Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Tomato Rasam (தக்காளி ரசம்)

Tomato rasam is the most popular rasam and is often included in the feast menu. It can also be served as an appetizer. 

Ingredients: (Serves four) 
Tamarind – the size of a large gooseberry
Toor dhal – cooked, two tablespoons
Rasam powder – 1 tablespoon
Jaggery – ½ teaspoon (optional)
Tomato – two, cut into cubes
Salt – to taste
Asafoetida – a pinch
Ghee – 1 tespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Jeera – ½ teaspoon
Peppercorns – a few
Curry leaves – a few 
Coriander leaves – chopped, 1 tablespoon

Tomato Rasam (தக்காளி ரசம்)
Method: Dissolve pressure cooked toor dhal in 100ml of water and keep aside.  Soak tamarind in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Later, squeeze the tamarind and extract the juice.

Add tomato pieces to the kadai*, cover and cook on a low flame with little water. Add rasam powder, salt and jaggery to the tamarind juice, mix well. Once tomatoes are done, add the tamarind juice mixture and bring it to boil. Now add dhal water to the boiling mixture. Reduce the flame and allow it to simmer till the rasam froths. Now add asafoetida and switch off the fire. Heat ghee in the tadka pan/spice pan (தாளிக்கிற கரண்டி), add mustard seeds, jeera and peppercorns, and when they starts to sputter, switch off the fire. Add the seasoning to the rasam. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice and poriyal/ kootu/ appalam.

*A pot with a narrow mouth (like a handi) would be apt for making rasam than a kadai. Traditionally, rasam used to be made in a pot with narrow mouth (ஈயச்சொம்பு) made of an alloy. I am not sure of the metal composition of the alloy. But, my grand mother had always used it for making rasam. When made in this pot, rasam has a special taste.

Tip: Adding asafoetida when the rasam froths enhances the flavor of the preparation

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