Rasam is prepared across all of South India, often part of regular daily meal. Rasam is probably the first recipe that one tries when we get our hands into cooking. A recipe so simple is also served in big functions including marriages, AND cherished all the same. When I attend family functions here in Karnataka, how good or bad the Rasam was is often the first thing that gets talked about when rating a meal that served at least 15-20 other richer dishes. It feels as though, if the head cook managed to crack the secret to great tasting Rasam, his or her job is half done. Similarly, your job to keep your family happy and contented with your everyday cooking is half-accomplished if you manage to find the recipe for that variety of Rasam your family loves.
Tomato Rasam is perhaps the most common and most popular variety of Rasam. Easy to prepare, specially if your have Rasam Powder handy, Tomato Rasam plus Rice combination can make one happy meal for a South Indian family Make sure you have the right Poriyal / Palya prepared to help achieve a balanced meal. Palya/Poriyal have nutrition offered by green vegetables not found in many varieties of Rasam.
There are many ways and many varieties of Rasam that can be prepared. My earlier post, Lemon Rasam showed how we can prepare great tasting Rasam soup without using Rasam powder. If you need to have less spice in your Rasam, you can prepare Lemon Rasam. This Rasam can be had with Rice or can be consumed without Rice accompanying it just like a soup.
- Pigeon Pea or Toor Dal – 1/4 Cup
- Tomato – 1 chopped
- Tamarind Paste – 1 tsp or Tamarind Extract – 1 Tbsp
- Rasam Powder – 2-3 Tbsp
- Curry Leaves – 7-8
- Jaggery – 1/4 tsp or a small piece
- Chopped Coriander Leaves / Cilantro
- Ghee or Clarified Butter – 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Hing – 1/4 tsp
Time to Prepare: 15 min
How to Make Tomato Rasam :
- Wash and cook Pigeon Pea or Toor Dal in a pressure cooker by adding sufficient (approx. 1 to 1 and 1/2 Cup) water. Keep on the flame until you hear 3-4 whistles or cook until the Toor Dal turns soft.
- Grind the cooked Pigeon Pea or Toor Dal in a mixer grinder to a fine paste or just mash the Dal with your hand, as per your choice. Both versions taste good in my opinion. Keep aside.
- In a vessel, add 1/2 cup water, add chopped Tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes or until Tomatoes turn soft. Now add Tamarind Paste/Extract to the boiling water and cook for a minute.
- Now add Curry Leaves, Salt, Jaggery and Rasam Powder and cook for 5 minutes. Then add Toor Dal Paste or Mashed Pigeon Pea from Step 2 to the boiling mixture and cook again for 5 more minutes.
- Now comes the seasoning part – In a small frying pan, heat Ghee or Clarified Butter, add Mustard Seeds. Once Mustard Seeds splutter, add Hing and switch off the flame. Now Seasoning is ready. Immediately add this seasoning to the vessel with Rasam, mix well with the help of a spatula.
- Finally add the finely chopped Coriander Leaves / Cilantro to get a good aroma to the Rasam. Now Rasam is ready to serve.
Serve hot Tomato Rasam with plain Rice.