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Mysore Rasam

A young girl, filled with excitement, hope and fear, boards a plane with a man she met only for 4 months back…..ready to begin a whole new life , in a whole new country…..that was me 11 years ago. V and I started our journey towards creating a new life, discovering new things about each other every day !!! As if all that pressure was’nt enough…I was responsible for a household at the age of 22 !!!! I had to grow up fast !!

I think I have mentioned it time and again that V had to teach me south Indian cooking since I came into the marriage well versed in only north Indian and European cuisines !! Slowly but surely, with his help and a lot of experimentation I became proficient at cooking south Indian food. This is one of the things that I learnt with a lot of experimentation and I have to say that I now make quite a good MYSORE RASAM !!

For those who don’t know what a rasam is…..its a thin soup made primarily with tamarind , tomatoes and lentils.You can eat it like a soup or you can mix it with rice and eat it. A traditional south Indian meal has 3 courses with rasam being the second course. I don’t think I have ever attended a wedding that did not feature Mysore rasam in the menu !! As the name suggests , this rasam is from Mysore , Karnataka. It is different from other rasams in that it uses coconut milk and you have to use a slightly different rasam powder for it. Now let me warn you, this rasam is an indulgence. It is creamy, tart, spicy yet sweet …….an explosion of flavours.

 

 

MYSORE RASAM

 

    ½ cup Pigeon Peas/Red Gram Dal/Thur Dal

    Tamarind, a marble size ball

    ½ cup Coconut Milk

    3-4 small Tomatoes, cut into chunks

    3 tsp Mysore Rasam Powder

    Salt to taste

    ¼ tsp Turmeric

    2 tbsp Jaggery

    2 tbsp Cilantro , chopped

    1 tsp Mustard Seeds

    1 tsp Cumin Seeds

    1 Red Chilli ,broken into 2

    ½ tsp Asafoetida

    4-5 Curry Leaves

 

    Wash the dal and cook with 1 ½ cups of water . Do not drain the water and set aside.

    Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Squeeze and strain to obtain tamarind extract/pulp.

    Heat oil/ghee and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves.

    Once the mustard seeds start popping, add the tomatoes, followed by the tamarind water/pulp.

    Then add the mysore rasam powder, turmeric, salt and jaggery. Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.

    Add the undrained dal. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

    Add the coconut milk and simmer over low heat for 2-4 minutes.

    Garnish with cilantro. Serve with cooked rice and pappad.

 

 

MYSORE RASAM POWDER

    ½ cup Coriander Seeds

    1 tbsp Peppercorns

    1 tbsp Cumin Seeds

    1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

    ¼ cup Curry Leaves

    1 tsp Oil

    ½ cup Red Chillies

    ½ tsp Turmeric

 

    Dry roast the coriander seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

    Saute the red chillies in oil for 2-3 minutes.

    Blend all the ingredients ,in an electric blender, to a fine powder.

    Store in an airtight container and use as required.

 

Mysore Rasam

 

Taste Test

This rasam represents Kanadiga cuisine so well. Its rich and spicy. Tamarind provides piquancy, coconut milk provides the creaminess while the mysore rasam powder provides the heat which is balanced by the jaggery. I love this rasam. It has a little more body than the usual rasams. The mysore rasam powder also has a little earthiness which is provided by the curry leaves. There really is no substitute for curry leaves so if you do not have it just don’t make it !!!!

 

 


 

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