Brinjal Rasam is a type of Mysore Rasam, but with eggplant added. It is a delightful combination – whether in sambar or Rasam, toor dal and eggplant are a match made in heaven. It is another recipe from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See.
One of the interesting notes that Ammal Auntie makes in Mysore Rasam is that the addition of Rose petals (or rose water) to Mysore Rasam (the second method) brings out the flavour and provides a nice rose scent. She is right! If you are going to try this, best leave out the asafoetida. The rose water has a tang of its own, and it tames some of the rasam’s spiciness. The scent is certainly there and it is not unpleasant, as strange as it may seem. It does go well with the eggplant.
I did a quick poll of my friends to see who had heard of or made Rose Rasam. Not one! It is unusual, and was something done for special occasions.
You might also be interested in reading about the difference between Rasam and Sambar.
Brinjal Rasam | Eggplant Rasam
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
very tender small brinjal (eggplant)
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.
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.
Slit the eggplant and saute in ghee. If the eggplant is really small, you can slit from the tail to near the stem, but leave them intact. However, if larger, cut them into wedges or cubes.
Make 2 cups of tamarind water and place in a saucepan. To this, add salt, asafoetida, curry leaves and the eggplant. Cover the saucepan and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins.
Add the spice paste and bring back to the boil. Add the dal and its cooking water to the rasam 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.
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, if you wish, for a smoother rasam. Once the tomatoes have been added, simmer for 10 mins to cook them, before adding the dal.
Adding Rose Petals or Rosewater
One of the interesting notes that Meenakshi makes is that the addition of Rose petals (or rose water) to this Mysore Rasam recipe brings out the flavour and provides a nice rose scent. She is right! If you are going to try this, best leave out the asafoetida. The rose water has a tang of its own, and it tames some of the rasam’s spiciness. The scent is certainly there and it is not unpleasant, as strange as it may seem. It does go well with the eggplant. Add just a splash. If using fragrant rose petals, use organic ones that have not been sprayed.