A real easy rasam (south Indian sour soup), comfort food that soothes an achy scratchy throat on a cold winter evening. Can be made in about 15 minutes if you have cooked toor dal on hand. This is a recipe from Meenakshi Ammal's Samaithu Par volume 1. Legacy!
4medium juicy tomatoesCan use cherry tomatoes, increase the number to about 10-12
1tbsp1 tsp each of pepper and jeeraSubstitute with rasam powder if preferred
1/4cupCooked mashed toor dhal (yellow split peas)See recipe for how to cook toor dhal under "Basics"
1TbspOil or gheeGhee is preferred. For vegan, use light tasting olive oil, or avocado or any vegetable oil
1/4tspcrushed or whole black pepper
Cook whole tomatoes in hot water until the the skin breaks, a few minutes. Peel the skin with a fork/knife and discard.
Mash the tomatoes or chop roughly. Crush jeera (cumin seeds) and pepper coarsely
Add the tomato juice, salt, hing, turmeric powder, curry leaves, and crushed jeera and pepper to the pan and boil for about 5-8 minutes
Add some water to the cooked lentil (toor dhal) and dilute it to pouring consistency
Boil for a few minutes, until the rasam is frothy; take the rasam off the heat and add chopped cilantro
Heat oil/ghee in a small pan; When hot enough but not smoking hot, add the cumin seeds, black pepper and hing and turn the heat off; pour over the rasam.
Enjoy with rice, best accompanied by beans curry flavored with coconut!
This is a legacy, traditional recipe from Samaithu Par by Meenakshi Ammal. I have followed her recipe exactly, except one step. She adds lemon juice at the end, which I skipped.
This is a simple recipe where you don't need tamarind or even prepapred rasam powder, and can be ready in a few minutes. Fresh tomatoes are recommended, although canned whole peeled tomatoes can be used in a pinch.