Friday 25 July 2014

Ginger Rasam (இஞ்சி ரசம்)

Ginger rasam is yet another recipe prepared without tamarind, which is replaced with lemon juice. Ginger is a commonly used spice that contains vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. It has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. In native medicine, it is used to treat abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and flatulence. Ginger rasam is has the flavor and tangy taste of ginger and can be used as an appetizer.

Ingredients: (Serves four) 
Toor dhal – 1 small hollow ladle or 50ml measure
Tomato – 1 no, cut into small cubes
Lemon – juice of 1½ lemon*
Salt – to taste
Asafoetida – a pinch
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – a few 
Coriander leaves – chopped, 1 tablespoon (optional)

To be ground into a paste:
Ginger – 2” piece
Green chilli – 1no, whole
Pepper – ½ teaspoon
Jeera – 1 teaspoon

* Number of lemon fruits required to prepare rasam depends on the size of the fruits and quantity of juice extracted.
Ginger Rasam (இஞ்சி ரசம்)
Method: Wash and cook toor dhal in a pressure cooker with 100ml of water for 6 whistles or 6 minutes. Small quantities of dhal may be cooked along with rice in a different container. Dissolve pressure cooked toor dhal in 100ml of water and keep aside.  Cut the lemon fruits into halves. Squeeze the lemon halves and extract the juice. Keep aside. Do not squeeze the fruits too much, lest the rasam will have a slight bitter taste.

Grind ginger, green chilli, pepper and jeera with little water into a coarse paste using a mixer-grinder. Keep aside.

Cover and cook tomato pieces in the kadai on low flame with little water. Mix ground paste and salt in 2 tumblers (400ml) of water. Once tomatoes are done, add this 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 remove from fire. Heat oil in the tadka pan/spice pan (தாளிக்கிற கரண்டி), add mustard seeds, and when they start to sputter, switch off the fire. Add the seasoning to the rasam.  Once the rasam cools a little, add the lemon juice and mix well. Taste the rasam to adjust the quantity of lemon juice required. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves.

How to serve: Mix the rasam well with a ladle and serve with rice and poriyal/kootu/ appalam. Ginger rasam may also be served as an appetizer or soup.

Note: Ginger rasam does not taste fresh once re-heated. Hence, prepare the right quantity that can be used up in one meal. 

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