Nimbu (Lemon) Rasam (4 servings)

Ingredients

Ripe Tomatoes  2 (medium-sized)
Arahar dal  1 handful

Turmeric Powder  1/4 tsp
Rasam Powder/Sambar  powder 1½ tsp

Salt 1 tsp
Juice from fresh Lemon  1 large or 2 medium-sized
Ginger  2″ piece (grated)
Green chill 1(slit )

Asafoetida  one pinch

Curry Leaves  3 sprigs

Coriander leaves  2 tsp (finely cut)

Seasoning

Ghee  1 tsp

Pepper powder ¾ tsp or 1 tsp(if you like a strong flavor)
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Method

Add turmeric powder to  arahar dal and pressure cook till soft . Mash it well and keep aside.

While the dal is cooking, puree tomato, transfer to the cooking pot, add grated ginger, slit chili, sambar powder, salt and add two glasses of water. Let the mix boil for about 5 minutes or  till the raw flavor disappears.
Add the cooked dal to the mix and add two more glasses of water.

As the rasam starts boiling and looks frothy,  add curry leaves and coriander leaves and remove from flame.

Heat ghee in a small pan add mustard seeds and as they start spluttering add cumin seeds, asafotida, pepper powder and add to rasam.

Add lemon juice and mix well

Chef’s Note: you can substitute arahar dal with moong dal for a variation in taste.

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Milagu Rasam (4 servings)

Tamarind  lemon-sized ball

Cooked arahar dal  (from 2 tbsp dry dal)

Ghee for tempering

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Tomato 1 (big)

To powder:

Pepper corns 1 tsp (about 20)

Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Dried red chilies 4

Arahar dal 1 tsp

Chana dal 1 tsp

Curry leaves  3 sprigs

In half-a-spoon of ghee or oil roast pepper, red chillies, jeera, dals and curry leaves (in the order mentioned).  Powder them nicely in a blender or grind to a thick paste by adding tomatoes..

In a cooking pan add the extract from tamarind that was soaked in warm water. Add salt and let it boil for 5 minutes or until the raw smell is gone. Add the ground powder/paste and let it boil for 2 minutes. Add the cooked dal, water to make up the volume to four cups and let it start boiling.

Remove from fire and temper it with mustard seeds in a spoonful of ghee. Serve hot.

Chef’s note: In case you powder the ingredients add the blanched tomato to the tamarind extract.