In Sanskrit and Proto Indo European languages, 'Rasam' means 'juice'. It can refer to any juice but simply rasam commonly referred to the one prepared with Tamarind/Tomato juice with added spices. Rasam is a South Indian soup, traditionally prepared using tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, chili pepper, pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings. Steamed lentils are added along with any preferred vegetables.
It is eaten with rice or separately as a spicy soup. In a traditional meal, it is preceded by a Sambar rice course and is followed by curd rice. Rasam has a distinct taste in comparison to the sambar due to its own seasoning ingredients and is usually fluid in consistency.
Toor dal 1 cup
Tomatoes 2 medium, diced
Tamarind 1 tsp
Jaggery 3 tbsp
Spices ( turmeric powder, cumin seeds, asafoetida, mustard seeds, red chilli powder)
Green chillies, split
Cook toor dal in 2 cups of water till it is completely softened. One extra whistle will not do much bad to the recipe but one less will! Cool the dal and mash it completely. Keep aside.
In three cups water, boil tomatoes, tamarind and jaggery till the tomatoes soften and jaggery melts. Add salt, turmeric powder and Let the mixture boil. In a small wok, add oil and mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. Next add green chillies and curry leaves. Add rasam powder and immediately pour the oil into the boiling mixture. Add the mashed dal and mix it all well.
Add more water if required and adjust the salt and sweetness. Bring to a boil and serve hot as a soup or as a dipping soup for green lentil wadas. You can also enjoy it with steamed rice.