07 October 2008

Soup

It's that horrible time of year again, when the weather gets nasty outside, and you sincerely question your decision to leave your bed. The best way to combat the not so great outdoors is to make soup. It's cheap, filling, and easy to do. I'm doing a multi part series on soup on the podcast, so if you haven't listened yet, I urge you to go out and so so.

I was googling around for a decent recipe for Rasam, and frankly, the ones on the internets all suck. Rasam shouldn't have onions or garlic, or much of anything else. In fact, your most basic rasam recipe even omits the split yellow peas, so that you're left with (essentially) black pepper with a few spices thrown into a tomato stock. This version is a modified version of what I have in the cookbook. Basically, it's meant to be a soup that you have whether you're feeling well or feeling ill.

Rasam powder
5-6 dry red chilies
1/2 Tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon peppercorns
Roast all the spices in a small pan, and grind in a coffee
grinder.

Rasam
1 cup dry yellow split peas or toor daal
1 Tablespoon oil
1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds
tiny dash asafetida
1 lb tomatoes, chopped
salt to taste
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons tamarind paste
1 gallon water
1 cup cilantro, minced for garnish

Boil the split peas or daal in a separate pot for 20 minutes. Heat oil in a pot, add mustard seeds,
and allow to pop. Add a dash of asafetida. Add the tomatoes, and sprinkle on salt. Cook for about five minutes. Add the black pepper, the rasam powder, and the tamarind paste. Add the water and cooked, drained split peas. Bring to a full boil, and keep it boiling for 15 minutes. When cooked, sprinkle on cilantro for garnish. Serve over mushy rice.