Rasam: Tamil-Udupi Cuisine
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Cooking rasam differently
Change of ingredients
Replace the tamarind with a dash of lime or lemon juice. Rasam cooked in lime juice tastes yum and a lot different. Just remember to add lime juice at the end of the process. Otherwise, the broth becomes bitter.
Winter is the best time to add variety to the rasam. So instead of just making a plain, simple rasam with tomatoes, you can think of adding lots of farm fresh stuff like chives. Spring garlic, spring onion, onion stalk along with tomato render the rasam more texture and more taste. Add a bit of lentils. This will make the texture rich. Coconut milk - first pressed also is a good idea if it appeals to you. Here's how to make rasam with lentils, chives and lime juice:
Lentils: 50 gms Pepper: freshly ground -1/2 tsp Salt to taste Turmeric: a pinch Tadka: Comprises mustard seeds, hing (asafetida), halved/broken whole red chillies, curry leaves Spring garlic: one small bunch Spring onions: one small bunch Onion stalk: two to three stalks Tomato: one Lime/lemon: one
Cook lentils separately and make a fine paste of it after it's cooked. Take one pan. Add two to three spoons of oil or ghee for tadka. Once the oil is hot, add the tadka. As soon as the mustard seeds start to crackle, add chopped tomato, finely chopped. Spring onions. Crush the spring garlic in a mixer grinder and add it to the pan. Cut long pieces of onion stalks and add the pieces to the mixture. Add salt to taste, ground pepper and turmeric. Add 200 ml of water. Let all the ingredients cook. Once cooked, add the cooked lentils and mix the ingredients well. Bring the rasam to boil. Take one lime. Cut it into two halves. Make fresh juice by squeezing one half of the lime and add it according to how tangy you like your rasam to be. If you want to use another half, you can do it as well. But add the lime at the end of the process. Do not boil the contents once you have added the lime juice.
Fruity rasams for the monsoons
Fruits, you might think are best suited only for smoothies, milkshakes, salads and desserts. But how about using them in the classic South Indian soul soup - rasam? Here is a lowdown on making the tangy Cherry Rasam, mildly spiced Pineapple Rasam, syrupy Apple Rasam, slightly sour but delicious Neem Flower Rasam, thick Drumstick Rasam and the very earthy Buttermilk Rasam.
Recipe by Radhika Vasanth
Cherries - 20 Tomato - 1/2 Tamarind - 25 gram, size of a lemon Pepper - 1 tsp Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp Crushed Garlic pods - 2 Red Chili Powder - 3/4 tsp Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp Oil - 3 tsp Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp Salt to taste Water - 3 cups Some chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves
Soak tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for 20-30 minutes. Wash cherries and deseed them. In a blender/mixie add these cherries and roughly chopped tomatoes. Grind it to smooth paste. Ensure that no pulp remains. Grind pepper and cumin seeds to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar. Now extract the tamarind pulp by squishing and squeezing. Discard the tamarind flesh. In a sauce pan, add oil. When it is hot add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add cumin seeds, asafoetida, crushed garlic and curry leaves. Immediately add tamarind water. You might want to use a strainer to remove any flesh or impurities. When it slightly starts boiling, add the cherry tomato paste. Then add pepper cumin powder, salt and red chili powder. When it is about to reach the boiling temperature add coarsely chopped coriander leaves and remove it from the stove. The trick of making good rasam is not over boiling it. Serve it as a soup or with hot piping rice.
Recipe by Vardhini Koushik
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp Peppercorns - 1.5 tsp Red chillies - 2 Cooked toor dal - 2 tsp Turmeric - 1/4 tsp Water - 2 cups Tomatoes - 2, blanched and pureed Pinch of asafoetida Salt to taste For tempering: Ghee - 1 tsp Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp Apple - 1, chopped Few curry leaves Lemon juice - 1 -2 tbsp Coriander leaves to garnish
In a pan dry roast cumin seeds, pepper and red chillies. Blend this into a coarse powder. Blanch the tomatoes by dropping them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Peel the tomatoes and puree them. To this add turmeric, asafoetida, salt, mix well and keep aside. Add the cooked toor dal to two cups of water in a bowl and keep aside. Heat ghee and splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves. Add the apple pieces and saute for a couple of minutes. To this mix, add the dal water and tomato mix. Bring to a boil and simmer for around 5 minutes. Add the coarse masala and mix well. Simmer for a couple of minutes till it comes to a boil. Serve after adding lemon juice and coriander leaves.
Pineapple - 2 rings/ slices Tomato - 2 Rasam powder - 1 tsp Turmeric - 1/8 tsp Cooked toor dal - 1/2 cup Salt as needed Curry leaves - 1 sprig Coriander leaves - 2 tblsp
To grind coarsely
Pepper 1 tsp Jeera 1 tsp Garlic 4 flakes
Oil - 2 tsp Mustard - 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp Red chilli - 2 Asafoetida a pinch
Pressure cook dal and mash it and keep aside. Powder pepper, jeera and garlic coarsely. Keep aside. Grind one ring/slice of pineapple to paste and keep aside as well. In a bowl, mash 1 tomato and add 1 cup water. Chop other tomato and pineapple slice finely. Mix salt, 3/4th of the ground pepper, jeera and garlic, ground pineapple, rasam powder and turmeric with the mashed tomatoes. In a kadai, temper with the items given under 'To temper' table, followed by curry leaves. Add the reserved 1/4th part of jeera, pepper and garlic powder and give a quick stir. Add chopped tomato and pineapple and fry for 3-4 minutes in medium flame. Add the mixed items we kept in step3 and enough water to adjust its consistency. Bring it to boil. Add cooked dal. Top with chopped coriander leaves and when the rasam is about to boil/ raises frothy, switch off the flame and cover immediately. Drumstick rasam Recipe by Dassana Amit
Drumsticks - 2, rinsed, peeled and chopped 3 to 4 inches long Medium sized ripe tomatoes - 2, pureed Seedless tamarind - some, soaked in Â½ cup water for 30 minutes Water - 2 cups Rasam powder - 2 to 3 tsp Jaggery - 1 to 2 tsp Turmeric powder - Â½ tsp Red chili powder - Â¼ or Â½ tsp Chopped coriander leaves - Â¼ cup
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp Cumin seeds - 1 tsp Urad dal (optional) - 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds - Â¼ tsp Dry red chilies - 2, Halved and deseeded A pinch of asafoetida Curry leaves - 1 sprig Oil - 1 tbsp