Ask any South Indian, and you will find that Rasam is a common item on the menu. Though a staple in many homes, it is wholesome and healthy. It aids digestion, provides relief for sore throat and cold, is good for people recovering from ailments, and has so many more benefits!
Now, did you know that there are many kinds of Rasam? Yes….the humble Rasam comes in different variations – we have Pepper Rasam, Tomato Rasam, Lemon Rasam, Tamarind Rasam, Mysore Rasam, Goddu Rasam, etc. While I love all of these depending on the season or the accompanying menu, my all-time favorite is the Dal or Paruppu Rasam made by my mother.
Growing up, Paruppu Rasam used to be made almost daily. But I have never grown tired of it. It has a bit more nutrition too compared to the others as it contains toor dal. Even now, my mom makes it frequently and I carry back a dabba of it many times after I visit her. There is ALWAYS extra for me at home! It is comfort food for me and banishes all my aches and bad moods. And no matter how many times I have tried, there is always something that is missing from my version – maybe it is just love and the magic of her hands!
This is a fairly common food item in South India and you will find different versions of the same with small changes here and there, across each household. So here goes my Amma’s Paruppu Rasam Recipe. This makes enough for 4 people.
Lemon size tamarind & the pulp and juice separated
- Tamarind – a small ball the size of a lemon
- Toor Dal – approximately 50 grams
- Tomatoes – 2 small ones
- Water – 500 ml
- Rasam Powder – 2 Tblsp
- Turmeric Powder – just a pinch
- Mustard Seeds – 1 Tsp
- Urad Dal – 1 Tsp
- Channa Dal – 1 Tsp
- Red Chillis – 2 to 3 No.s
- Curry Leaves – 2 to 3 Sprigs
- Coriander Leaves – Handful
- Asafetida – just a pinch
- Salt – as per taste
- Ghee – 2 Tblsp
Toor dal with turmeric & the completely mashed toor dal after it is cooked
- First, boil the tamarind in a little water and then allow it to cool.
- Pressure cook the toor dal with turmeric powder for 6-8 whistles until it is well done.
- Mash the boiled tamarind and separate the pulp from the water.
- Boil the tamarind water along with the 500 ml of water for around 1 minute.
- Add the salt and rasam powder and continue to boil until the raw smell goes away.
- Then cut the tomatoes, and add them to the boiling water.
- Completely mash the toor dal so that it is like a thick paste and add this to the boiling water as well.
- Cook everything for around 5 minutes on medium flame.
- In a tempering pan, on medium flame add the ghee and wait for it to heat.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter.
- Add the channa dal, urad dal, red chillis and asafetida. Take care it is not burnt.
- Then add the curry leaves and turn off the flame.
- Add the above tempering to the rasam and cook everything for another 30 seconds or so.
- Add chopped coriander leaves, switch off the flame, cover, and rest it rest for 15 mins
Ingredients for tempering
That’s it! Enjoy Paruppu Rasam with hot rice and appalam or any vegetable. You can also have this as a thick soup.
You can store this Rasam for 2-3 days in the fridge and heat up small quantities whenever you want to eat. I personally feel that the rasam is yummier after one day 😉
This post is dedicated to my Amma, Mythili Seetharaman, and her many unique experiments in the kitchen to suit the Tam-Bram palate. It is also dedicated to my Appa, D.V. Seetharaman – during my childhood, on the rare occasions that my dad and me were left alone to handle the kitchen, this was the only item we knew to prepare 😉