Recipe for Mysore Rasam – a special kind of rasam made using a freshly ground spice mix
If you ask me, Mysore Rasam is THE best variety of rasam. If rasam and rice spell comfort food for you, and you have not tasted Mysore Rasam, then it needs to be corrected RIGHT NOW! I’m going to share with you the recipe that been passed on in my family from my great grand mother to my grandmother to my mother to me, and it is a treasure indeed!
Now that you’ve heard me raving about my love for this rasam, you must know the back story…
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 only one exception to this rule – Mysore Rasam.
Mysore Rasam is one of the four dishes that are named after the city Mysore – the other three being Mysorepak, Mysore bonda and Mysore Masala Dosa 🙂
While most soups in the rasam family are called ‘Saaru’ in Karnataka cuisine parlance, Mysore rasam 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.
TIME SAVING TIP!
The base for this recipe is cooked tur dal, and the quickest way to prepare this is using the pressure cooker. For busy working people, it helps to bulk cook tur dal and save the cooked dal in small containers in the freezer. Whenever you need to make sambar or rasam, just thaw that particular portion and use.
Try out my other rasam variations:
Mint Rasam – perfect for summer
Ginger Rasam – perfect for monsoons and winter
Equipment needed for Mysore Rasam
Pressure cooker to cook the dal
Small Pan to roast spices and for tempering
Bigger Pan to make the rasam
Mixer to grind the spices
Recipe for Mysore Rasam - Karnataka Cuisine
- 1 tsp ghee
- 4 tbsps coriander seeds
- 2 tbsps chana dal (Bengal gram dal)
- 20 black pepper corns
- 5 dried red chillies
- 3 tbsps desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups cooked tur dal around 1/2 cup dry dal cooked with 2 cups water
- 1 tomato (diced)
- coriander leaves for garnish
For tamarind puree
- tamarind lemon sized ball
- 1/2 cup water Hot
For tempering / tadka
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- We start by preparing the spice mix for the Mysore Rasam. 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.