Monday, March 18, 2013

Sunday Recipe! (on Monday..)

SO.  I got so caught up yesterday with working on my day 2 recap of Princess Half Marathon, I already  fell down on my commitment for my new Sunday recipe post haha!

ANYways, here you go! My #1 favorite recipe from the past 6 months- South Indian Rasam! Rasam is a South Indian spicy&sour soup.  The spiciness comes from the indian red chilli pepper and the sour comes from tamarind.  Just a quick rundown of Indian food-- each state/region of India has it's own distinct style of food, kind of similar to the US (southern food, southwestern food, etc) but there isnt as much variation in the US like in India.  My family is from the state of Gujarat and our Gujatrati food has some unique dishes (rotli, dhar, khadhi, etc).  South Indian food is one of my absolute favorites, which includes- rasam, sambhar, dosas, idli, uppatham, etc).  One thing I love about South Indian food is that the vast majority of it is VEGETARIAN.

In college, I used to just get the soup mix from the Indian grocery store (the kind where you add water to the mix and boil then add the tomatoes and cilantro) but now that I'm a serious adult, I felt like it was time to learn how to make this from scratch.  This is my favorite Indian soup and I pretty much judge all Indian restaurants based on the quality of their rasam (and if they don't have it at that restaurant, then I judge them for not having it and rarely return there..).  SO, I am pretty serious about my rasam haha :)

The one thing I still do purchase from the Indian grocery store is the rasam spice powder.  Making it at home is without a doubt the best option but the spice powder you can purchase are just so good and cuts out some of the cooking time (lets be real, my mouth is watering just thinking about having some rasam).  My favorite 2 brands are the MTR Rasam Powder.  You can buy this on Amazon as well! My second favorite brand is Badshah Masala Rasam Powder.  You can buy this on Amazon also!  My mom swears by the Badshah Masala brand for all her masala mixes (for Pav Bahji, Sambhar, Chole Masala, Chat Masala, Channa Masala, etc.) so I know that if my mom endorses it, then its the best!!

Onto the cooking tips! This recipe is pretty good for 2 servings but if I want leftover soup, I'd just double up on the ingredients!  I follow this recipe pretty closely but I use my MTR or Badshah masala powder.    Also, I cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker (my mom got for me from India, it's so cute!).  It is such a time saver, seriously.
this is my pressure cooker (3L) , except from 2001 (You can find it HERE)
This is my mom's main one and I also have this one too but it's way too big for just me (5L). You can find it HERE
Also, I use a vagharie (aka tadka pan) for the seasoning part and then add it into my soup pot.  I love this pan I got from my local Indian grocery store.
This is not the exact same one I have but it's very similar! Found HERE
I usually double the recipe and it's great re-heated! I also LOVE to add a ton of tomatoes and chopped cilantro.  I usually add the chopped tomatoes (about 1 large or 3 romas) and let it boil for 8 minutes and then I add the chopped cilantro at the very end and then boil for 2-4 minutes.  This way, the flavor infuses from both but the tomatoes still maintain their shape/ dont dissolve and the cilantro keeps it's bright green color!

South Indian Rasam Recipe

Ingredients For Rasam Powder

Coriander seeds - 1 tea spoon
Cumin seeds - 1 tea spoon
Asafetida - ¼ tea spoon (also known as Hing--one of my all time favorite spices, smells&tastes amazing)
Red chillis - 2-3, according to taste
Black pepper - 1/4 tea spoon
Mustard seeds - ¼ tea spoon

Ingredients for Rasam:

Toor dal - 1 small cup
Tamarind - a lime sized ball (see note below)
Curry leaves - a sprig
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped
Salt - 1 tea spoon or to taste
Water - 3-4 cups.

Ingredients for seasoning:

Oil/ghee - 1 tsp (I use canola oil)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon.


Roast all the rasam powder ingredients on low flame. Grind to fine powder.
Soak tamarind in warm water for 15 minutes. Get pulp using 1 cup of water. (I skip this step all together because I use tamarind paste I get from the Indian grocery store)

Cooking Method:

1.             Cook Toor dal in 2 cups of water till it is soft.
2.            In a deep pan add 1 cup water. Add ground rasam powder, tamarind pulp. Boil.
3.            Mash the cooked dal. Add to the mixture.
4.            Boil for 5 minutes. Add salt. Add more water if needed. Boil for 5 minutes.
5.             Add chopped coriander leaves.

Prepare Seasoning

1.             In a sauce pan, heat oil/ghee.
2.            Add mustard and cumin seeds. When they stop crackling, add asafetida and turmeric powder, curry leaves.
3.            Add to the ready rasam and cover the rasam pot.

Rasam is ready. Serve hot as a soup or with plain steamed rice.

Finished product! ENJOY!

Have you ever had rasam before? If you try this recipe, let me know how you like rasam!


  1. So I'm going to come visit sometime soon, and you're going to make me authentic Indian food. Mmkaybye.

    1. absolutely yes!!! I can make most all Gujarati food and I'm slowly learning to make other things! Last fall I tried to make Paneer Tikka Masala (one of my favorites from north indian restaurants) and it was ok so that is next on my list to perfect! Do you want to be my official recipe tester???!!!


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