Whenever we want to have something simple, we say 'oh just make some rice and rasam'. Though rasam might be a very simple dish, if not made properly, can end up tasting like hot water. A good rasam (sort of a South Indian soup) should have the correct balance of sourness, salt and spice. Usually everybody has a ready made rasam powder that is added, even I have one, but for today's rasam I am using a freshly ground one. Also there are so many varieties of rasam, some with added lentils, some without, this rasam here is with tomatoes and lentils, very refreshing with freshly ground black pepper and cumin..
Need To Have
- Tomatoes - 2 medium ones
- Tuvar Dal/Split Pigeon Peas - 2 tablespoons
- Mustard Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
- Curry Leaves - 5
- Chopped Coriander - 2 tablespoons
To Be Coarsely Ground
- Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Black Pepper corns - 1 teaspoon
- Garlic - 2 cloves
I use a mortar and pestle to coarsely pound the cumin seeds, black pepper and garlic (with the skin). Pressure cook the tuvar dal, mash it slightly and keep.
Boil some water, add the 2 tomatoes, after about 5 minutes, you can see the skin breaking, at this point remove and cool the tomatoes. Peel the skin and blend it well.
Heat some oil, add the mustard seeds, when the mustard starts spluttering, add the ground cumin-pepper-garlic mixture, mix for a minute.
Then add tomato puree, cooked dal, about 1/2 cup of water and salt. Allow it to boil for 2 minutes, then add the curry leaves and chopped coriander and switch off. Have this warm as a soup or serve it with some hot rice and pappads.
Choose tomatoes that have a sour taste, or if needed add a tablespoon or two of the canned crushed tomatoes (the last information is for those in US).
Don't over boil the rasam.