Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Recipe : Rasam / Mulligatawny Soup - Vegetarian / Vegan

Rasam is a dish that is commonly believed to be a part of every South Indian's diet along with curd rice, sambhar and idli-dosa. Surprise, surprise! Neither my mum nor my grandmum ever made this soup for us!

I learnt to appreciate it much later in life with the influence of Tamilian friends whose mums served up some awesome variants.

I love to have this soup on cold winter evenings, on rainy days and when I have a cold coming on.

If you prefer, you can season the soup with curry leaves and mustard seeds in the end and serve it with rice. You can garnish it with coriander leaves if you like. My husband prefers this soup with all the mashed up tomatoes and onions. My sister and I prefer to have it completely strained through with no bits and bobs in it.

I use a lot of spices in this which have medicinal qualities in them and I love a lot of pepper + chilli in my rasam. You can tone it down if you prefer a milder version. Rasam is great as an appetiser or even as a digestive, that's why it features so prominently in so many menus in the South.

1-2 tbsp black pepper
a pinch of methi (fenugreek) seeds
1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp rasam powder or paste (optional - it just adds )
1 sprig curry leaves
1 inch ginger slightly crushed
2-3 cloves garlic slightly crushed
2-6 green chillies slit down the center
2 onions finely sliced
4 tomatoes finely sliced.
1 litre water

Semi crush the pepper, methi and jeera.
Heat the oil, add the crushed spices to the hot oil, when they sputter add the curry leaves.
Then add the green chillies, onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
Fry on a low flame until they are all soft and mushy.
Once mushy, add the water and increase the heat.
Let it bubble and roil until the water reduces to 3/4th original consistency.

You can now either serve it hot by
1. straining it and drinking it out of a cup/glass.
2. garnish with chopped coriander leaves and drink it straight or eat with rice.
3. season with mustard seeds and curry leaves and eat hot with rice.

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