Monday, 28 March 2011

Saadharana Paruppa Rasam

Day 1 - Recipe 1

So I started off with something I've always managed to turn into a disaster - rasam. I either get the tamarind extract proportion wrong or end up adding too much rasa podi ( rasam powder). And so, I decided to start with this simple yet tricky yet all time favorite dish.

The Paruppu Rasam (Slightly modified)

You will need:
1 small tomato (thakaali)
Lemon sized ball of tamarind (pulli)
1 tbsp rasam powder (rasa podi)

Asafoetida (peringaazham or hing in Hindi)
Salt (uppu)

For garnishing / tadka

Mustard Seeds
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves
2 dried red chillies (molagai vathal)
2 tsps ghee or oil (nei aladhu yennai) 
Cooked dal. You can cook about 1 cup of dal. Make sure you retain the cooked water.

 The process:

Soak the tamarind in a cup of water for about 15 minutes. You can use hot water or gently squeeze the pulp out of your hand to speed this process. Keep the pulp aside and repeat for another cup.

Take the two cups of tamarind water in a close mouthed vessel (vessels that look like a pot are the best. The ideal vessel is called an eezhachombu (lead vessel) and the rasam made in this is kick ass. Find reference here. Add a pinch of salt, the rasam powder,  the asafoetida, 5 or 6 fresh green curry leaves, the cut tomato and a cup of the dal water. Place a lid on top and heat this mixture on reduced heat for about 10 minutes.
When you remove the lid, the raw smell of the rasam powder should no longer greet your nose.
Add the cooked dal at this stage and cover it again. Bring it to boil this time.
Check the consistency of the rasam at this stage. If it looks too watery, let it sit for a little longer on the heat till it reduces into a beautiful, aromatic brown liquid. The rasam should ideally not get too thick for that is what sets it apart from the sambhar. Add salt to taste and keep this aside.

For the tadka, heat some ghee. Add mustard seeds, the dried chillies and then some more curry leaves to the hot ghee. Add this immediately to the rasam and garnish with fresh finely chopped coriander.

The result:

Serve hot with cooked rice and some ghee and potato fry and a papadam. OR drink some after a meal. :)


  1. Nothing quite like piping hot rasam in the mornings. Or noons. Or nights. :)

    Aren't onions used too?

  2. Not in the paruppu rasam. In fact, in typical Iyer samayal, onions are avoided :D

  3. Sure.... Nothing like hot Rasam

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