Mysore Rasam

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Mysore Rasam is just what the Doctor ordered. An all season nourishing favourite. Packed with lentils, black pepper, and a unique combination of spices it will lift the appetite of the slowest digestive system. If you or your child have been down with the flu and want to recover fast, then you must absolutely read and make. Since my cold a few weeks ago, I’ve been quite picky about my food.. Everything tastes like cardboard and food desire is at all time low! For a foodie like me that takes so much pleasure in planning a meal and makes an exciting event of her grocery shopping, this loss of appetite is quite strange and must be taken seriously.. So I plunged into the only comfort I knew..

Ingredients
1 cup toor dal or pigeon peas
7 cups water
1 cup chopped tomatoes
¾ tbsp tamarind paste
Spice Mix
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger(optional)
¾ tbsp black pepper pods
1 tbsp yellow split peas
1 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 dry red chilli
Serves 4
Seasoning
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
12 curry leaves
Pinch hing
1 tbsp clarified butter

Method
• Wash, rinse and cook pigeon peas in 1 cup water with ½ tsp turmeric till they are soft. Let cool and then mash lentils to a smooth paste with spoon.
• Dry roast the spices adding them to skillet in this order: coriander seeds, black pepper, yellow split peas, red chili and cumin seeds. Let cool and then grind in spice mill or coffee grinder with grated coconut. Set aside.

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• Heat pan. Add 1 tsp butter and ½ tsp mustard seeds, 6 curry leaves and ½ tsp cumin seeds.
• When they splutter, add crushed ginger if using. Then add chopped tomatoes. Stir once.
• Add 2 cups water, tamarind paste, salt and let come to boil.
• Sniff the stock to check if the raw smell of tamarind is gone.
• Then add the ground spice mix and let come to second boil.
• Now add the mashed lentils dissolved in 4 cups of water and let everything come to a boil.
• Remove rasam from stove.
• Heat skillet and add ½ tsp butter, remaining mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin and hing. When they splutter, pour on rasam.

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• Serve hot with some rice(optional) and roasted lentil crackers(papadam).

Options
I know you will all agree that nothing beats the flavour of fresh tomato. However I was too tired and exhausted to get some from the grocery store. SOS Instead I freeze canned tomato in ice cubes and the flavour is just as good. Just a little tip for some winter weather time saving.

However you like your tomatoes, please do peel and seed them. There’s nothing worse than catching tomato skin in your mouth when you’re slurping this soup down. Especially when my appetite is at an all time low, the last thing I like to see is tomato skins floating on the surface of my soup.

Hope you get to make this rasam. For someone who HAS to eat a different meal everyday, the fact that I was able to sustain on this soup alone for 3 days speaks volumes for its flavour. The best part was how quickly I recovered from my flu without having to make that special trip to the Doctor :)

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– soul of spice –

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2 comments
  1. Frozen tomatoes are great and they retain much of their summer taste. Canned tomatoes don’t even come close. I have had success with freezing tomatoes in the summer, expecially plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. I defrost them when I want to make soup and the peels are so easy to pull off. It is amazing how much taste they have.

    • Great tip, thanks Jovina. I had no idea freezing tomatoes could help get rid of skins so easily…

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