This recipe is another from Meenakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See. It is a plain rasam, very simple and quick to make as it does not contain any significant amount of dal. She has three methods for making this rasam, each one treats the teaspoon of toor dal that it does contain, in a different way. This is Method 1, Method 2 is here, and I’ve included the other method in the Recipe Notes at the end of the recipe (and it is also here).
Rasam powders vary as much as rasam recipes themselves. It is interesting that rasam recipes that use a pre-ground rasam powder (rather than individual spices) don’t specify the type of rasam powder to be used in the recipe. For example, if you are wanting to make a plain rasam without toor dal, Meenakshi Ammal recommends selecting a powder that does not contain large amounts of toor dal. That is the case with this rasam. So if you are going to make your rasam powder fresh for this recipe, choose one without much toor dal. But, really, if you have some already made or purchased, it will still work really well, so use whichever type you have. Even Sambar Powder will be Ok.
You might also be interested in the following articles:
Kottu Rasam | Plain Simple Rasam | First Method
Source : adapted from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See Part 1
Prep time: 5 mins + 30 – 40 mins to cook the dal
Cooking time: 10 mins
Serves: 4 – 6 people, depending how you use it
1 tspn toor dal
tamarind – a lime sized piece, or use tamarind paste
0.75 tspn rasam powder
1.5 tspn salt
a pinch asafoetida
2 tspn ghee
1 tspn black mustard seeds
4 dried red chillies, broken in half
1 stalk curry leaves (10 – 12 leaves)
a few green coriander leaves
a few curry leaves
Make 2 cups of tamarind water and place in a saucepan. To this, add toor dal, salt, rasam powder, asafoetida and curry leaves. Mix well. Bring to the boil and then simmer to reduce it – about 20 mins.
Now add enough water to make up to 4 cups. As it comes back to the boil, remove from the heat.
Make a tadka of the mustard seeds, chillies and curry leaves in the ghee and add to the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves and curry leaves.
It is best to use a raw or roasted rasam powder for this recipe, one without the inclusion of large amounts of toor dal. (See this article for an explanation.) But any rasam powder will be fine.
Tomato can be added to the tamarind water. If tomatoes are used, the amount of tamarind can be reduced accordingly.
Sambar powder can be used in place of Rasam Powder.
Rather than add the teaspoon of toor dal to the tamarind water, add it to the tadka and fry it with the mustard seed and chillies. Add to the rasam at the end of cooking. This is similar to Method 2.
Another alternative with the toor dal is to soak 2 teaspoons of dal for a couple of hours and then drain and grind to a powder. Add it to the rasam when you are making the rasam up to 4 cups. Continue as usual.