This is what Subru uncle has been making for the last 13 years for all of us to drink when we are down with cold or cough or fever or a bad throat(in short, when we are down with flu, this is our "HOMEMADE TONIC THAT WORKS LIKE MAGIC"! This REALLY works to cure us without a trip to the doctor! I'd say that this is the vegetarian equivalent to a bowl of chicken soup that non-vegetarians enjoy when down with the flu. We love this over a bowl of steaming hot long-grain cooked Basmati rice. Those who find this curry very spicy, can add some yogurt to rice and then mix in this curry and eat. To be enjoyed best, you simply got to eat this with your fingers! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do! This is one curry that we take to all the potlucks we go to, and, this is LOVED by everyone! Note that you can use plain water instead of the boiled yellow lentils water. Using the boiled lentils water makes this wonderful dish more flavourful!
- 3 cups water (or boiled toor dal, yellow lentils water, I used the boiled yellow lentils water)
- 5 teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons oil
- 2 medium green chilies, slit
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled, washed and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled, washed and finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup of fresh curry leaf, washed and torn
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 3 whole red chilies
- 2 medium tomatoes, washed, peeled and chopped into cubes
- 1⁄4 cup water (This is to be added to cook the tomatoes)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 7 cups water (This is added to prepare the curry for rasam. You can add more or less depending on the consistency)
- 1⁄2 cup tamarind pulp
- 3 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, washed and finely chopped (to garnish)
- With the help of a pestle, pound ginger, garlic and whole black peppercorns in a mortar as nicely as you can until the peppercorns are completely crushed and the ginger and garlic are completely softened.
- Keep aside.
- Extract tamarind pulp out of tamarind by soaking 4-5 one-inch sized pieces in 1 1/2 cups of hot water.
- Press these tamarind pieces to squeeze out the juice/pulp out of the tamarind.
- Transfer the tamarind pulp in a clean bowl.
- Keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pot on medium-high flame.
- When its hot, add mustard seeds, methi seeds and cumin seeds.
- Allow to splutter and crackle.
- Once it stops spluttering and crackling, add curry leaves and green chillies.
- Stir-fry for a minute or two.
- Then add the whole red chillies and stir-fry for another minute.
- Add the above prepared ginger-garlic-black peppercorns mixture to the pot.
- Mix well.
- Then add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and corriander powder.
- Mix well and continue to stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Put the chopped tomatoes in a bowl and crush them as tightly as you can between the palms of your hands.
- Squeeze them as well as you can to extract the juice/pulp out of them.
- Now add the crushed tomatoes alongwith the juice squeezed out.
- Mix well, add 1/4 cup of water and cook on high flame so as to allow the tomatoes to soften quickly.
- Add salt and mix well.
- Then add the boiled toor dal water (or 3 cups of plain water if you are using that).
- Stir well and bring to a boil.
- Lower flame, then add about 7 cups more of water.
- You can add upto 3-4 cups more also, if required.
- Mix well and allow it to boil for 15 minutes.
- Then add tamarind pulp and stir well.
- Boil for 10-15 more minutes.
- Garnish with corriander leaves and serve hot as a soup on its own or as a lentil curry to serve over rice with/without plain low-fat yogurt on the side.
I can't tell you how much we love this recipe!! I work at a dining facility in Iraq, with many chefs from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka--everyone loves this soup. When I started making specialty soups months ago, this quickly became very popular with Staff as well. Rasam is ubiquitious in Kerala State in South India(that and Sambar...will get to your recipe of that later. :) ) When we have really duststormy days--I have the soup pot out to make this elixir. I t reminds me of a garlic soup my Grandmaused to give us for stuffy heads...except Rasam being from India, the flavors are much more layered, and complex, and now we know very health-giving--can't beat ginger, garlic, turmeric, and chilies.:) We can't get tamarind, so I substitute fresh lime juice and zest, and of course can't get the lovely fresh curry leaves, so have to use bay leaf. Still...it surpasses chicken soup as a cure-all!!
This stuff really works, the introduction is true! Whenever I have a cold or am about to get one, I make Subru Uncle's rasam and it's like instant relief. Forget Vicks and pills, just have good ol' traditional rasam. Its strong fresh spices and flavors will help you from the first inhale! Thank you, Uncle Subru!