Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Kollu Rasam (Horsegram/Brown Lentil Soup)
I have possibly rambled enough about how terrific rasam is and how I just Love it in my ginger rasam post. A south Indian meal without it is incomplete for me. The best part is that it is so simple and quick to make. It also lends itself to a number of options. Being a rasam lover I will start putting more rasam recipes. Most of the rasams can be had separately as a soup or be mixed with rice. Usually one of the key ingredients in a traditional rasam is lentils and tuvar dal (pigeon peas) is quite commonly used. In this recipe I have used another lentil – horsegram. I have always walked past this ingredient in the shop but recently I grabbed it and kept it in my pantry. I was curious to know what it is called in my mother tongue as here it said brown lentil. Bingo, it is actually the wonderful kollu. It is rich in fibre and protein and is particularly good for people trying to lose weight. In my mother tongue they say ‘Elachavanuku Ellu, Kozhuthavanuku Kollu’ which means for a skinny person, sesame is suitable and for fat person, horsegram is suitable. It is such a shame that the fact that this lentil is a popular horse food, some people are not happy to even try it. Anyway, here is how I made this rasam...
To roast and grind -
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3-4 dry red chillies
¼ cup brown lentil
1 cup tomato puree
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
Generous portion of chopped coriander for garnish
1-2 sprig curry leaves
Ghee/cooking oil for tadka
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Salt to taste
Cook the lentil until mushy. I prefer the lentil blended very well in the rasam so I just ran it under my hand mixie to further mash it.
Roast the ingredients (mentioned to be roasted) separately just so none of them burn. All except the red chillies will start to pop once they are ready to be taken off the flame. Cool and grind all these together to make your rasam powder.
Add a cup of water to the tomato puree and boil well. Add the tamarind paste, asafoetida and turmeric powder
Allow it to boil for a couple of minutes and add the cooked lentil.
Add a portion of the curry leaves so it gives a nice aroma. Add the rasam powder and salt and boil for couple of more minutes. Just before turning flame off, add chopped coriander leaves.
In a small skillet, heat little ghee or cooking oil (less than a spoon), add mustard seeds and once it crackles, add remaining curry leaves and let it turn crisp. Add this to the rasam.
Serve hot with rice or just by itself!
If you cannot take hot food, avoid the red chillies and just include black pepper. If you do not have tomato puree, just cut couple of tomatoes finely and use it.