It’s been a while since I got experimental in the kitchen. I guess sometimes, you feel like it’s safe to recreate recipes word to word and forget that joy that comes from trying something new. My mother has never owned a cookbook of her own. If you ask her for a recipe, you’ll get a different version each time, because honestly she just improvises purely with what’s available. She even jokes about how her first trials are her best versions, and when she tries to recreate the same, she messes up. It’s not a joke. It’s a fact.
I used to be like her, and I have long forgotten what it’s like. Last night, I just lay in bed, thinking about what I could do different, and then I remembered a bag of cacao nibs sitting in my pantry.
What are cacao nibs? Want to know how chocolate is made from cacao beans? Check out my visit to a chocolate factory and see how cacao nibs are extracted from the cacao beans to be transformed into chocolate.
Chocolate is sweet, but cacao is not. It’s nutty and slightly bitter, making it widely open to interpretation in the savory world. Yet, it remains largely unexplored.
The nibs work beautifully in desserts, imparting a nice snap and a nutty crunch. So I was looking for ways to introduce cacao into a savoury dish. And hopefully a traditional South Indian dish. And I immediately thought of this Cocoa Rasam.
What better than to infuse the world’s most popular ingredient into a traditional South Indian lunch staple?
How does it taste? Tangy and spicy just as a traditional rasam would be, but with a clear whiff of chocolate! The nuttiness of the cocoa and cacao nibs translate and merges really well into the rasam very well.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
This ugly mess if the heart of this rassam – the flavour base – made with black peppercorns, cacao nibs, cumin and garlic. So fragrant!