Drumstick Rasam is extra tasty and can be made either with pieces of drumstick (a vegetable from South India), or if your drumstick is well grown but tender, the pulp can be scraped from the inside and added to the rasam. It is very delicious! I have to admit that I adore drumsticks.
The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.
You might also be interested in reading about the difference between Rasam and Sambar.
0.5 cup toor dal
tamarind – a lime sized piece, or use tamarind paste
1.5 tspn salt
a pinch asafoetida
few curry leaves
a few green coriander leaves
1 Tblspn coriander seeds
1.5 tspns Bengal gram dal (channa dal)
6 Indian dried red chillies (or to taste)
5 – 6 black pepper corns
2 tspn ghee or Indian sesame oil
1 tspn ghee with 1 tspn Indian sesame oil
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1 – 2 Indian dried red chillies, broken in half
1 stalk curry leaves (8 – 10 leaves)
Cook the toor dal in water until very soft.
While it is cooking, cut the drumstick into pieces, and put aside. If, however, your drumstick is well grown but tender, cut it into long pieces, wash and cook it. Scrape the inside flesh from the drumstick pieces. Put aside.
To make the spice paste, saute the coriander seeds, peppercorns, channa dal and dried red chillies in 2 tspn ghee. Add a little water to help make a paste, if necessary.
Make 2 cups of tamarind water and place in a saucepan. To this, add salt, asafoetida and curry leaves. If you are using the drumstick flesh, add that now, otherwise, add the drumsticks. Cover the saucepan and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins.
Now, add the spice paste and bring the rasam back to the boil. Add the dal and its cooking water, and make the quantity of rasam up to at least 4 cups with water, if necessary. Bring back to the boil. When it froths, remove from the heat..
Make a tadka of the mustard seeds, chillies and curry leaves in the ghee and oil mix, and add to the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.
recipe notes and alternatives
Tomatoes can be added to the tamarind water. If tomatoes are used, the amount of tamarind can be reduced accordingly. Puree the tomatoes before adding for a smooth rasam. Once the tomatoes have been added, simmer for 10 mins to cook them, before adding the dal.