Vegetarian Concoctions

July 12, 2007

Kandathippili sathumudu (rasam)

Filed under: Arisithippili, Home remedies, Kandathippili, Main meals, Rasam, Tamilnadu — Hema @ 11:38 am

With astounding developments in science and medicine, there are so many quick cures to everyday ailments a man from suffers time and again. Diseases like small pox have been eradicated and life expectancy has gone up both in developed and developing nations. Having said this, there are so many new diseases infesting the human race. AIDS for example, was non-existant half a century ago and is now the most dreaded disease. There are drugs available for depression, restless legs and weight loss. Are these diseases? Can they not be dealt with without drugs?

My daughter’s pediatrician had prescribed Elidel for her eczema and after a month or so asked us to stop using it as it had a black box warning. Several drugs are withdrawn from the market after they start showing signs of side effects in the long run. How do I know if the second presciption ointment is safe for my child? Now, will you blame me if I turn to the trusted home remedies that our grandmas suggested for simple headaches, rashes and colds? I think not!

I saw this interesting titbit online and had to save it for this post:

“I have a sore throat.”

2000 BC : “eat this root”

1200 AD : “That root is heathen, say this prayer.”

1500 AD : “That prayer is superstition, drink this elixir.”

1800 AD : “That elixir is snake oil, Take this pill.”

1900 AD : “That pill is ineffective, Take this antibiotic.”

2000 AD : “That antibiotic is artificial, Here why dont you eat this root.”

And eat the root we will! Well make that bark. Kandathippili is available as 2-3 inch long sticks in herbal stores in the south. Does anyone know what the scientific name is or if it has another name? I have not been able to find it. Arisithippili (long pepper) is a relative of the black pepper (see picture right down below)This rasam (iyengars call rasam, sathumudu) is ideal for body aches and for the ‘not-feeling-that-great’ days. It is frequently made for postpartum meals in our custom.


What you need:

Kandathippili – 5-6 sticks

Arisithippili – 4-5 grains

Sukku/soonth/dry ginger (see picture below) – 1 tsp powdered

Black pepper – 1 tsp

Jeera/cumin – 1 tsp

Red chillies – 2 nos

Hing – a pinch

Few curry leaves

Turmeric – a pinch

Tamarind – paste from 1 lemon sized ball

Ghee, curry leaves, Jeera and mustard for tadka

Heat up a small pan and roast the kandathippili and arisithippili till they brown and the kitchen is evidently fragrant. Add sukku, black pepper, jeera, hing, curry leaves and red chillies and roast for a few more minutes. Dry grind. (This powder can be made in excess and kept for a few days in an airtight container). Boil 3 cups of water with tamarind paste, turmeric and salt for 10 minutes or until the raw smell of the tamarind goes. Add the ground powder. Temper with rai, jeera and curry leaves in ghee.





  1. You’re right, ultimately grandma’s remedies work!!

    Comment by Jyothsna — July 12, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  2. Hi, rasam looks lovely and might be delicious too. I want to try this. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up.

    BTW I am adding your blog name in my blogger’s list.

    Comment by Jyothi — July 12, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

  3. Hema,does she drink this Rasam?!Arisi..,have never seen it before.Rasam looks delicious though.I would drink it:)
    Trisha had Eczema too when she was 3yrs old,but disappeared on it’s own when she got older.Over the counter 1% Cortisone-10 works sometimes for mild Eczema.
    Hope that works for her Hema,might take quite a while to work.Herbals are like that.Meanwhile,use the ointment too.Hugs to A!:)

    Comment by Asha — July 12, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  4. I love this rasam. But last time I tried bringing kandathippili, it was thrown out by the US customs 😦

    Comment by Suganya — July 12, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

    • custom packers to parcel such stuff and then bring it

      Comment by Sheela — November 1, 2015 @ 3:36 pm

  5. @jyothsna
    yup, more often than not.

    Not everyone likes it, but I do. Thanks.

    aaha! caught you bigS! this time you didnt read what I wrote carefully. This is for body-aches and fluish symptoms. nothing to do with eczema. Ananya’s rashes are much better this year, so I am hoping they will subside with age. Doc says it is pretty common for Indian kids born in the US for some reason. cortisone nevr worked…not even 2%. she was on a mild steroid. Sounds scary, but we had no choice.
    And yes she does like this rasam. not much though…just a couple mouthfuls from my plate:)

    Comment by hema — July 12, 2007 @ 3:25 pm

  6. hema , sathumudu is great . Hope your daughter gets well soon .I am still to have a kid hema , so sorry ..i am really not aware of it ….Big hugs to the baby

    Comment by Deepa — July 12, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

  7. @suganya,
    Hard luck. Try sealing the packages and labelling them ‘condiments’ the next time. Works sometimes.

    Oh, she is perfectly fine. Eczema is a rash that erupts now and then. Very common. She is fighting it out pretty well. Thanks for your wishes.

    Comment by Hema — July 12, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

  8. my mom made a powder out of tippilis , sukku powder and many other ingredients and it works great when my son falls sick. this is a very informative post for ppl who live far away form India.

    Comment by sharmi — July 12, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

  9. that titbit, so true! that spice sounds so effective, tried & tested 🙂

    Comment by Richa — July 12, 2007 @ 7:21 pm

  10. Love to read about the great herbs, spices, and roots used in Indian cooking and especially the medicinal qualities. They are so fascinating. Thanks for writing about this one!


    Comment by Kanchana — July 12, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

  11. lovely post… I loved the prelude. very very true. I have some thipili at home not knowing what to do. Its the one used in diwali marundhu !!

    Comment by revathi — July 12, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

  12. Hi Hema, this has a lovely color you know — that alone should help cure what ails you 🙂 Glad to hear baby’s doing alright. I know it’s hard when you’re giving meds to little ones…

    Regarding your thippili question, I found something here that might help? Scroll down to Piper Longum and look under Tamil. I don’t whether that is what you’re looking for.

    So nice to have you back blogging 🙂

    Comment by outofthegarden — July 12, 2007 @ 8:23 pm

  13. Even I resort to home remedies many times.The one which starts with ‘A’I have it with me, they call it pipli here for cold cough medicine.Nice rasam Hema. Wish I knew the one starting with ‘K’.If ever you come to know please update, I would like to make the rasam. ‘kandathippli is sweet to taste?

    Comment by archana — July 12, 2007 @ 11:43 pm

  14. Invariably the home made remedies work for me!!! 🙂

    Well, the drugs (medicines) are forever in their discovery stages and hence once a newer version is discovered, the older one becomes less useful. But its actually our body getting so used to the older one that it doesnt show its effects. 🙂 So thats the doc speaking 😉

    This is bookmarked and kept…

    Comment by Coffee — July 13, 2007 @ 1:24 am

  15. Hema! Welldone girl! In my recent post for “sura meen kuzhambu” my mom wanted me to add the arisithipili which I was reluctant to do. But u’re great recipe (which I had it at home) inspires me to post a series of such in my blog! thanks dear!

    Comment by Nirmala Jegadheesan — July 13, 2007 @ 2:35 am

  16. Thats some information girl….and I think now i gotta start collecting info about such herbs…thanks for sharing the information

    Comment by bhags — July 13, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

  17. Hi Hema,
    Its true , home remedies are good though they work a bit slow ..
    My daughter used to have wheezing problem and my made a powder with sukku,thippili,milagu,athharaiand more thing which i dont remember…
    I mixed this powder with honey and gave her once in a week , snd the result was good. slowly the wheezing reduced..
    I hope ur baby gets well soon too.

    Comment by prema — July 15, 2007 @ 10:03 am

  18. That was a good one..amazing how we go back to basics but after taking the convoluted path of course.

    Comment by sandeepa — July 15, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

  19. this is more called as kashaya in my home. hipilli and sukku work great as it is even for colds… its truly soothing and comforting…

    Comment by roopa — July 15, 2007 @ 10:44 pm

  20. @Sharmi,
    Is that Angaya podi or Ashtachoornam? I have to get these recipes from grandma.

    It sure is.

    Yes, these traditional herbs are very effective and I hope to get more of these listed on here. Glad you liked it.

    Thanks for the link! it is great. I have to go through it with some time in hand. The Piper Longum is Arisithippili (the image down below) It is wrongly listed as Kandathippili in a lot of places online (Compare the images with mine). Anyway, thanks a lot for the informative link and for taking time to find it.

    yes pipili is used in a lot of cuisines including France! I will update you on Kandathippili when I get hold of more info. It is not sweet at all. The rasam tastes somewhatlike milagu seera (pepper-jeera) rasam, if you have had that before.

    Yes home remedies are for keeps

    Please d post such recipes. These are very unique and need to be documented before they are lost forever…and do heed your mother’s advise on Arisithippili. You will not be dissapointed a bit:)

    Thanks and I wiuld love more info on such herbs

    I remember such a powder that grandma made. Not sure whet it was for. Slow but sure cure.

    Yes, its so true, is’nt it?

    It is very soothing for cold and sore thoat as well. We mix it with rice and ghee and eat it as rasam. I love drinking it as such too.

    Comment by hema — July 17, 2007 @ 9:10 am

  21. Hi Hema,
    I make this rasam once in a month. In our house we all like this rasam.

    Comment by Menu Today — July 18, 2007 @ 5:16 am

  22. we indians have been neglecting such home remedies and depend on antibiotics. but ultimately its some granny’s remedies which comes to our rescue. thanks for the info hema.

    Comment by sia — July 18, 2007 @ 10:24 am

  23. @MT
    I make it just as frequently. Good to see you.

    Yes, its time we revive them for our next generation before they are lost.

    Comment by Hema — July 18, 2007 @ 10:56 am

  24. you have a great blog here. excellent variety and info. first time here – but actually came through our blogroll (seems like b has been here before). –jai

    Comment by jai — July 20, 2007 @ 1:59 am

  25. Nice writing about herbs spices and roots. Great recipe of Rasam.:)

    Comment by kajal — July 25, 2007 @ 7:38 am

  26. @Jai
    Welcome and yes, bee’s been here before. Thanks!

    Thank you!

    Comment by Hema — July 26, 2007 @ 12:00 pm

  27. I am newbie to your website, great recipes. thanks for memories of wonderful aromas of herbs and roots from home. Any luck finding English name of Kandathippili? I am going to ask amma to send me some. thanks again for the recipe.

    Comment by VnV — July 27, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

  28. Dear hema,
    The link below has all the ayurvedic medicine’s names, in two or three languages.
    More later. bye.


    Comment by lathanarasimhan — August 15, 2007 @ 11:47 am

  29. Wow! I can’t believe that I found a recipe for Kandathipilli rasam online. Usually I turn to Meenakshi Ammal for traditional recipes like these. Gives me the urge to make this as soon as I find kandathipli.
    My first time here – love your blog!

    Comment by Sangeetha — February 4, 2008 @ 10:52 pm

  30. Kandathippili is the root (moola) of the long pepper (arisi thippili)plant. It is generally referred to as ‘long pepper root’.

    Comment by Gopalakrishna — February 26, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

  31. http://WWW.SHALIGRAM.COM is the only ISO 9001:2008 Certified Organisation in the World dealing with most genuine
    and rarest Shaligram Shilas, Exclusive Rudrakshas tested with latest machines and X Rayed to negate any abnormality
    in the inside structure, Aura and Chakra Balancing thro latest machines, Cleansing of Chakra and Aura enhancement,
    Rarest and genuine Meteorites, 24 carats Gold plated Yantras, Real Makrana Marble Hindu Gods Statues/idols and temples
    of all sizes, Rare Right side Laxmi Heera Shankhs, Auspicious Dwarka Shilas, Sacred Govardhan Shilas, All Sapphires
    and Gems, and all rare religious products and puja items of very high quality.

    Comment by Rajeev Singhal — June 28, 2010 @ 4:59 am

  32. Great work! That is the type of info that are supposed to be shared across the internet. Disgrace on the search engines for now not positioning this put up upper! Come on over and visit my site . Thanks =)

    Comment by cookware buying tips — December 15, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  33. I think this is among the most vital information
    for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

    Comment by burping raspberry ketones — December 22, 2012 @ 11:51 am

  34. Hey there! I’ve been following your site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

    Comment by Costa Mesa Acupuncture — August 6, 2013 @ 3:19 am

  35. this very useful to me because i got a assignment based on it but it is not enough

    Comment by sangaridevy — May 3, 2014 @ 4:36 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: