In Sanskrit language, 'Rasa' means Juice. In Tamil, rasam is commonly referred to the one prepared with Tamarind/Tomato juice with added spices. Rasam has a distinct taste in comparison to the sambar due to its own seasoning ingredients and is usually watery in consistency and eaten with rice. Rasam is also served as soup in restaurants these days.
Rasam is the one of the easiest recipes to cook, yet the toughest. All the flavors in rasam should be equally balanced else rasam can go sour or taste just like hot water.
Finely chopped medium sized tomatoes - 2 nos
Tamarind juice - size of a large gooseberry - Add hot water & extract about 1.5 cups of juice from it
Cooked & mashed Toor dal - 1/8 cup
Rasam powder - 2-3 tsp (depending on spice level)
Hing - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cilantro - 5-6 stalks
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp spluttered in oil
Pour tamarind juice into a small saucepan. Add tomatoes, rasam powder, hing, salt and bring it to a boil.
Let the rasam boil until the raw smell of tamarind & rasam powder is gone. Mix mashed toor dal with 3/4 cup of water, add to the rasam and remove from heat as soon as it froths. Remove from heat, add cilantro & spluttered mustard seeds and keep covered until ready to be served.
Serve hot with rice. More rasam recipes to come.