Lemon Rasam would be my signature dish, if I open a restaurant, (yes, a dream, agreed, so why not I dream big?) Let me make that a 7 star hotel (Burj Al Arab, you got competition)
Both the older one and I love Lemon Rasam, probably genes, not helping though, when both of us reach for more (especially, when we fish out the tomatoes, once again, genes at play). She invariably wins, when she pulls a low one and says ” But Maa, you are the parent here!”. Tired of hearing our regular squabbles over the dining table for Rasam, Pa intervened and suggested, why not make Lemon Rasam in a bigger vessel. Simple as that. Now why didn’t I think of it earlier?!
My mother says that, my Lemon Rasam tastes like her mothers. Trust me, there can be no bigger compliment than that!
Prep time : 10 mins; Cooking time : 20 mins; Serves : 4-6
- Red Gram Lentil / Toovar Dal – 1/2 cup
- Water – 5 cups
- Tomatoes (local country / wine ripe variety) – 3 or Cherry tomatoes (lend a hint of sweet taste) – 9 -15
- Green chilies – 2
- Ginger – 1 inch
- Garlic (optional, if one is observing a fast otherwise, highly recommended) – 1 whole bulb
- Lemon – 1
- Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
- Pepper – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Asafoetida / Hing – a pinch
- Ghee / Sesame Oil – 1 tsp
- Rock Salt – to taste
- Coriander leaves – 3 sprigs
- Curry leaves – 7 – 9
1. Wash and rinse the lentils and pressure cook them really soft with about 1 1/2 cups of water upto 4 whistles. Roughly mash them with the back of a ladle and set aside.
2. Chop the tomatoes into 1/2 inch squares, keep them whole, if they are cherry tomatoes. Chop green chilies and ginger into fine pieces. Peel the garlic cloves and chop them into fine pieces. Add these to 2 cups of water and cook on low flame for about 9 -10 mins.
3. Once the tomatoes soften, add the mashed lentils, salt and 1 1/2 cups of water and boil for another 9 – 10 mins till you see a layer of froth as you boil the lentils.
4. Meanwhile, dry roast 1 tsp cumin seeds till light brown in colour and grind them along with pepper. Add it to the boiling broth or add Rasam Podi | Powder and cook for another 5 mins. Switch off the heat.
6. Heat Ghee / Sesame oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and Hing. After it splutters, temper the Rasam with it.
7. Squeezing the lemon when the Rasam is very hot, may tend to make it bitter. After about 5 mins, once it is a bit cool, squeeze the lemon juice into the Rasam. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves.
Piping hot Lemon Rasam can be had along with rice or as an appetizer soup. Enjoy!