Rasam is a delicious South Indian soup made from tomatoes and toor daal.
It’s easy to make, takes less than 30 minutes and has everything I love: spices, tomatoes and lentils
Now, you ask me what makes a soup South Indian rather than North Indian. Here are the few ways that North Indian food differs from South Indian food:
South Indian food uses rice (to make dosas and idlis), mustard seeds, curry leaves, rice and coconut oil whereas North Indian food uses cumin seeds, coriander leaves, mustard oil/ ghee and wheat (to make roti, parathas, pooris). Toor is the main daal in South India whereas North Indians don’t have one daal as a main daal.
I know this is an oversimplication in the myriad ways that North and South Indian cookies differ from each other but this gives you a rough idea.
I mostly cook Punjabi food at home but on occasion I will cook South Indian food and Rasam soup made from tomatoes is my absolute favourite.
This was a recipe shared by a lovely lady from South India and I think this is one of the best rasam recipe I have ever tried and I am holding on to it tight!
Give it a try! I bet you will love it.
- 300 gram tomatoes
- 1/4 cup toor daal
- 1 inch tamarind pulp can use lemon juice if tamarind not available
- 1/8 tsp asafoetida hing
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 7-8 curry leaves better to use fresh leaves but dry ones will do if you can't find fresh leaves
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp chana daal
- 5-6 whole black pepper
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 dry red chilli
- 1 tbsp coconut grated
- 1 tbsp coconut oil can use any other vegetable oil if coconut is not available
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 10-15 curry leaves better to use fresh leaves but dry ones will do if you can't find fresh leaves
- Handful fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
Make Spice Mix
- Roast the channa daal, grated coconut, black pepper, coriander seeds and red chilli on slow heat until the channa daal is slightly browned and the spices are fragrant
- Coarsely ground the spices
- 30 minutes before cooking, boil the tamarind in 1/2 cup of water and then set it aside. Once it has cooled down, add another 1/2 cup of water and strain to remove the tamarind pulp
- If the tomatoes are large, then you can quarter/half them but if they are small, you can use them whole. I normally use small tomatoes which are slightly larger than plum tomatoes, so I use them whole
- Set the pan with four cups of water on heat. Once the water comes to boil add tamarind water, tomatoes, toor daal, hing and turmeric powder
- Bring it to boil, close the lid and then simmer on low heat for 5-6 minutes
- Add salt and spice mix and cook covered for another 4-5 minutes
- Heat the oil in a thick bottom pan
- Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves
- As soon as the seeds stop sputtering, add the tempering to the soup
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve!