For the Indian whose roots are from the Southern states, the comfort and warmth that a bowl of rasam and steaming rice is no news. You can make this ‘spiced and flavoured pepper water’ in many varieties and here is one such version to share. Mysore is a city from the state of Karnataka and has much kingly history to it. With a mix of roasted and ground spices, lentils and a seasoning in ghee at the end – this one is definitely a winter favourite. I’ve adapted this recipe from Padhus Kitchen – a treasure chest of traditional, vegetarian South Indian recipes.
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup Tur dal
1 cup tamarind extract
1/4 tsp turmeric Powder
1 pinch asafetida (hing)
Curry leaves, a sprig
Handful of coriander leaves (with stalk), finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Roast and Grind
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp Bengal gram Dal
1/2 tsp whole black pepper
1 red chillies or as needed
1 tbsp grated coconut
For the Seasoning
1 tsp Ghee
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Curry leaves few
1.Soak the tur dal in hot water for 15-20 minutes before cooking. Next, pressure cook the dal until soft. Once cooled, mash the dal well.
2. In a little ghee, roast the ingredients under ‘roast and grind’. Note: Add the grated coconut only towards the end and fry till slight golden brown.
3. On cooled, grind the ingredients to a fine powder.
4. In a mud pot or deep vessel, add the tamarind extract, sliced garlic, chopped tomatoes, curry leaves, turmeric powder, a pinch of hing and salt, as needed.
5. Boil the content on low heat till it reduces slight and the raw aroma of the tamarind fades out.
6. Next, add the ground spice powder, cooked tur dal and water, as required. One frothy, turn the heat off (do not overboil).
7. For the seasoning: Heat a tsp of ghee and once warm, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, when it splutters, add curry leaves and pour it over the rasam.
8. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.