Poritha Rasam is a rasam without any souring agent – no tamarind, lime juice or kokum, for example. Many recipes do contain tomatoes (considered a souring agent in India) and of course coconut (a defining feature of Poritha Sambar and Rasam).
The Queen of Tamil Food, Meenakshi Ammal, has a Poritha Rasam that contains no tamarind, lime, coconut, tomatoes, mustard seeds or chillies. It is indeed a simple rasam, but is still very very tasty. It has a toor dal base which helps. It is similar to her Lime Rasams, but without the lime juice.
We are working through the Rasams Chapter in Meenakshi Ammal’s books Cook and See as they are traditional Tamil recipes. Although we are not afraid to step away from the tree, going back to very traditional recipes (that can still be made in the modern kitchen) is an important way to get the hang of traditional as well as modern methods and flavour combinations. I hope you feel the same. There was a really lovely article on her and her books published recently.
You might also be interested in the following article:
0.5 cup toor dal
1 tspn cumin seeds
0.75 tspn black pepper corns
coriander leaves to garnish
sea salt to taste
2 tspn ghee
10 – 12 curry leaves
Grind the cumin seeds and pepper corns to a fine powder.
Cook the dal in plenty of water until soft and very mushy.
Take the water from the top of the cooked dal and make up to 2 cups with water.
Bring to the boil and add the asafoetida and pepper-cumin powder. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the cooked dal to the boiling rasam, and make up to 4 cups. Bring to the boil again and then remove from the heat.
Make a tadka of the curry leaves in the ghee, and add to the rasam.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.