Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rasam (Indian soup)

It’s defined in the web dictionary as “Thin soup made out of tamarind and spices”. And today I was looking at the web for an easy rasam recipe but I somehow found that it was rather complicated. I made rasam for lunch and have enough of it for a couple of meals. Rasam is very easy to make and I guess you can say that it is a “bachelor’s soup or broth”. You can have this soup with plain steamed rice and maybe with some fried papads. I like it with omelette or “ikan bilis” (anchovies) and maybe some cucumbers.
I took the photo of the rasam as it was boiling and I would like to share my version of the rasam recipe for you to try it.

1. A stalk of curry leaves
2. A handful of sambar dal (tavur dal)
3. 5 red dried chillies
4. 3 green chillies
5. 4 pods of garlic
6. 1 teaspoon of black peppercorn
7. 1 teaspoon of mustard
8. A pinch of asafoetida
9. 3 large ripe tomatoes
10. A bunch of coriander leaves cut into tiny pieces
11. ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
12. 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
13. 2 teaspoon of coriander powder
14. 2 teaspoon of rasam powder (MTR)
15. Tamarind paste (1 teaspoon) or a ball size soaked in hot water.
16. Cooking oil 3 tablespoon
17. Salt to taste

I am going to divide this preparation into 3 parts.

1st part

Boil the tomatoes in a pot of water, say about 1 litre until the tomatoes are soft and the skin can be peeled off. Now remove the skin and place the tomatoes in a blender, with 2 pods of garlic, the green chillies and blend it to a paste. Alternatively if you are not going to put in the blender, then smash the tomatoes until they become a paste.

2nd part

With the water that you used to boil the tomatoes, add the following powders listed from item 11 to 14 and mix the solution well and then add the paste from the 1st part into the pot to the solution. Don’t forget to mix the tamarind paste into this solution.

3rd part

Take a handful of tavur dal (sambar dal) in a pressure cooker, after washing it well; add a few drops of oil, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (optional) and a pinch of asafoetida. Put in 1 cup of water and then pressure cook until you hear about 4 whistles or until the dal is totally cooked into a pulp.

Cooking process

In a wok heat some oil of 3 tablespoon (preferably gingerly oil) and when the oil is hot, throw in the red dried chillies and let it cook for a 1 minute, then add in the mustard seeds, and after awhile add the remainder of the garlic(which is minced) and the curry leaves. Add the ground peppercorn now.
As the aroma rises, pour the 1 litre solution (part 1) into the wok and also add the dal (part 3) which was made to a pulp and diluted with a cup of water into this broth. Add salt (2 teaspoon) and add another cup of water and let the broth boil for 15 minutes or more. If you find that the water had evaporated, add in another cup or more. Let it boil again.

Then simmer for 5 minutes and add the chopped coriander leaves into the broth.

Keep aside the rasam for 10 minutes.

Serve this rasam with steamed white rice and papads. Or you can drink the broth for good health.

I hope that I have explained this in a very simple manner for you try it out. Do let me know about your feedback on this recipe or any queries.

Bon Appétit.


Anonymous said...

right now mom does all the cooking but when i do try my hand in the kitchen i'll be sure to refer to your recipe. i love rasam! nothing like strong black pepper rasam to fight a cough/fever...aah
i will keep coming back to your blog! great work :)

Sukku said...

Thank you Ranjita and I am glad that you like my blog. Do let me know on how I can improve my blog. And also if there is any queries that you have regarding the recipe, please feel free to ask.

Have a great day and god bless you.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi Sukku,

Indiblogger has mailed me saying you have added my Past Continuous blog to your network. Thanks a ton. I checked out your blog and found it very interesting, full of a lot of variety and common interests (like food - I love rasam!). Do check out my other blog also, and tell me how you find them. I'm also adding you to my network. Lol and god bless.

Sucharita Sarkar said...


I was reading your old posts and I totally agree with you about readers leaving their comments. I like to leave my footprint (in the form of a comment) whenever I visit a blog.

P.S: I have left some footprints in Hyderabad, too, when I visited the city way back in 2004 when my brother and his wife were with GE there. I liked the energy and the
let's-go-get-things-done attitude of the city.

Sukku said...

Hi Sucharita,

Thanks a million for leaving your footprint on my blog. I will vist your blog and leave my print also.

Hope to see you often. Take care and God bless.

Deepa said...

Hi Sukku! Rasam is one of my favourites too! and it's one indian dish i can whip up in a jiffy. I couldnt help but notice that your recipe looks long a and elaborate. I have a much quicker and easier one. I just might put it up on my blog sometime soon. so keep a look out!

Sukku said...

Yes I would love that and I would be checking your blog for it. Actually you can shorten my recipe by eliminating the dal and also you can squeeze the tomato into a pulp without the blender... any I am looking forward to your recipe and also do you have any quick recipes, please put it also.

Thank you and have a great weekend.