Friday, 21 May 2010

20th May 2010 - Dinner - Rasam

I have been lucky enough to have been introduced to all kinds of Indian food all through my childhood. We are Maharashtrians, but my mother was raised in Madhya Pradesh, and both my parents have spent a few years at Bangalore. So, at home, we make all sorts of stuff - dishes from all over the country. I am glad I have had this exposure - it does make one open about cuisines and appreciative about cooking in general.

On the list today was Rasam, a very delicious preparation from down South. Spicy, sour and tangy, it is an great accompaniment to rice. I remember that, when our hostel mess manager Prabhu ji retired, they had this special Kerala themed lunch for which they had also prepared Rasam. It was pretty tasty and it was quite disheartening to see most of the Marathi junta scowling at it.

I had made sure I carried some Rasam powder from back home. As for daal, I had made a bit extra yesterday and had saved half a cup for this. The recipe was sort of a hybrid of what Rohit Kiran's mom supplied via him and what my mom had given.

This was one of the most satisfying dishes I have made, simply because it turned out so well and tasted very authentic and exactly as desired.

How did it look?

A posteriori
  • Many versions of Rasam do not use daal at all. When we make Rasam at home, we generally add just the teensy bit of daal to carry the whole taste, so that's what I did.
  • I don't have a blender here, so we simply used chopped tomatoes instead of boiled, blended ones.
  • The part I had most fun with was putting the taDka on top, called Talimpu in Telugu. Of course, you need need Kadi Patta/Meethi Neem also for the whole effect, but I used what I had. Pouring the hot mixture on the fully prepared Rasam was a real treat!
  • I also had those dried masaala mirchis that you fry in oil and eat. At home, we love them. A red chilly is traditionally used for garnishing and also for the tadka, but I used this one, and it looked good enough.
  • I had forgotten to add garlic in the beginning, so I crushed some and added it to the tadka itself.