Mom's Style Saaru | Rasam

Saaru / Rasam is one of mom's signature dishes. This is my favourite comfort food. Right from my childhood, saaru has been a dish that mom never fails to prepare everyday. Even when there are other dishes to go with steamed rice, Saaru would definitely be placed on the table. The meal is never considered complete until we have this tasty soup.

Sometimes I take this as a soup, something to brighten up my digestive system. On days when I am sick with a severe cold / fever, this soup would warm me up along with mom's care. Then on days when I am not in a mood to eat anything a little bit of this mixed with steamed rice and a pappad was all I could eat!

Now the thing about mom's rasam is that she has been preparing it from a very young age, like-when she was around 12 years old. Grandma fell sick and being the eldest daughter, she took up the cooking job before she left for school.Then when grandma became better ,she still helped her in the kitchen.So all those years of helping and cooking, her dishes are the tastiest.

She makes her own rasam powder and the ingredients are not 'measured'.She just puts in a handful of that, a little of this and roasts them to get a super aromatic mix!When it was time to get married and start cooking on a regular basis, I asked mom for the rasam mix recipe.She eye balled the interesting and I patiently measured them out and wrote them down.But when it came to the actual preparation when I prepared it by myself, it was not as tasty as mom's!!So now I make a habit of taking back a pack of rasam mix when ever I visit her.

Keeping in view the theme of BM this week, I thought the pic that I had posted for mom's rasam recipe way back in Nov. 2008 did not do justice to the dish.So here I am with a brand new pic for her recipe.

The vessel that is used to prepare rasam is called 'seestha kanchu' or eya chombu. It is made of lead!We are aware of the effects of lead when consumed but our fore fathers made vessels of lead and cooked food in it to get a super flavor without poisoning our system.Well, the vessel is not made entirely of lead but is an alloy of lead and tin.

A couple of days back we went to buy a new eya chombu in exchange for the old one. We were shocked to learn that the old vessel that was more heavier and larger that the one we wanted to buy was taken in for just INR 200!The new one ,the one you see in the click above, was just half the size of the old one and lighter too cost INR 900!!Since nothing beats the taste of rasam prepared in this vessel, mom got one .

We have to be very careful while cooking food in this vessel. It melts when kept on high flame.Yes, it will melt and all you can see is a blob of metal on the stove! It is advisable to put something to cook into the vessel and then light the stove and cook the whole dish on simmer mode.

Having said all this, it is time to go to the recipe....

You need:

Toor dhal-1/2 cup
Tomato - 1 large
Rasam powder-1 1/2 teaspoons
Tamarind-small lemon size
Asafoetida-a pinch
Curry leaves-a few
Coriander leaves-1 tablespoon ,finely chopped
Salt- to taste


Ghee-1 teaspoon
Mustard-1/2 teaspoon
Jeera / cumin seeds-1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder- a pinch

  1. Pressure cook dhal  with enough water.Half the tomato and put it into the vessel in which the dal is being cooked.Once the dal is cooked, remove the tomato and mash well and keep aside
  2. Remove the skin form the cooked tomato and mash roughly. 
  3. Make a thick extract of tamarind and take 5 tablespoons of it in a heavy bottom vessel.
  4. Put in rasam powder,curry leaves and asafoetida and blanched and mashed tomato,salt.Let it boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Pour the dal into the tamarind mixture.
  6. Add a little water if it is too thick.
  7. Let it boil ,stir once or twice and simmer till foam arises.Make sure that the foam does not boil over as the foam is full of flavor.
  8. Remove from heat.Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Heat ghee in a small kadai / pan and when hot put in jeera and mustard and a pinch of asafoetida powder.
  10. When the mustard crackles remove from heat and pour over the rasam.Enjoy the aroma of the sizzling rasam!
Serve hot with steamed rice drizzled with ghee and some fried crisps...

Note :

Tomorrow I will be back with another click and post from the past..

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#17

Bon Appetit...

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