This dish was actually made by mistake, but there is something about the tamarind and tomato flavour that made us really happy, and I would have it all over again soon.
Lentil Rasam From Karnataka from Simply South by Chandra Padmanabhan
Serves 4 – 6
1/4 cup pigeon peas (toor dal)
1 lemon sized ball of tamarind
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp plus 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
3 – 4 tbsp pigeon peas (toor dal)
4 dried red chilies
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1/2 tsp musard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1/4 black peppercorns
2 tsp ghee or oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
1 dried red chill, halved
1 sprig curry leaves
- Wash dal and drain. Place dal in a pressure cooker with 1/2 cup water and cook under pressure for 5 minutes, or bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Whisk dal and set aside.
- Heat oil for spice powder in a frying pan. Add remaining ingredients for spice powder. Fry over low heat, tossing gently till the dal turns folder and the chilies and spices are fragrant. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
- Soak tamarind in 3 cups of water. Extract juice and discard pulp.
- Pour tamarind juice into a pan and add tomatoes. Squash tomatoes roughly. Add whisked dal, green chilies, 1 tbsp coriander leaves, curry leaves and salt. Mix well, place pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower head and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Mix in turmeric powder and spice powder, and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring.
- Heat ghee for tempering in a small pan over moderate heat. Add remaining ingredients for tempering in order given. When the mustard seeds splutter, stir contents of the pan into the dal.
- Garnish with remaining coriander leaves and serve with plain rice.