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India, South - Thakkali Rasam
To us in the West, Rasams are soups, but soups were unknown in India
until the European invasions (they didn't have spoons). In southern
India, Rasams are eaten ladled over rice as a second course - still a
good way to go, or eat it as a soup. Most of the Prep time is for hand
chopping tomatoes - you can use a processor but will get a somewhat
Ripe Tomatoes (1)
Toor Dal (2)
Green Chili (3)
Mustard seeds (4)
Red Chili, dry (6)
Curry Leaves (7)
PREP - (1-1/2 hr - 30 min work)
RUN - (25 min)
- Chop TOMATOES fine, but nowhere near a purée.
- Wash TOOR DAL in several changes of water. Put in a sauce
pan with 1 cup Water and bring to a boil uncovered, then
cover tightly and simmer slowly for 1-1/2 hours. Stir several times
during the last 30 minutes. Set aside.
- Chop GREEN CHILIS fine. Slice GINGER very thin and
chop fine. Mix.
- Mix together all Tempering items.
- Mix together all Powders items.
- Chop CILANTRO small for Garnish.
- In a sauce pan (3 qt is good), heat Ghee quite hot. Stir
in Tempering mix. When mustard seeds start to pop (about 20
seconds), stir in Chili mix, followed by Tomatoes
and 1 cup Water. Stir in Powders mix, bring to a boil
and simmer 5 minutes.
- Stir in cooked Toor Dal (including liquid) and 1-1/2 cup
Water. Bring back to a boil and it is ready.
- Serve hot, garnished with Cilantro. Accompany with long
grain rice (south Indian or Thai Jasmine).
- Tomatoes: These need to be very good
quality fully ripe tomatoes, for both taste and color. Get them from
a grower or Farmer's Market if possible. For details see our
- Toor Dal: This is peeled and split
Pigeon Peas, also called Tuvar Dal and Red Gram (for the flowers).
This is available at any market serving an Indian community. Buy the
unoiled. For details and cooking method see our
Pigeon Peas page.
- Green Chili: The hot green Jwala
chilis used in India are not much available even here in Los Angeles,
so we use Serranos. Two will make this dish mildly hot by Southern
California standards. For details
see our Indian Chilis page.
- Mustard Seeds: In India black
mustard seeds are always used, but yellow will work.
- Asafoetida - Hing: This is the resin
of a giant fennel plant, used in India by sects forbidden to eat
onions or garlic, but is also often combined with onions.
Caution: there are two forms: Pure Hing (asafoetida beads or
ground) and the more common "Hing Powder". The "powder" is heavily
cut with rice flour. The amount given here is for pure asafoetida.
Use about 3 times as much if what you have is the "powder" form.
For details see our Asafoetida
- Red Chili: In India, Dahni chilis
would be used, which are essentially the same as our Thai Chilis, but
the common Japones could also be used. For details see our
- Curry Leaves: These are essential for
the flavors of southern India, but if you don't have them, leave them
out - there is no acceptable substitute. For details see our
Curry Leaf page.
- Ghee: Ghee is easily available in
markets serving an Indian community. Accept only Butter Ghee -
Vegetable Ghee is often trans fats. If you can't get (or can't accept)
butter ghee, use oil. Avocado Oil would be best but Pure Olive Oil
(not virgin) will work fine. For details see our
- U.S. measure: t=teaspoon,
T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce,
#=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required
imp_gntommas1 160910 d20 - www.clovegarden.com
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