Rasam is the chicken soup (I make it vegan) of South India and a must in every household. A dash of spices is a quick pick me up anytime of the day and can be eaten with any curry or even an omelet.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds. As they start to sputter, add the curry leaves and tomato then season with cumin, pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric and garlic. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Stir in tamarind paste, adjusting to taste if you want, and season with salt. Simmer for about 2 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro to serve. Drink it like soup or eat it with rice.
Per Serving: 62 calories; protein 1.4g; carbohydrates 7.2g; fat 3.6g; sodium 13.6mg.