom included them in such tasty-creative dishes that we gobbled it up. We did not understand much then, but now as a parent when I see the importance of imparting the same.
Roselle, Torch Ginger Flower, Turmeric Roots, Bitter Gourd grow locally in Singapore. If you want to visit a kampong, go visit @Ground-Up Initiative (GUI) and see if you can find such growing there! Be a part of their #SGwholecommunities to know more!
Rasam has always been South-India's remedy, defence against cold, cough and fever. So here is a dish, a modern interpretation of my comfort food - rasam-rice, vadai, pavakkai poriyal (bitter gourd stir-fry) with a twist of health, promise and happiness.
The visual is a play of spotting-the-difference between the rasam movement from the glass cylinder to the noodle bowl and capturing the essence of a fusion south-Indian meal with pattu (silk) and chopsticks is done by @Charu.shah.photography Click on it to watch.
From glass cylinder .....
......to noodle bowl! Then hopefully to your tummy!
Here are the components to the dish and it's health benefits. A vitamin C packed dish with ingredients known to offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidants.
Roselle or red sorrel also called Hibiscus sabdariffa has been used as a therapeutic plant for centuries. It is used in herbal tea as it contains vitamin C, known to have anti-inflammatory and mild anti-bacterial properties. Often used as a supplement to help treat coughs and colds because of its cooling effect, it is also effective in reducing the discomfort of fevers as well. Tart and sour in taste, I used it to replace the tamarind used in making a Rasam.
Torch Ginger Flower, also called Rojak Flower is an indispensable ingredient in South-East-Asian cuisines, where the buds are used to zest up curries and seafood stews. A part of the ginger family it is high in antioxidants, anti-bacterial and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. I used the torch ginger to also give the rasam some floral notes and to balance the medicinal taste from the roselle.
Turmeric Rice Noodles from @zenxin_organicsg that is gluten-free, organic and super fast, easy to cook. Every Rasam deserves rice, but I want to think out of the box. The Turmeric in the noodle is an anti-inflammatory plus point in this dish!
Bitter gourd or Bitter melon is a tropical vine that belongs to the gourd family and is closely related to zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and cucumber. The Chinese variety is typically long, pale green, and covered with wart-like bumps. I used the Indian variety that is more narrow and has pointed ends with rough, jagged spikes on the rind. Bitter melon is usually known for its properties helping control blood sugar control and cholesterol levels but here I used it especially for its lesser-known vitamin C content. I also wanted to include the bitter taste that is most neglected taste component while structuring dishes.
Vadai or deep-fried dumplings made from urad dal or uluntham paruppu, chopped green chilli and fresh coriander to make the dish more interesting, indulgent and include some plant-protein. I believe that everything that is healthy does not need to involve sacrifice. I get tired of telling people that indulgence in moderation is a must as a healthy mind will lead the path to a healthy body and soul.
This is not some ordinary Rasam. It is a Roselle-Torch Ginger Flower Rasam!
Here is the recipe for the Roselle-Torch Ginger Flower Rasam:
6 cups of Water
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder or 1/2 inch turmeric root (crushed lightly)
6- 8 Roselle petals
1/2 tbsp worth of chopped Torch Ginger Flower
1/2 tsp Raw Sugarcane Jaggery
1 sprig (around 12-15) Curry Leaves
10 Black Peppercorns
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
Step by step recipe:
To make a spice blend, take the Black peppercorns, Cumin seeds and pan roast on a dry (no oil) pan until fragrant. Add the curry leaves to the hot pan and turn off the heat/flame. Toss the leaves in the residual heat to dry up a little. Now, grind it in a small mixie jar or coffee grinder to a fine powder.
To make the rasam broth, add 6 cups of water to a pressure cooker or instant pot or a soup pot. Blend the tomatoes to a puree and add to the water. Peel the Roselle petals and add to the water. Add the chopped Torch Ginger Flower, Jaggery, turmeric and the prepared spice blend. Add salt and let it come to a boil. Simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Cook the Turmeric Rice Noodle or any rice or rice noodle of your choice as per instructions.
To serve, strain the rasam broth so it is a clear liquid over the cooked noodles or rice. Serve with whatever vegetable, vadai you like.
Eat. Don't forget to tag #kechilkitchen so I can see your favourite vegetable and dish creations.
Think Fresh | Eat Better | Be Happy
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