17 May 2008

Lazy, I don't have everything Rasam

We tried to make it to DC last night. No luck. It was raining, we headed out too late, and were queued up at the wrong bus. There comes a point where you just say, "Forget it. It's not in the stars." Rather than spend even more money than I had already thrown into the trip, I just decided that we should go home. It was raining fiercely.

By the time we got home, we were both drenched to the bone, and cold, and fairly miserable.

I wanted hot soup, and I wanted it quickly. I didn't want to wait to wait for split peas to boil for a full on, proper rasam. Enter, the lazy, I can't be bothered Rasam. A traditional rasam is every South Indian's idea of the ultimate in perfect food. It's hot, it's spicy, it's got your pulses/lentils/beans, and is eaten with rice. You eat it when you're feeling sick, in the winter if it gets cold, in the rainy season when you're drenched to the bone, and even in the summer, when the increased sweating helps cool the body down. We even drink it like a tea!

So you can imagine what I was craving when I got home after that fiasco. Enter, lazy rasam.

I started with the standard mustard seeds, asafoetida, and oil. Then I pitched in some tomato puree. I let it come up to the boil. I added a generous dose of rasam spice. Then in went a lot of fresh ground pepper. Add water, and let it boil for another few minutes. Fifteen minutes later, it was done to a turn.

I finished it off with a bit of tamarind concentrate that was dissolved in water. It wasn't perfectly the same, but was so startlingly close that it really hit the spot.