Nov 3, 2012

Everyday Rasam

Back home, Rasam was a staple in my mom's everyday cooking. Be it the hump day or a special Sunday, you are sure to see fluffy white rice and tangy rasam on the table at lunch.
Here's how my mom makes it.
  • tamarind - a small lime sized ball
  • tomatoes - 1 medium roma 
  • cilantro / kothumalli - 5 sprigs
to grind:
  • pepper corns - 1 teaspoon
  • cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • garlic pods / poondu pal - 4
for seasoning / thalippu:
  • mustard seeds
  • cumin seeds
  • asafetida - a pinch
  • curry leaves / kariveppilai - 1 or 2 sprigs
  • dried red chili - 1
  • gingelly oil
  1. Prepare tamarind water
  2. If the tomato is firm, soak it in 1 cup of warm water. When it is pliable, coarsely chop the tomato. 
  3. Wash and dry curry leaves and cilantro on a paper towel. 
  4. In a spice grinder or the smallest jar of your mixer, coarsely grind the ingredients listed under "to grind".
  5. On medium heat, warm gingelly oil in a sauce pan / kadai. When hot, add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, dried red chilli and asafetida. 
  6. Add tomato and a sprinkle of salt. The salt will help soften the tomato quickly.
  7. Wait for a couple of minutes. The tomato pieces should have turned mushy by now. Add the ground spices to the above. 
  8. Add tamarind water to the pan and let this mixture simmer at a boil for 3-5 minutes.
  9. Taste the rasam at this stage and adjust salt and water per your taste.
  10. Remove from heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot over fluffy white rice. Pairs well with microwave appalam.

The above rasam is a little like the everything bagel. It could be considered a mix of poondu rasam , tomato rasam and milagu rasam. Mom just prefers to have the goodness of all three in 1 dish.

Up the amount of black pepper corns in the recipe and it becomes a very soothing dish for sore throat or heavy cold.

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