Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rukmini's Chettinadu Takkali Rasam - Thin Tomato Soup

Rukmini's Chettinadu Takkali Rasam - A Thin Tomato Soup bursting with Flavour!

Rukmini is an excellent host and she pampers us with a lavish spread of delicious dishes whenever we went to our native village Seeplaputhur. Her meticulously prepared Chettinadu style puttus, idiappams, paniarams, and kummayam (will share these recipes later!) are our favourite dishes. Her piping hot vegetable biriani and vazha poo (banana flower) curry usually brings out the glutton in us, and we end up tucking in far more than is good for us!
The Takkali Rasam she prepares acts in a three fold manner – as an appetizer , as the second course of the meal with hot rice, and finally as a digestive at the end of the meal as well! After noticing our capacity for imbibing her rasam, she started preparing it in a huge ‘pittalai adukku’.
A Pittalai adukku is a brass vessel which is coated with a tin layer inside, and was commonly used for cooking in the by-gone days. They came in sets of various sizes which could be fitted one inside another thus demanding less storage space. The sizes start from the smallest one- the size of a glass, and it would go up to the size of a huge cauldron. These sets were given to a new bride by her parents to enable her to start her own kitchen at her new home.
Unlike most young children my, grand daughter relishes and appreciates flavourful and spicy food! On a recent visit to our village, she spoke out our thoughts as she licked her fingers “Rukmini’s rasam is too good and I feel like going on and on eating!”

Red ripe tomatoes – 4

Tamarind – one small lime size
Salt – 2 tsps
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Rasam powder – 1 tsp ( I use my sambar powder)
Tur dal (Red gram dal) – 4tbsps
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Curry leaves – a few
Fresh coriander leaves – for garnishing
Black pepper – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Garlic – 4 pods
Ghee – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
1. Wash and cut tomatoes into cubes, and soak it along with the tamarind in boiling water. 

2. Meanwhile, pressure cook dal and turmeric powder, with one glass of water, to get a watery dal (paruppu kattu).
Note: If you are planning to make Sambhar as well, add additional water to the dal, and just pour out the liquid into a separate vessel, leaving behind the heavy dal. The liquid is called paruppu kattu – or a dal stock)

3. Squeeze the tomatoes and the tamarind together and extract the juice.
4. Add salt, asafoetida, rasam powder and curry leaves to the extract, and boil it till the raw smell disappears.
5. Now add the paruppu kattu, to the extract. Pour in more water to make up a volume of four glasses of rasam (one litre). You may see some froth beginning to develop on the top.
6. Turn down to low flame.
7. Crush pepper, cumin seeds and the garlic pods coarsely (preferably using a mortar and pestle, else use your mixie) and add it to the rasam. 8. Add fresh coriander leaves and leave the rasam on low flame till it gathers a lot of foam on top. 9. A critical step - DO NOT ALLOW THE RASAM TO BOIL as it will lose its flavour. As rasam reaches boiling point, it will rise to the top, similar to milk. At that point switch off the stove and keep the rasam covered to seal in the flavours.
10. To season the rasam, heat ghee and add mustard seeds.
11. When mustard splutters, add it to the Takkali Rasam.

Enjoy the aroma and relish rasam glass after glass!

This post goes to the RCI Chettinad an event that was started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisines, and is currently hosted by Srimathi at Few Minute Wonders.

21 Post your Comments:

Asha said...

After I made my Chettinadu thali, I am in love with that cuisine. Rasam looks so wonderful, thin and flavorful. Hope you post more Chettinadu dishes, specially veg. Biryani! :))

YOSEE said...

I'd love to become Rukmini's student ! The family will surely welcome it too !

Unknown said...

Hot and spicy rasam like this is bliss on cold evenings...looks wonderful :-)

Finla said...

Just pass me that glass, i would sit and enjoy it, super yumm.

Suganya said...

This sound so traditional. Nice recipe. Looks so good. So mouthwatering. YUM!

Chitra said...

wow..iam salivating:)Really want to taste:)I make this rasam with some variations.Will surely gonna try next time.Hope my people like this:)

Jayashree said...

I can imagine how one would want to go on and on drinking that rasam.

S.R.Ramachandran said...

We make it a point to travel to our ancestor's village once a month for having Rukmani's sappad especially her Rasam. appa

jayasree said...

Lipsmacknig rasam. Nice step-by-step pics. Have one set (5 pcs) of similar pichalai adukku inherited from my MIL.

TestingSalesforce said...

wowe...sooper looks yummy. I would love to get pitallai aduku,once I go to india will get one and come.

Jayashree said...

Tried out both this and your orange peel gojju. Thank you.

Deepthi Shankar said...

i love chettinadu cuisine .. yummy rasam there

Uma said...

mmm. mouth-watering rasam. Spicy and yummy!

sra said...

I make a tomato rasam too, usually without the dal. I don't even strain the tomatoes, just eat them that way.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the receipe. The pictures are great too.

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Sunshinemom said...

I make it exactly the same way and in an eyya chombu:) Tastes so good and drives away cold too!

FewMinute Wonders said...

Hi Chitra,

Thank you so much for sending in your entry to the event. Sorry it took me a while to post the round up and send u a comment. The rasam looks wonderful and the vessel that you have used makes it totally tasty

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful recipe. I just made this for lunch and everybody just loved it!

Palanippan said...

This Rasam recipe is super. I'm in my first trimester and was longing for rasam ever since I got back from India. You've made my day!!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this site.
My mother passed away last year. While I have some of her recipes written down, a lot of what I learnt was by helping her in the kitchen. I miss phoning her to go over how to prepare certain dishes, or how a dish came out.
It is nice to know I have this site for reference.
God bless you.

Chitra Amma's Kitchen said...

Dear Rekha,
There is no substitute for mother's love.I appreciate your sentiments.

Thank you for your kind mail and I am happy that you have found this blog useful.

Wish you all the best. Chitra.