Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

“Kalyana Rasam.”(Tomato Broth seasoned with ground spices served at weddings)

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I love spring. Period. Its that time of the year when barren brown trees are suddenly bursting with miniscule green buds everywhere, shrubs are already full of lovely colourful flowers and you actually hear chirping birds. From white gray roads, you see miles and miles of lush green grass everywhere. Spring in many places also brings with it showers and thunderstorms. Today was one such day. When I saw the morning sky was laden with dark clouds I immediately yearned for piping soup sprinkled liberally with garlic croutons. Rasam is one such comfort food for me – and I remembered  Jeyashri`s post that I had bookmarked for a “rainy” day, and I knew that I had had had to make it right away! I loved it mixed with rice and a dollop of ghee, with chips and subji on the side.  The best thing about this rasam is that it does not need Rasam Powder or tamarind!!!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Medium/ 2 Small Tomatoes.

1/4 Cup  Cooked Toor Dhal.

1 1/2 Cups Water.

1 Tsp Ghee.

1 Tsp Mustard Seeds.

Curry leaves.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

A pinch of hing.

Cilantro to garnish.

ROAST IN GHEE & GRIND:

1 Tbsp Toor Dhal.

1 Tsp Black Peppercorns.

1/4 Tsp Dhania Seeds.

1/4 Tsp Jeera.

1-2 red Chillies.

PREPARATION:

  • Chop the tomatoes finely and reserving a handful,  grind the rest with a little water to a smooth puree and transfer to a vessel. Switch on the flame.
  • Set aside the reserved chopped tomatoes.
  • Roast the toor dhal, pepper, dhania seeds and red chillies in a tsp of ghee on a medium low flame. At the last minute add the jeera and switch off the flame.
  • When cooled,  grind with a little water to a smooth paste.
  • Add the ground paste. salt, turmeric, hing and curry leaves and allow it to boil until the raw smell is gone. This should take about 10-12 minutes.
  • Now mash the cooked toor dhal, dilute it with the 1 1/2 cups of  water and add it to the boiling  tomato mix.
  • Give it a quick stir and allow it to just start boiling. When this happens switch off the flame, add the chopped tomatoes and cilantro.
  • Season with mustard seeds and close the container with a plate.
  • This is one of the most important steps as it locks in all the aromas and flavours until its ready to the served.

HINTS:

  1. I should be trying this version  with dilute tamarind water soon to see if that enhances the flavour. I have also seen versions using dilute tamarind water,.
  2. Its imperative that the jeera is not added initially as it brings out a bitter burnt aftertaste in the rasam.
  3. Some people also add a small piece of jaggery to the boiled rasam.

Do you have a favourite version of rasam that you enjoy???? Please let us know and we`ll try it out soon!

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