Rasam is a restorative and rejuvenating lentil soup with lots of black pepper, garlic and fresh cilantro. It is generally eaten with some good old white rice. I have posted the recipe of Tomato rasam here before. Why cranberries in a rasam, you may ask? Well, necessity is the mother of invention and of improvisation:) Of late I have been trying to avoid tomatoes in my diet since they have been known to increase inflammation in the body and many ‘arthritis friendly’ dietis recommend eliminating tomatoes. Recently I have also been on a gluten-free and dairy free diet as well. For me, that wasn’t as tough as having to eliminate tomatoes. All my south Indian ‘go to’ curries … Dal, sambhaar and rasam…need tomatoes! Without tomatoes, they didn’t taste half as good. 🙁
Then this evening while deciding what to cook and with a sudden craving for simple ‘rasam’, I noticed the cranberries inside the fridge. I had got a huge pack of fresh cranberries last week since they were supposed to be super beneficial for me and was planning to add them to my smoothies. So had a brain wave. Why not add cranberries to the rasam to get the tartness it needs? Couldn’t wait to try it! And the result – tasty rasam which tasted so much like normal rasam that husband dear could not even guess that something was different! That’s what I call a perfect substitute and this one has added medicinal benefits too! Cranberries provide us with an astonishing array of phytonutrients. Many of these phytonutrients offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer health benefits. Cranberries are a very good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese, as well as a good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, and pantothenic acid. You can read more about all the goodness of cranberries here.
The rasam also has garlic and turmeric additionally which are also beneficial for the arthritis patient. Turmeric helps reduce inflammation and also is an effective pain reliever. Garlic also has anti-inflammatory properties. Normally I add tamarind to the rasam but the cranberries provided enough sourness so that eliminated the need for tamarind.