Monday, June 25, 2018

Panneer Roja Rasam - Lentil and Rose Clear Soup


My brother and his wife are avid gardeners who practice organic gardening at home. I was mesmerized by the beautiful and extremely fragrant Panneer Roses in their lush green garden. Even after my return to Bangalore the fragrance of the roses lingered in my mind, recalling  memories of the flavoursome Panneer Rasam prepared by Chef Sundararaja Iyer.
Nagainallur Sundararaja Iyer  was a famous Chef in the 1970 s and Panneer Rasam was his signature dish. He with his team had served an exotic feast to the invitees during my sister-in-law's grand wedding. Since the guests were bowled over by the unique fragrance of his rasam, it was once again served separately in individual cups so that they could enjoy it to their heart's content. The secret ingredient which enhanced the fragrance of the special rasam was Panneer which was nothing but Rose Water.
I wonder whether it was telepathy! The very next day my sister-in-law posted the picture of Panneer Roja Rasam in our family WhatsApp group. She had prepared the rasam using the organic, pesticide free, fresh Panneer roses from her garden!
Here is the recipe of Panneer Roja Rasam  the most fragrant of all rasams.
Recipe and the picture are by my sister-in-law  Savithri Sumanth. 


Panneer rose - 1
Split pigeon pea/ Tur dal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Tamarind - a plum size ball
Salt - 1 tsp
Rasam powder - 1 tsp
(Asafoetida, curry leaves and coriander leaves are best avoided so that the glorious fragrance of the Panneer Rose remains unmasked.)
1. Wash the Panneer Rose and keep it steeped in 2 glasses of water over night so that the water absorbs the strong scent of the rose.
2. Pressure cook dal with turmeric powder and 1 cup of water. 
3. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice.
4. Add salt and Rasam powder to the extracted tamarind juice and boil till the raw smell disappears.
5. Mash the cooked dal and add it to the boiling rasam and cook for two minutes.
6. Remove the rose and pour the rose scented water in a slow stream into the boiling rasam.
7. Top the rasam with a few rose petals and cover with a lid.
8. Cook on low flame till the rasam is covered with foam and switch off  when the rasam is about to boil.
9. Splutter mustard seeds in one teaspoon of ghee and add the seasoning to the rasam.

Relax and enjoy cups and cups of the Fresh Panneer Roja Rasam while still warm.

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