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Vegan Indian Recipes - Bread, Rice and Sauces
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Mysore Rasam
From: Natarajan Krishnaswami

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)

  • 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
1) Cook the red gram until it is very soft, and mix it.

a) Fry the coriander seed, bengal gram and eight chillies in 2 tbsp oil
b) Powder these with the 5 or 6 peppers

a) Soak the tamarind to make 500mL of tamarind water (or add the substitute)
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 leaves

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).