Pineapple Rasam ~ Meatless Monday

In this month's Penzey's Spices catalog, there was a recipe for an Indian soup called ~ Pineapple Rasam.  It sounded really interesting, and since I love Indian food so much, I knew I had to make it.  I made it for our lunch today, and it was just perfect for this second day of Fall.  This version of  rasam uses a can of crushed pineapple as it's base ~ what an unusual way to use pineapple!  The soup turns into a wonderful combo of sweet, spicy, smooth and creamy ~ with a great 'rich' mouth-feel.  I'm going to have to explore using pureed crushed pineapple in other dishes, too...maybe even as a base for a vegetarian gravy.  Surprisingly, it didn't give a heavy pineapple flavor to the soup, just a nice 'thick' texture... I think pureed crushed pineapple might be my new secret ingredient for a low fat 'thick' texture!

I added a bit more Indian spices than their recipe called for, just because I wanted a richer spice flavor.  I have a nice Masala Sambhar spice blend that I like to use since it compliments many different foods.  I also used regular oil instead of ghee (since I don't keep that on hand), I added 1/4 tsp of butter extract to the water for a touch of butter flavor since I didn't use ghee, and I just used all ground spices.  I still used the mustard seeds in the hot oil first, than added the rest of the spices as the recipe called for.  I served it with some Trader Joe's naan bread and a 'ready to eat' rice and yellow lentil dish called  pongal (that I bought last month at the Indian market).  What a satisfying light lunch for this beautiful, sunny and mild ~ Meatless Monday!  More real-time cooking in my kitchen today.  :)

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