Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Mysore Rasam - A Spicy And Fragrant Thick Lentil Soup

MYSORE RASAM
 Bhattru and his team would arrive without fail to cook a grand feast for all occasions at my mother's place. Preparations for the feast would start the previous evening itself when  the whole atmosphere would be engulfed by the fragrance of the freshly prepared Saaru Pudi / Rasam powder. Bhattru was kind enough to give me the list of ingredients he used in the preparation of his special Saaru Pudi / Rasam Powder. I used Bhattru's list of spices to prepare my favourite Mysore Rasam. Combined with fresh coconut gratings  it had a 'wow' effect! The fragrance it emanated was really mind blowing! 


INGREDIENTS
Split pigeon peas/ Tur dal - 1 cup
Tamarind - A  plum size ball
Tomatoes - 2 ( chopped)
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Salt - 1 tsp or more to taste
Coriander leaves - for garnishing
FOR SEASONING
Ghee - 1tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
INGREDIENTS  FOR ROASTING AND GRINDING
Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Split Black gram dal/Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Red chillies ( preferably Byadagi) - 6
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - leaves from two twigs + 1 whole twig
Fresh Coconut gratings - 4 tbsps
METHOD
1. Wash the dal and add 2 cups of water and turmeric powder. 
2. Add tamarind, half of the chopped tomatoes and water to a small cup and place it in a corner of the dal vessel.
3. Pressure cook until three whistles until the dal becomes mushy.


4. Heat oil in a pan and add Coriander seeds, Urad dal, Pepper, Fenugreek seeds, and Cumin seeds  followed by red chillies.
5. Gently  roast on low flame till the spices emanate a very pleasant aroma.
6. Add asafoetida and roast till it becomes flavoursome.
7. Add curry leaves and roast till it becomes crisp.
8. Let the roasted spices cool down.
9. Grind the roasted spices into a fine powder.
10. Continue to grind with fresh coconut gratings adding little water until it gets a chutney like consistency.
TO MAKE THE RASAM
1. Take out the dal from the cooker and mash well.
2. Squeeze out the juice of the cooked tamarind and chopped tomatoes into the dal.
3. Add salt, the remaining chopped tomatoes and and the whole curry leaf twig. 
4. Blend in the spice and coconut paste and bring it to a boil.
5. Add one glass of water and cook on low flame till the rasam becomes foamy.
6. Switch off before it boils over and garnish with coriander leaves.
7. Heat  ghee and splutter the mustard seeds and pour it over the flavoursome Mysore Rasam.


This is a thick Rasam and the consistency is more like a thin version of Sambar. On days when I make Mysore Rasam we do not have Sambar or any other kozhambu for that matter. "Kalakkiyaa? Teluvaa?"is the usual question popped at you while Rasam is served. Kalakki means well stirred and Teluva is the clear and thin Rasam which stands on top of the Rasam vessel. Enjoy the well stirred Mysore Rasam or Kalakkina Mysore Rasam  with hot rice topped with a spoon of fresh ghee. You are sure to be in the seventh heaven while savouring the delicacy!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Whole Cauliflower Masala

WHOLE CAULIFLOWER MASALA
It is my habit to get the clicks of all the dishes I cook. When I was casually browsing through my album the pictures of  Whole Cauliflower Masala caught my eye. This was prepared for my dear grand daughter long time ago. I immediately posted the picture with a 'Can you guess the dish' caption in my Facebook page and I was amused by the diverse guesses that poured in. Here comes the recipe of WHOLE CAULIFLOWER MASALA!


INGREDIENTS


Cauliflower - 1 (Medium size)
Onion - 2 big
Tomatoes - 4 or more if they are small
Ginger - 1''piece
Garlic - 2 cloves
Cashew nuts - 10
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame oil  - 3 tbsps
Sambar powder - 2 tsps
( I like to use my Sambar powder instead of Chilly powder, Dania  powder, Cumin powder and turmeric powder separately.)
Powdered cinnamon,cardamom and cloves - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 2 tsps
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish
METHOD
TO PREPARE THE CAULIFLOWER
1. Remove the leaves and the thick stem of Cauliflower taking care to keep the head intact.
2. Soak Cauliflower in warm water and salt for at least fifteen minutes.
3. Drain and wash thoroughly.
4. Steam the Cauliflower in a pressure cooker for about ten to fifteen minutes till it is just done.
TO PREPARE THE MASALA
5. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai and add the chopped ginger and garlic followed by chopped onion.
6. When the onion becomes transparent add chopped tomatoes and cashew nuts.
7. Cover and cook stirring now and then till the tomatoes are soft.


8. Allow the sauteed ingredients to cool and then grind them into a fine paste.
9. Heat  the rest of the oil in the same kadai and add the cumin seeds.
10. Pour the ground masala into the kadai and add salt, sambar powder, sugar and the spice powder.


11. Cook till it emanates a very pleasant aroma.
12. Place the steamed Cauliflower with its head side immersed in the gravy.


13. Simmer for 2 minutes and flip it gently and allow to simmer for another minute before switching off flame.
14. Gently remove the Cauliflower into a serving dish.
15. Pour the remaining masala gravy over the Cauliflower.
16. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.


Cut the Whole Cauliflower Masala as you would cut a cake using a sharp knife and enjoy it with plain rice, Jeera rice or rotis.