Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garlic Rasam (Spiced lentil soup with ghee-roasted garlic) / Poondu Rasam - Quick & Tasty

Rasam is usually the second course (after sambar) on a traditional South-Indian menu. Typically, it's made from pureed tomatoes spiced with cumin + pepper powder combined with cooked lentils mashed. Tamarind juice is used by many in Rasam but this recipe is simple yet delicious and there's no mess of tamarind! Don't you wanna try it too?

Here's What I Used -

Garlic pods - 10
Toor dhall - 2 handfuls
Rasam powder - 2 to 3 tsp (I use Ambika's but any brand works. Home-made rasam powder is great!)
Jeera powder / Cumin powder - 3/4 tsp
Black Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 3/4 tsp 
Turmeric powder/Haldi - 1/2 tsp
Hing/ Asafoetida - a pinch
Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp (optional)

To Temper:
Ghee - 1 tsp
Whole Jeera/Cumin - 1 tsp

Here's How I Make It -

  • Pressure cook toor dal with twice the quantity of water.
  • Meanwhile, take a pan, melt ghee (butter is ok too) and roast chopped garlic.
  • Take a pot, boil 1 cup water with rasam powder, hing, jeera powder, pepper powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder.
  • Add ghee-roasted garlic to the pot.
  • Add some salt.
  • Add lemon juice. 
  • By now, the dal is cooked and ready to use. First, add the water from the dal (paruppu-thanni) and let boil.
  • Mash the dal well and add that to the rasam pot. 
  • Mash jaggery and add now. Boil for another 5 minutes and you're done.
  • Finally, roast whole cumin/jeera in ghee and add to rasam. Close the rasam pot with a lid to retain the aroma of ghee-roasted jeera. This is a great tip I learnt from my ammamma (mom's mom), when I was in my teens and I still do it everytime I make any rasam. Though ammamma is not around with us anymore, I know, deep inside my heart, that she's always watching our family from heaven and would be happy to see me pursue her passion - cooking!

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