Rasam loosely translated means ‘Tasty Juice ‘ in Tamil . It’s a gift to us from the southern part of India. Usually fluid in consistency, there are more than 20 variation of this preparation. It is light , aromatic and bursting with flavours. More like a broth, it is easy on stomach and acts like a digestive. Tomato and Tamarind forms the base of this broth and various other things can be added to it like pineapple , beetroot, lentils, pulses, etc…
My dad was a good cook in his days. He spent his Sunday mornings in the market and afternoons in the kitchen, cooking a storm out of his purchase. There have been days when we had to order out but then there were also times when he managed a decent meal for us.
Today’s Rasam is a recipe straight from my dad’s cookbook. It never failed him and won’t do you too… A foolproof recipe for a light Sunday lunch. It may not be a authentic authentic recipe but it fulfills the promise of a tasty meal time.
Serve it with a steaming bowl of rice , a slice of Fish Fry or Chicken 65 and a generous dollop of ghee and you are home and dry. It will kick ass of any restaurant food any time of the day.
Tip : One and Only
Never Never Never boil your Rasam . It will alter it’s taste and make it rancid. A huge tip from my old man.
Recipe is fairly simple and straightforward
To be pressure cooked
2 Large tomatoes chopped in big chunks
2.5 TSP Toor /Arhal Dal
1 TSP Ghee / Clarified Butter
3 cloves of crushed garlic cloves
3 sprigs of Curry leaves
1/2 TSP Mustard Seeds / Rai dana
1/4 TSP Hing /Asafoetida
1/4 TSP Haldi / Tumeric Powder
2 TSP Black Pepper powder , freshly ground
1 Tbsp MTR brand Rasam powder
Tamarind ( size of a small amla/ Indian gooseberry)
2 cups Water
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnish
1. Wash the lentil with some water. Pressure cook tomatoes and Dal together for three to four whistles. Check the amount of Dal I took in the photo above. Not much…. Soak tamarind in some water.
2. Mash the Dal and tomato mixture a bit. Don’t pulse it. We need a clear consistency for the Rasam.
3. In a small vessel , heat ghee , add mustard seeds, hind , Haldi, crushed garlic and curry leaves. Moment the mustard seeds start crackling , add it to the Dal and tomato mix.
4. Keep the Dal and tomato mix on low heat and add all the powder masala. Mash the tamarind well and strain it so no skin goes in to the rasam. Add the tamarind water into the Rasam. Let the rasam heat a lil. Do not bring it to a rolling boil. We are looking to let the masala mingle with the broth and loose it’s rawness.
5. Serve hot with a bowl of rice and a dollop of ghee..