Mysuru Saaru/Mysore Rasam
EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: KARNATAKA CUISINE
For the month of August the theme was Karnataka cuisine and I realized that though I lived in Bangalore, what’s now called Bengaluru for 4 years, I didn’t get to experience so many dishes that are famous in Karnataka. As a non South Indian I usually stick to the more comfortable dosas, idlis, vadas, sambhars. My neighbor on occasions would share with me crispy maddur vadas. I’ve tasted bisi bele bath once. Next visit to Bangalore, I’m definitely going to try out more of the local cuisine.
For this month my partner was the friendly and humble Aruna who blogs at ãhãram. I love her blog because its got quite a few traditional recipes especially from the Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. If I’m every looking for something unusual, that’s the blog to visit. Aruna gave me coconut and tuvar dal as my secret ingredients. I couldn’t be more happier as hubby been asking me to make rasam or saaru for so so so long. I’d already got a Mysore style rasam jotted down. I must have had that recipe in my book for eons. Finally, the time came to make it and that made hubby so happy. As for me, have no idea why I’d not tried rasam till now. Maybe because I don’t like watery dals, but this was a delicious, light on the stomach dish. I actually enjoyed it as a soup.(ok was hungry by 3p.m.!)
I gave Aruna coconut and rice. She made a delicious Paradi Payasa. What did I just tell you about traditional dishes by Aruna? Well, this sweet dish is as traditional as it gets. Please click on the name of the dish and find out what its all about.
When I got down to making the saaru/rasam, I had so many ingredients on the kitchen counter and my maid must be thinking that I’m going make her life difficult by cooking something elaborate. When she saw everything I told her I’m making “ndengu na mchele”(rice and dal) and she didn’t believe me. After I prepared both she asked me why I had made only one dish when I had so many ingredients out! I’m left speechless. Anyway lets get into the method of making saaru or rasam and I promise you its so simple. There are so many varieties of rasam or saaru which makes all the difference to the taste when an ingredient is added or omitted.
MYSURU SAARU/MYSORE RASAM
For the saaru/rasam:
¼ cup tuvar (aha, toor) dal
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1-1½ cups warm water
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1½ tsp salt
3-4 cups water
½ – 1 tbsp jaggery (gur)
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp fresh grated coconut
For the rasam spice powder/masala:
¼ cup fresh grated coconut
6-8 fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhana)
1 tbsp roasted chana dal (chickpea lentils)
1 tsp urad dal (black gram lentils)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1-2 dry red chillis
8-10 curry leaves
1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
a generous pinch of asafetida (hing)
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1-2 dry red chillis
6-8 curry leaves
Preparation of the rasam spice powder/masala:
- Heat ghee in a saucepan over low heat.
- Add chana dal and roast till it begins to turn pinkish.
- Add urad dal and asafetida. Stir for a minute.
- Add coriander, cumin, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns and curry leaves. Stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add coconut and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Keep on stirring the mixture so that it does not burn. You will get the aroma of the coconut.
- Take the pan off the heat. Let the mixture cool down completely.
- Grind in you spice blender to a fine powder.
Preparation of the saaru or rasam:
- Wash tuvar dal in water 3-4 times.
- Add the measured warm water and let the dal soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Put the dal along with the water and turmeric in a pressure cooker and let it cook for 2-3 whistles. If you don’t have a pressure cooker then let it cook in a pan over medium heat. You may need to add more water.
- Once its done, let the pressure from the cooker reduce. Open the cooker.
- Mash the dal lightly.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, 3-4 cups of water and salt.
- Mix and let the rasam simmer over medium to low heat till the tomato gets cooked and becomes soft.
- Add rasam powder, jaggery and tamarind paste. Mix well. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Preparation of the tempering/vaghar:
- Heat ghee in a small pan.
- Add mustard and cumin seeds.
- When they begin to splutter, add the red chilis and curry leaves.
- Pour the tempering or vaghar over the saaru/rasam.
- Sprinkle the chopped coriander and grated coconut over the rasam.
- Serve with some steamed rice or serve it one its own like a soup.
- To prepare tamarind paste, take a lemon sized amount of tamarind and soak it in about ½ cup hot water for about 30 minutes or till it becomes soft. Mash it using your fingers. Using a wire mesh strainer strain the water and pulp. Use a spoon to do this.
- Use the amount of rasam powder you want as per your family taste. Save the rest in an airtight container.
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Shhh Cooking Secretly a group started by Priya of Priya’s Versatile Recipes, is where every month food bloggers are paired up and give each other 2 secret ingredients to cook with according to the theme chosen. If you’re interested in joining this exciting group then please leave a message in the comment section. Thank you.