Tag Archives: Curd Rice

Rasam Raaga

My husband a true blue Punjabi, loves Sambhar and Rice as much, or more than Paranthas, my best friend Vaishali prefers tempered Curd Rice over her staple Gujarati fare. My favorite food in the whole world is the ubiquitous and oft unsung Rasam. The Rasam is almost always only a part of a South Indian thali or as a go between before your main order of Paneer Masala Dosa arrives on the table. This little gem like quite a few of its counterparts across cuisines across the globe does not get the pride of place on menus and because of its coy nature is overshadowed by the bully called Sambhar.

I enjoy Rasam, everywhere, all kinds of it; from the tangy, very sour Rasam of the Saravana Bhavans of the world, to the slightly sweet Mysore Rasam at Café Mysore, Mumbai and the pseudo-exorbitantly-priced-with-no-character Rasam at 5 star hotels.

As a child, I have vivid memories of my grandmother (who incidentally makes the best Rasam in the whole universe) stirring potfuls of Rasam, when we were sick, travelling, and on joyous and festive occasions. At my mother’s place, Rasam was always an antidote for any ailment. Ginger Rasam for a bad throat, an Ajwain Rasam for stomach ache & upsets, Lemon Rasam to clear the palate after a bout of flu and even a hot & fiery pepper Rasam for a heartbreak were prescribed.

Infact, muligatwany soup, the national soup of Sri Lanka is derived from our very own Rasam or mulagathanni, mulaga-pepper and thanni-water. This versatile dish spiked with vodka makes the most mean cocktail that can leave one begging for more. I sometimes serve Pineapple Rasam, as an appetizer in shot glasses or Lemony Rasam with Vadas dunked in them (very unusual) for my lunch parties, but a hit every time. One of the first solids to feed a child in a South Indian household, is mashed rice with some divine Rasam.

Its poetic justice to me hence, that my son Andy’s Annaprashan, is just 03 months away, and my grandmother will make the most delightful Rasam. Andy’s induction to the world of Rasam is about to begin. SLUURPP !!!!SLUURRPP!! REJOICE

1 Tbsp whole peppercorns and ½ inch Ginger with peel (grind them coarsely)
¼ cup Dal water (Any Dal preferably Arhar)
If cooking Dal, just take a couple of Teaspoons of cooked dal and mix it with water, or dilute any leftover yellow dal
½ Tsp Turmeric Pwd
1 Tsp Sambhar Pwd
Salt to Taste

For the Tempering
1 big spoonful of Ghee
1 whole Red Chilli
Handful of Coriander leaves, broken with your hands, including the stems

1. In a large vessel, mix 3 cups of water, turmeric powder, ginger-pepper powder, Sambhar Powder and Salt boil for about 10-12 minutes
2. Add, diluted Dal water and let it cook for 5-7 minutes, till it bubbles over
3. In a small saucepan, heat ghee, and when hot, break and add red chilli, coriander leaves and add it to the Bubbling Rasam.
4.Check for seasoning and Serve Hot
5. Sit Back and Receive Compliments!!!!