Recipe for Mysore Rasam - Karnataka Cuisine
Mysore Rasam - a rasam for special occasions in Tamil Brahmin kitchens :)
My disdain for rasam is as strong as my love for sambar. In fact, I will happily give rasam a skip at family lunches and wedding 'elai sappadu' (banana leaf meals) - to have a double helping of sambar rice. But there's one exception to this rule - Mysore Rasam. This is one of the three dishes that are named after the city Mysore, the other two being Mysorepak and Mysore Masala Dosa.
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While most soups in the rasam family are called 'Saaru' in Karnataka cuisine parlance, this one, despite being from Karnataka is still called rasam. It is full of flavour from the freshly ground spices, and the dal (lentils) in the spice mix, makes the rasam somewhat thicker than its watery counterparts. Both my mum and grandmum make this rasam often. When there's Mysore Rasam on the menu, there is no sambar, and rasam gets the position of star of the meal.
I am somewhat lazy to make this often due to the roasting and grinding of spices, plus if I'm cooking for one, it's too much effort. To sort this out, I prepare the entire masala given in the recipe and use 1 heaped spoon or so, if i am making this just for myself. The rest can be put away in an airtight container in the freezer.
This rasam recipe gets my double thumbs up, and it is a perfect warming dish for the winter evenings. Steaming hot rice, topped with lots of rasam, a spoonful of ghee that melts immediately when it hits the hot rasam-rice, to be had with a good potato roast curry - this is bliss.
The base for this recipe is cooked tur dal, and the quickest way to prepare this is using the pressure cooker. If you are a beginner cook, you may find this video helpful on how to cook dal.
For tamarind puree
For tempering / tadka
- Roast coriander seeds, asafoetida chunk, red chillies, peppercorns, on a low flame, in a few drops of ghee, until the chillies crisp up and other spices are aromatic.
- Toast the chana dal (lentils) on a medium flame for 5 minutes or so, until golden.
- Roast the dessicated coconut separately until golden and keep aside.
- In the chutney attachment of the mixer or a small blender, grind this to a fine powder. This is your freshly prepared rasam powder for the Mysore Rasam. You can blend using some water to a fine paste, but this wont stay for long on refrigerating.
- Make a tamarind pulp by soaking lemon sized tamarind in hot water for 15 minutes and squeezing out all the extract. Alternatively use 1-1.5 tsp of tamarind paste, whisked into 3/4 cup water.
- Boil the tamarind puree along with the diced tomato for 5-7 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked. Add ground spice powder (all of it, to serve 6 people), 2 cups cooked tur dal, and 3.5 cups water. Add the salt and let it come to a simmer on a low flame.
- Heat the ghee in a small saucepan for tempering. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, when they splutter, add curry leaves, remove from flame and transfer over rasam. Remove rasam from heat and keep covered until ready to serve. Serve hot.
-With steamed rice and a dry curry, along with banana chips or papads.
-Can also be had as a soup to start an Indian meal.
This post is part of the project called 'theKitchenDivas' which will have a theme going for each month, wherein we will try to do a post a week. The theme for January 2015 is Karnataka Cuisine.
You can find more Traditional Recipes from Karnataka by #TheKichenDivas.
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