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According to Padma Lakshmi (from Top Chef), this soup will cure what ails you! This is her version of a traditional South Indian soup called rasam. It's high in protein, and low in calories and carbs - although you can add rice noodles and call it a meal! The ingredients can be found inexpensively at an Indian or Asian grocery, and the taste of this fragrant broth is well worth the effort. Cook time = marinating time.
- 2 ounces tamarind pulp (2 golf-ball size pieces)
- 12 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 lemon, juice of, ripe
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3⁄4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 20 fresh curry leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon asafetida powder
- 2 cups grape tomatoes or 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 -2 fresh green chile, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder (sambar or Madras)
- 1⁄2 inch jaggery (brown cane sugar or palm sugar)
- 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Soak the tamarind pulp in six cups of very hot water (bring it to a boil and then pour it over the tamarind) for 20 minutes and crush it with the back of a spoon to make a pulp.
- Marinate the shrimp in lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside in the fridge.
- In a deep soup pot, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat and add the mustard and cumin seeds, fenugreek, curry leaves and garlic, and cook 3-4 minutes. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop and crackle out of the pan, add the asafetida, tomatoes and green chilies. Stir for a couple minutes and then add the curry powder. Be careful as the mustard seeds will pop out of the pan!
- After about 4-5 minutes, when the tomatoes have started to wilt and become soft, pour in the strained tamarind gravy.
- Stir in the jaggery piece and the fish sauce, and heat for about 10 minutes. Make sure the jaggery dissolves completely. Adjust salt, if needed. Once the oil begins to separate, and little pools of oil form on the surface, add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp!
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Serve piping hot in bowls.
This is a wonderful recipe. It makes enough for 3 people though. I suppose as a Westerner I thought it should make more but the flavors are so fantastic only about a cup per person was needed. So very tasty and a fantastic way to use up those pesky cherry tomatoes that I grow too many of.