Monday, August 13, 2012

Tomato Rasam

I got married pretty young, at least way earlier than I thought I would. Since TH is from a different community, they did have a few reservations about me and how I would fit into the 'good South Indian daughter-in-law' bracket.
Though I am Mangalorean and was brought up in Bangalore, since most of my family is in Bombay, they did not consider me South Indian enough and they just assumed that a working girl from Bangalore would not cook, and definitely not their kind of food.

tomato rasam2

I got married in Chennai and two days later, we had a wedding reception in Bangalore. The whole family was there. While most of the gang went out shopping and visiting, TH's grandmother was at home, since she was too tired with all the travel. I, being the new bride, was all eager to please and stayed back to take care of her and I guess I was really done with shopping and socialising for a year at least !

I barely knew any cooking at that time, except for some fancy sounding dishes and maybe an egg burjee, but I knew that rasam was considered healing food, when you are a bit under the weather. I made some for her and Paati (grand mother in Tamil) relished it with some steaming hot rice. By the time the rest of the gang got back, she had had her nap and was really refreshed.

tomato rasam1

The first thing she told them was that I make great rasam, even better than what a Tamilian daughter-in-law would ! Can't tell you how much that meant to me - all the apprehensions of whether or not I'd really be truly accepted, disappeared thanks to this humble rasam. For me, its more than just something you have with rice, it was the first step to establishing a relationship with the in-laws...

There are so many varieties of rasam and so many variations, but this is one of my favourites. It still tops as comfort food for us, and is on the menu at least once a week. Had this for lunch over the weekend, with rice, pumpkin erissery and banana chips

Food, seriously, is the best way to anyone's heart !

rasam rice collage

Tomato Rasam

What you need -

1/4 cup tur dal
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes
2 tsp rasam powder (any brand would do, I used a local one from Bangalore)
a few sprigs of coriander leaves
4-5 pepper corns
1/2 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic (optional)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp oil
salt to taste

What you do with it -

Pressure cook the dal with about 3/4 cup water. It needs to be really soft and mushy
Add the cooked dal in a vessel with 3-4 cups of water
Chop the tomatoes into 4 or 8 pieces, depending on how large the tomatoes are and add it to the dal
Add the rasam powder and bring it to a slow boil, till the tomatoes are cooked well
Add salt and coriander leaves
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic, jeera and pepper to a coarse paste
For the seasoning, in a little oil, add asafoetida and mustard and allow it to splutter. Then add the crushed paste of jeera-garlic-pepper
Add the seasoning and take the rasam off the heat
Cover for 5 mins and then serve with hot rice

14 comments:

Nagalakshmi V said...

a lovely story and gorgeous pictures :) it took me a while to get the hang of rasam but oh once you do, there's no stopping us eh? :)

Lavi said...

no wonder paati is flattered! rasam looks so soothing and fresh!

Prathibha said...

good 2 read ur memories behind this rasam..I love perfect rasam,urs look delicious

Spice up the Curry said...

tomato rasam recipe sounds fantastic

Marta @ What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today said...

lovely story :) I got married quite early as well and I couldn't cook at all. And now I can plus I love it :)

Reshma said...

Must try this rasam. Your blog is such a pleasure to read! :-)

Vijayalakshmi Dharmaraj said...

Hi Archana, first time here, your are having such a nice space happy to follow you... when u get time visit mine...
VIRUNTHU UNNA VAANGA

Prathima Rao said...

so well presented!! im salivating here!! and that is such a lovely story..very touching :)
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Kavi Foodomania said...

Hey Archana! 1st time here. I loved reading the intro! :) I love rasam too! We never add peppercorns or garlic. But that would be an amazing addition. :)

kankana said...

That is such a sweet story and I know how that feels :) I for one love rasam and I love how yours looks clear and light!

Gauri said...

Such a sweet , heart warming story, after reading the post I want lots of rassam :))

Food is one thing that can erase so many boundaries !!


Padma said...

Hi Archana,

I read in Charul's blog (Tadka Masala) about the best rasam powder in Bangalore.. Learning to cook for my dear hubby.. Pls let me know where you find the rasam powder. If possible, pls mail me at padma0206@gmail.com :) Thanks in advance.

SPadma said...

Hey Archana,

I read in Charul's blog (Tadka Masala) about the best rasam powder in B'lore.. I'm learning to cook for my hubby.. Pls let me know where I can find the rasam powder.. Thanks in advance :)

shan tait said...

I like your post. its a nice information about tomato rasam.Thanks for sharing the post.selectCiti provides more information about Restaurants in chennai.

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