Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Rasam Button- Oh what a thought!

So its been raining quite a bit. The monsoon is in its peak. This is the view from my room. Its cloudy, misty, the sky is gray, the clouds are low, the rain is heavy and the visibility is low.
While this weather is about garam chai and samosas, it is also the season many Mumbaikars come down with colds, cough and other scary things like malaria and Jaundice.
 I luckily just came down with a cold and cough. I've been pretty clogged and my head has been feeling really heavy. This picture best describes how I've been feeling.

So I was craving some hot, spicy rasam, a soup that would open up my clogged up sinuses. my taste buds were all messed up because of the anti-biotics. So I asked Jai if he knew how to make rasam. He declined. I asked mum if she knew how to make rasam and she declined. So I took matters in my hands. What kind of rasam was I craving. Spicy yes- but also wanted some crunchy vegetables in it. So I googled some recipes and combined a couple to make myself some hot, spicy and crunchy rasam.

3 tbsps MTR Rasam masala (I feel pretty lame using ready made masala, but I had an incorrigible cough, a wheezing chest and a incessant leaking nose and wanted a quick fix!)
1 small cup toor dal
1 cup tamarind water
1 large onion quatered
1-2 minced green chillies (remember I want it really spicy)
1 spoonful of ginger
1 mooli (daikon) chopped in bite size cubes
1 carrot chopped
1 tomato quatered
Salt according to taste
a handful of minced corriander
A splash of lemon juice

For the tadka:
1 spn asafoetida (heeng)
1 spn mustard seeds
1 spn cumin seeds
handful of curry leaves
1 spn red chilli pwd ( I wanted it really hot)

1. Start with boiling the toor dal in 3 cups of water till completely cooked. Mash gently. Add salt to the dal while cooking. Set aside.

2. In a frying pan saute onions and ginger and some green chillies.

3. Add a couple table spoons of Rasam Powder. I went with three to begin with. Add the chopped mooli (daikon) and carrots.

 4. Add the tamarind water. (Take some dried tamarind and soak it in hot water for 15 minutes. The tamarind breaks into a pulp and mixes with the water.

5. Let it simmer gently for 10 minutes. The tamarind water begins to thicken.

6. Add the vegetables to the hot, cooked dal. Add more water and let the whole thing simmer. Taste for salt and spiciness and add more rasam masala if necessary (In my case it was- I added another large spoonful of rasam masala).

7. Add the quartered tomatoes to the mix and let it all boil till the daikon and carrots have softened. Add the coriander leaves.

8. Prepare the tadka separately. In a frying pan- heat some oil. Add the heeng, the mustard seeds till they crackle. Add the cumin seeds and the curry leaves. Add the chili powder and take off the heat.
Add this to the rasam. Squeeze the lemon in the hot rasam.

So the hot rasam.... Eat it as is, or over some rice to make it a complete meal. My ma kindly made me some of my favourite curd rice to eat with the rasam. The rasam was perfect. It was hot and spicy and I finally felt my nose open up.

I think it was the woozy feeling of having a cold but I was quite kicked by making this rasam button. I thought it would be quite cool to have a rasam button that I could press and get some rasam at a moment's notice. Ummmm... what an idea. Create an Iphone Rasam App. Oh! Ho!

I sat by the window and enjoyed my hot rasam. The view from my window at night. The snaking Eastern Express highway in the night. I'm not sure if its the rain or the pollution that makes the sky so foggy looking. The night lights of Thane.


  1. Hey Jyo!
    You know everything reminds me of Janu's (dosi ma ka Dosa at Santosh Sagar). Good fun to read through your mazedaar, lachchedar blog writing.
    Keep it up to liven up today's stressed world.

    Lots of love

  2. I was in two minds about what to cook for dinner. Rasam it is!

  3. Hey zazu, nice job on the rasam recipe. I have a rasam recipe from Bargavi (who is south Indian ) and your recipe comes pretty darn close to hers! Hmmm I think I will also make rasam tonight for dinner- sounds so good. Now only if I could find the Santosh Sagar's paper dosa somewhere... ;)

  4. Amazing to read your Rasam recipe, I just absorbed it as if it's the trouble shoot for cough and cold... Well by reading this make me to cook it for tonights dinner...keep it up..;)


  5. ha thanks guys! Im glad we all are having Rasam for dinner tonight. Its so easy and so fulfilling.

  6. Hey Jyo, hope the Rasam's bucked you up. Get well soon

  7. I slurped through out the post.
    And your pictures are amazing.

    I prefer using 'desi tomatoes" in my version. Makes it sour and you don't need a dash of lemon to jive it up.

  8. @the knife- im left with a dry cough thats persistent and feel like a wheezing harmonium

    @ Purba- desi tomatoes... Huh?

  9. Yupp, you get them in Delhi..they are sour, lighter in colour and very very juicy.

  10. that looks tempted to make it inspite of being a pucca non-vegetarian!

  11. That rasam gives me a craving to get a cold and make it for myself. But am not sure if I want mooli in my bowl. Maybe I will opt that out.

    I have a Madrasi friend in Blore who gave me long-distance rasam lessons, I put a lot of garlic in mine.

    Hope the rasam opened up your cloggy cold.

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