My parents sent me a copy of S. Meenakshi Ammal's "Cook and See"
(which is probably a lot older than I am).
The following recipe is adapted from there: (Makes 1L)
1) Cook the red gram until it is very soft, and mix it.
- 250mL red gram dhal
- 1.5 tsp coriander seed
- 2 tsp bengal gram (=channa) dhal
- 8 dried red chillies
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 5-6 black peppercorns
- 1 tamarind [you can also use 1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
or, if you can't find any, cream of tartar]
- 500ml water
- 1.5 tsp salt
- curry leaves
- pinch asafoetida
- 1 tsp mustard seeds [pref. black]
- 2 red chillies
- 1 tsp oil/margarine [omit this and increase oil if vegan]
- 1 tsp oil [corn oil is good]
- curry leaves
- coriander leaves
a) Fry the coriander seed, bengal gram and eight chillies in 2
b) Powder these with the 5 or 6 peppers
a) Soak the tamarind to make 500mL of tamarind water (or add the
b) Add 1.5 tsp salt, a few curry leaves, and a pinch of asafoetida
c) Decant the excess water from the red gram dhal, add the dhal
to the above water, and set the water aside
d) Bring the mixture to a boil well
e) Add the dhal and boil until the rasam froths up, and remove
it from the heat
f) Add the powder prepared in step 2 and mix well
g) Fry the mustard and 2 chillies in 1 tsp oil/margarine and 1
tsp oil, and add a few curry leaves and scald them
h) Season the rasam with this, then chop and add ~1 Tbsp of coriander
This is also very good if made with tomatoes: quarter a medium
tomato and add (in step 3b).
The powder for step 2 can be made in advance, or possibly purchased
in Indian stores.
This is usually eaten mixed with (white) rice.
It's fantastic (as well as usually served) with a curried vegetable
(like the potato curry recipe I posted a while back).