Moving on to today's post -
You don't have to be the Maharajah of Mysore to taste this rasam. You can pretend you are the Maharajah when you have this ..but that's upto you. I like to pretend I'm just the daughter of the Maharajah so I can spend endlessly but then every month when I get my credit card bill is when I realize I was actually just pretending. Sigh. (Though my dad would attest to the fact that I did spend most of his money!)
This is a rich kind of rasam if you know what I mean. Rasam is something that can be made with just the little basic ingredients and yet can also be made with so many wonderful ingredients and in the end they both taste great and bring about a warm'thness to your soul.
Mysore rasam is a perfect rasam to make when you are having company over for a good south indian meal. It's the -I care about you and hence made this special rasam - kind of food. There is an air of exoticness when you say its Mysore rasam for the main course. At least to me, coz I think maybe this rasam originated in the palatial maharajah's kitchen.
But to make it, you don't have to be a rajah's bawarchi. Its a pretty simple and straightforward recipe.
Take about 2-3 good juicy tomatoes, skin seeds and all. Chop into big pieces and then blend in a mixer or a blender to make a smooth puree.
Cook about 3/4 cup of toor daal in a pressure cooker. As you can see my daal to the right is completely cooked and you can mash it with the back of a spoon. You can use it just like that..but if you have daal ocd like me, you can blend even that in a mixer (like on the left here).
Soak about a small lime sized ball of tamarind in water and squeeze out all the juice.
In a pan, add about 1 tsp of oil and fry these below
1 tbsp Channa Daal (Kadala parippu)
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
4-5 black pepper corns
2-3 dried red chillies
Fry until they turn golden and a nice aroma arises out of the pan and hits the tip of your nose. If you've been a good girl, its the aroma from the coriander seeds. If you've been a naughty girl, its the spice from the red chillies that hit you. And I'm not telling you which hit me! Aha!
Now, add about 1/2 cup of coconut (dessicated) and fry till they start to turn brown. Cool down for a few mins while you get the other stuff going.
In a sauce pan, pour in the tomato puree and add the juice from the tamarind in here. Add a pinch of asofoetida. Add a little salt to taste and add about 1 heaped tsp of rasam powder and let this all boil together until the raw smell of the tomatoes goes away and it starts to thicken up.
Then add the cooked and mashed daal in to the boiled tomatoes.
Add equal quantities of water..that is basically double the amount you have in the pan coz rasam should always be thin. Let it all boil together. Add a little salt to taste for the daal. If you've added all the salt up front, skip the salt here.
Grind up the roasted channa daal and coconut mix. There are a couple of ways you can add this to the rasam. You can either dry grind them like this here and add it to the rasam. This will have little pieces of this ground powder floating around in the rasam. I love it this way.
But, you can also add a little water to that and grind it into a paste form. And add this to the rasam. On this day, I made a paste and added it - no reasons, just felt like it.
Add the fresh ground powder or paste to the rasam and let it cook for a few mins. Once the rasam starts boiling fully and rises to the top, switch it off.
In a small tadka pan, add a tsp of ghee and add mustard seeds, red chilli and curry leaves for tadka.
Serve piping hot with rice and vegetables. Or just pour into a cup and drink like soup.