January 25, 2011

Tomato Rasam

Soul food after three consecutive heavy meals is truly Tomato Rasam ! Especially great for winter evenings - just that hint of tang, fresh tomatoes and coriander provide that perfect soothing effect .. Great accompaniment to freshly cooked rice with a dollop of ghee (or not!), else it can also be had straight like a light broth ! :) My little one loves this, and therefore I make this almost every other day :)

Ingredients (Makes for  2 - 3 persons)
Tur dal - 1/4 cup or less - cooked and mashed
Rasam Powder – 3/4 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 blanched and pureed
Tamarind – ½ lemon sized – soaked in water and pulp extracted
Turmeric – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
Jaggery – ¼ tsp (optional)

For tempering / tadka:
1 tsp ghee / oil
Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
Asafoetida / Hing – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves and coriander – ¼ tsp each - chopped

Method :
a)      Pressure cook dal with turmeric and more water than usual . Mash and keep aside
b)      In a pan or skillet, boil the mash dal, water, rasam powder, tomatoes, tamarind and jaggery
c)      Add salt to taste and let it come to a nice boil where the rasam powder froths a bit and the raw smell of the tomatoes and tamarind vanishes.
d)     Add water if you find the rasam too thick.
e)      In another pan, add ghee / oil, once hot, splutter mustard seeds, hing ,curry leaves & coriander
f)       Once they all coagulate into the oil, pour this tempering / tadka into the boiling rasam.
g)      Transfer into a serving bowl immediately
h)      Close the lid so the aroma of the hing-coriander gets absorbed fully till serving time
i)        Serve with hot cooked plain rice or drink as a light broth !

a)      You may use Masoor dal also instead of tur dal for a lighter version of the rasam. I have tried this and there is no perceptible difference in the taste
b)      Adding the tadka at the end and closing the serving vessel immediately gives a great aroma.

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