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Lemon-Tomato Rasam [Aug. 16th, 2005|09:46 pm]
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I am gradually perfecting the art of making the lemon-tomato rasam. It has tasted great the last few times I have made it. Though the critic in me would attribute its success to the rasam powder hand made by Amma, the hands that made them were no less talented :-) Now quickly on to the recipe.

  1. Cut three medium sized tomates (into 4 pieces each) and boil them in 3-4 glasses (250 ml each) of water. Let them boil till the tomatoes give away and start dissolving. Alternatively, you could pressure cook them.

  2. Add one full table-spoon of rasam/sambhar powder and one full table-spoon of salt to the boiling tomatoes. Let the tomatoes boil, give them no respite :-)

  3. Crackle three-fourth of a tea-spoon full of mustard in gingelly oil. Add finely chopped pieces of a green chilli to the crackling mustard.

  4. Add the crackled mixture to the boiling rasam, and let it boil for another 5 minutes.

  5. Squeeze two halves of a cut lemon onto the boiling rasam.

  6. Garnish with strands of coriander leaves and stop heating. Close the vessel with a lid. This helps retain the aroma.

The whole process takes about 20 minutes. If you set it alongside pressure cooking rice, a wonderful meal is ready in about 30-40 minutes.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sunson
2005-08-16 05:34 pm (UTC)

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Nice! but where is the 'paruppu'? When I cook, i make sure that all these 'noticeable in the mouth' but 'not noticeable to the eyes' objects are there... While, stuff like dhania, etc.,. is for the smell, stuff like kadalai paruppu (vegavechufied) and masichified add to the 'thickness' of the rasam and definitely give a good feeling and consistency in the mouth.

Have you tried 'sathukudi' rasam? :) (no, really! Its the same process, except use very tender (not 'pazham') sathukudi instead of the lemon. It tastes 'different' (some people may not like it, some people like it for the smell and flavour. I haven't ever done it. It was my mother's experiment... maybe it was because _she_ did it that I liked it... :) ).

Also, if you pour maavadu saaru (about one table spoon) into the rasam about 2 minutes before bringing down the boil, it obtains a very unique taste! (as unique as what the shuddha dhaivatham does to lathangi and makes it feel different from kalyani! (sorry if that didn't make any sense))

man, come to think of it, from all the immense knowledge that my mother holds in this arena, I should suggest her to build and own some sort of a wikirecipe.org out of it :)
[User Picture]From: knutties
2005-08-17 12:40 am (UTC)

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but where is the 'paruppu'?
I too used to add masichified paruppu to my rasam till about recently for consistency. I realised that it was taking a bit of the 'zing' out of the rasam. After all what is rasam without that extra 'zing'. The thickened tomato syrup that forms as a result of the boiling lends a lot to the consistency without affecting the 'zing'.

Have you tried 'sathukudi' rasam?
if you pour maavadu saaru
Nope, will graduate to these experiments once I've got the basics absolutely right. Definitely interesting.

I should suggest her to build and own some sort of a wikirecipe.org out of it
I think we should be doing this. Or maybe under Wikipedia itself under a special category.
[User Picture]From: knutties
2005-08-17 03:25 am (UTC)

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(as unique as what the shuddha dhaivatham does to lathangi and makes it feel different from kalyani! (sorry if that didn't make any sense)

Carnatic attitudu? Huh.

Actually addition of maavadu saardu is also like playing your korvais with a dose of farans thrown in. Korvais are percussion compositions which have a bit more math and patterns involved than others. Farans is basically fitting in more percussion strokes in the same duration of time. This gives one a feeling of heightened fervour (much like the maavadu effect).

You could also play the korvais without the farans. Both ways you have a perfectly set percussion composition. Another interesting point here is that as part of a traditional thani avarthanam, a grand korvai is played as the penultimate piece, before the finish with a flourish. Similarly, the rasam saadham is also normally the penultimate dish, before the thayir saadham (not for me though :-))
[User Picture]From: sunson
2005-08-17 04:54 am (UTC)

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'farans' - first time I'm coming across that word. Thanks for the gyan on that! Though, usually, the thani avardhanam is something I can barely appreciate at a deeper level because its way too complex and fast (especially the regular 'di ta ki ta ta ka ta ri ki ta ta ka, ta di ta ki ta ta ka ta ri ki ta ta ka' part towards the end of the avardhanam). Some T N Seshagopalan concerts are that way too... his pallavis are way too complex. Though it sounds amazing!
[User Picture]From: knutties
2005-08-17 04:18 pm (UTC)

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(especially the regular 'di ta ki ta ta ka ta ri ki ta ta ka, ta di ta ki ta ta ka ta ri ki ta ta ka' part towards the end of the avardhanam)
That is normally the beginning of the Periya Mohra of the Thani. Carnatica has an article on the Thani here.

My friend Suri has done quite a lot of work on percussion compositions. Korvai.org is a site which he maintains to share mridangam lessons. They have a nice notation scheme for lessons too.
[User Picture]From: mewpsych
2005-08-17 06:51 am (UTC)

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Thanks for enlightening me more with the art of making Rasam. Way to go, Arusuvai Natarajan!

Garlic rasam is one of my faves. It is very easy to make and tastes very different.
1. Grind a few garlic pieces with pepper, jeera, one red chilli and curry leaves in mixie.
2. Soak little tamarind in water.
3. Add the mixture in tamarind water with salt. Boil it for a few minutes.

I guess this is more of the Karaikudi samayal types. It is a bit spicy with a less of zing taste.
You know, one of my guluti friends while telling about the ingredients for rasam, asked me to take 3 chillies for 1 person. Gawwdd! We dont use so much chillies for sambar only.

BTW, nice to note the analogies drawn between Shruthi, Layam and Rasam!





[User Picture]From: knutties
2005-08-17 06:59 am (UTC)

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BTW, nice to note the analogies drawn between Shruthi, Layam and Rasam!
I was thinking of a comment with the words Rasam, Raagam and Rhythm. You came up with a better one.
[User Picture]From: mewpsych
2005-08-17 11:10 am (UTC)

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Oh, thankoo!

I was randomly humming 'Ragha sudha rasa';I could nt help smiling as this post creeped into my mind while i did that. :)
[User Picture]From: mkprabhu
2005-08-16 06:05 pm (UTC)

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since when have u become 'mallika bathrinath' ? ;-)
[User Picture]From: knutties
2005-08-17 12:43 am (UTC)

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since when have u become 'mallika bathrinath' ? ;-)
My benchmarks are far higher.
From: karthikeyanr
2005-08-17 03:36 am (UTC)

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good one...
I guess there used to be another one ingredient when I make rasam. I need some tamarind juice in it ofcourse.

rest is fine :)

--
KK
[User Picture]From: knutties
2005-08-17 04:15 am (UTC)

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Yeah, in the normal tomato only rasam you could add the tamarind juice. Here lemon provides the pulippu effect. The tamarind juice is more a part of the sambhar than the rasam.
[User Picture]From: sunson
2005-08-17 04:51 am (UTC)

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exactly. "Lemon" rasam is special in that there is no 'puli thanni' (and hence relatively healthier than the regular rasam. My mother also prepares rasam without any tamarind and instead uses other 'pulippu' material like mangai, etc.,. (the mavadu saaru, is an abstract / highly evolved idea, i would think)).
[User Picture]From: knutties
2005-08-17 12:42 pm (UTC)

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abstract / highly evolved idea
Hmmm, nice description of the idea. It is not something that everybody thinks of.
[User Picture]From: meghadutam
2005-08-22 11:00 am (UTC)

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Now very hungry.
[User Picture]From: knutties
2005-08-22 11:07 am (UTC)

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Yay!! The best chance to put the recipe to test. Maami, try pannitu sollungalaen.
[User Picture]From: meghadutam
2005-10-07 10:34 am (UTC)

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Finally tried your way yesterday. (I have my own recipe) Slightly different. But more edge thanks to lack of paruppu.
[User Picture]From: knutties
2005-10-07 11:14 am (UTC)

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Super. Will try to post more of my cooking experiments :-)
From: (Anonymous)
2006-06-13 10:04 am (UTC)

Gr8 recipes

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Hey guys,

This is quite interesting...men discussing cooking!! I myself found some of ur recipes quite useful. esp, garlic rasam!! Keep posting more of these.

Sandhya

[User Picture]From: knutties
2006-06-13 10:06 am (UTC)

Re: Gr8 recipes

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Sure. Will try to.