Baked rasam soup

31 May

I love reading books. Period. There used to be a time when I would finish a book start to finish in one-go and couldn’t wait to finish to start the next one. These days my reading habit (as well as other personal traits) has changed, and I seem to be reading two and sometimes even three books at a time. It is a great wonder that all these books don’t become one huge mish-mash in my head šŸ™‚

Cooking is my passion and one of the reasons why this blog exists. When I heard about this blog event, I knew I could not give it a miss. The book of the month was Serving Crazy with Curry by Amulya Malladi; the fact that I was reading the book when the event got announced was an amazing coincidence. I picked up this book from the library after hearing about this book from a dear friend of mine.

It is the story of an Indian immigrant family living in California for more than 30 years; the mother wanting to lead a life the Indian way (with its ideals and values) in America, the father having little time to spare for his family and the children rebelling, trying to form their own identity. It is the story of two siblings who never see eye-to-eye in anything, compete against each other and finally, how they learn to accept each other with all their follies. It is also the story of a mother and daughter, the mother rebellious and forward for her day and age; the daughter having lived in the mother’s shadow wants as much a normal (even if it means traditional) life as possible. Finally, it is also the story of a grandmother and granddaughter who share a very special relationship.

The protagonist of the book, Devi, expresses herself through her cooking and I really liked the way in which Amulya had tied the two aspects – the story and the cooking, together. The character’s mood and her state of mind very clearly (and cleverly) expressed through her cooking, and when her family waited with bated breath to see what she was whipping up in the kitchen, so were the readers šŸ™‚ It is an intelligent ploy by Amulya to use the kitchen and cooking as her center-stage and weave the different threads into the main plot effortlessly, without having too many loose ends.

After finishing the book, the one recipe that remained with me was Devi’s “Rasam with Pastry sheet” – I was amazed at how the age-old rasam was given such a creative makeover and definitely wanted to try this. I used the Puff pastry sheets instead of making them from scratch as Devi did.

Pour the rasam in a soup bowl and cut the pastry sheet such that it covers the soup bowl well. Bake it at 350 for about 10-12 mins, till the pastry sheet turns golden. This is such a simple yet satisfying dinner, when you are in the mood for something light.

This can be jazzed up by adding some garlic (or even onion) on top of the pastry sheet and even some cheese to make it a soup topped with garlic bread.


Posted by on May 31, 2008 in Books, Cooking, Desi


Tags: , , , , , , ,

14 responses to “Baked rasam soup

  1. Laksh

    May 31, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Innovative!! Unable to visualize this though šŸ˜¦

    Sorry for the lack of picture – it was not very picturesque šŸ™‚ Will try to click one next time I make it. – A-kay

  2. bhags

    May 31, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    While i was reading this part, I also wanted to cook this one, due to unavailability of resources making a pastry was not possible, and with the course of time i forgot. after that i have bakes pastry number of times, but never thought of this recipe…thanks for bringing it back to me

    I think the innovative twist to the traditional rasam makes this recipe memorable and stand apart – you should definitely try this whenever possible. – A-kay

  3. m's mom

    May 31, 2008 at 11:49 PM

    As Laksh said rightly,cudnt imagine the taste of this western presentation of eastern delicious rasam——–hope Rasam doesnt loose its ‘divine’quality
    btw I’m remembered abt a Tamil writer Ms Shyamala Rao(not very well known)-who is at once skilled in her culinary &story telling arts
    I have exactly followed her Thideer puliyodarai recipe which featured in her travelogue(her Las vegas trip)she s too good

    Oh no! Rasam didn’t lose its divinity – infact, it gave a whole lift of taste to the pie covering. You should pass the Thideer puliyodarai recipe, maami. – A-kay

  4. Trupti

    May 31, 2008 at 11:55 PM

    baked rasam soup..sort of like a dumpling stew or a french onion soup. How creative!

    this books sounds really good too…I’d love to read it.

    It was more like Rasam pie (like how spillay said) – the crispy pastry exterior covering the simmering rasam. – A-kay

  5. Spillay

    June 1, 2008 at 6:36 AM

    It almost sounds like rasam pie! Wow! I still have trouble getting my rasam right at the moment,.. but once I do,.. I would love to give this recipe a go! šŸ˜›

    He he… a good rasam is a sine qua non for this recipe. I like your nomenclature – Rasam pie (why didn’t I think of that – hitting head!) – A-kay

  6. Rachel

    June 1, 2008 at 2:22 PM

    Am amused by the name

  7. rupa

    June 1, 2008 at 3:43 PM

    I liked this too…do try the Mango season by Amulya…I loved it….and need a picture of the baked rasam…. šŸ™‚

    I read that and a few others by Amulya too. Sorry – will click one the next time I make it. – A-kay

  8. rupa

    June 1, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    oops! I missed the deadline for this…. ok, next time…

  9. Mitr

    June 2, 2008 at 5:53 AM


    couldn’t find this book by Amulya Malladi, but picked up The Mango Season book and am half way through it- its a nice read. Thanks for sharing new authors.

    Yeah – I read that too. It was a good read. Try A Breath of Fresh Air – that was really touching! – A-kay

  10. Priya

    June 3, 2008 at 2:46 AM

    Another coincidence, this time for me! I have been searching for this book in our library the past two times I went there without having read about the event! Need to place a request for it now.
    The rasam with the pastry sheet on top feels like a modern twist to rasam with vadaam/vadiyum šŸ™‚

    True – eating the pastry sheet with rasam reminded me of soagy (or soaked) vadaam in rasam too. Read the book and let me know how you liked it. – A-kay

  11. rads

    June 3, 2008 at 7:59 AM

    wow, that was cool! Will try it soon, provided I don’t burn the sheet in the 1st place :

    I have returned the favor and tagged you too šŸ™‚

  12. Madhuram

    June 3, 2008 at 8:13 AM

    I think I have just enough patience to read the jist of the story you have written. So thank you very much for that. The rasam also sounds very interesting.

    I have blogged about the small packet powder today. Check it out.

  13. sireesha

    June 3, 2008 at 5:29 PM

    hi, visiting ur blog first time .U have nice and lovely blog.Baked rasam soup.sounds really good. How creative!Iā€™d love to read it.



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