The title may sound funny to some (or many) of you (in fact, my boyfriend calls it "goat rasam" ;-)) but this is supposed to be a ready-to-make rasam, as most of the time, people in India seem to have all the ingredients handy for this. Hot rasam and rice on a cold, rainy day (or night) is certainly comforting.
Ingredients (about 2 - 3 servings):
Tamarind soaked in water - about the size of a 1/2 inch ball
(If using tamarind paste, about 1/2 teaspoon of it)
Tomato - 1 medium sized cut into big chunks or just crush it by hand
(You can also chop the tomato if you would like it in every mouthful)
Toor dhal - 2 tablespoons
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
Sambar powder (or rasam powder) - 1.5 teaspoons
Black pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon (you can add a bit more if you would like the pepper flavor to dominate)
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Jaggery (optional, but I strongly recommend it :-)) - 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon
(You can use sugar if you don't have jaggery)
Salt to taste
Cooking oil ( or ghee) - 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Cilantro - 3 teaspoons finely chopped
Curry leaves - a few
1. In a deep vessel, extract about 2 cups (using a measuring cup) of the juice of soaked tamarind or dilute the tamarind paste with 2 cups of water.
2. Add raw toor dhal, asafoetida, sambar powder, little salt and tomatoes to step 1 and boil the mixture until the raw smell of tamarind and sambar powder go away and the tomatoes get cooked. This roughly takes about 15 - 20 minutes on medium heat.
3. After step 2, add pepper powder, cumin powder and jaggery and about 1 cup of water to the mixture, heat for about 5 more minutes and turn off the stove. My Mom says that boiling the rasam after adding pepper and jeera will introduce slight bitterness in it. We don't want that, do we??? So, we turn it off before it starts boiling.
4. In a pan, heat some cooking oil or ghee (clarified butter), add mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. After the mustard splutters, add jeera, mix everything well and pour the contents into the rasam from step 3.
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro and fresh curry leaves.
For a slight variation in flavor, you can throw a couple of crushed garlic cloves in step 2 or even add the garlic in step 4, after the mustard has spluttered.
This tastes somewhat similar to the rasams that they serve at Brahmin weddings back home. The jaggery introduces a very light sweetness in the rasam, which tastes great. Cooked, nicely mashed rice mixed with ghee (clarified butter) and this rasam taste yum!!!! :-)