Friday, October 23, 2009
It is once again time to throw open the doors to My Kitchen Café and this month, I am happy to have another fellow food blogger and good friend here.
Harini who blogs at Tongue Ticklers is someone whose posts are nice combination of a humourous writing style, good food and pictures. Rather than talk about her, I will let you get to know her through this post and her blog.
Harini is here with her own brand of sunshine and some warm Mysore Rasam.
Phewwwww…. Am I glad to be writing my post here instead of my own space! Why?
There! You got me tumbling down memory lane again!
All the events in my life so far are marked as B.M and A.M. B.M refers to childhood, the phase before marriage (Seen ‘Everybody loves Raymond’? – Ray Romano remains a child to the very end) and A.M as you must have guessed refers to after marriage when I turned an adult in some sense of the word.
During the B.M era my family was always on the move, hardly staying in a place for more than a year. So I love seeing new faces, mingling among new people and making new friends. Though I love every other thing about the ongoing A.M phase, the one thing I really miss is changing homes! All the training relating to packing and unpacking has gone waste! I don’t get to do many of the things I loved doing earlier – nailing walls, unpacking delicate stuff so that I could play with the bubble wraps or hunt for my own secret corner in the new house.
Appearing on Aparna’s blog is hence a whiff of freshness after posting for long from my own blog! More so because I am in the company of all the stuff that only a loving home is made of – good food, the hum of the oven and the smell of sugar and spice! It also means meeting some old friends, some new people and making more friends! It is like going over to the other side of the fence and finding greener grass.
The traditional Indian thing would have been to bring along sweets but seeing that Aparna makes so much variety and confesses that she hardly has any, I decided to bring along something savoury and spicy. I hope you will enjoy the traditional mysore rasam.
Rasam is a traditional South Indian spiced soup. The humblest variety is the molagu rasam or molagu tanni which is now famous the world over as mulingtawny soup. The variation I bring to you today is Mysore rasam. I make it quite often but it seems to always taste better when I have a cold or cough as it really warms up the throat. It is comfort food at its best. You can just have swigs of it or mash it up with rice – either way it is sure to pep you up!
Mysore Rasam as adapted from Lifco’s ‘How to cook?’
A little about the book:
‘How to cook’ is authored by Vedavalli Venkatachary and was recommended by my mama (maternal uncle) who happens to be a connoisseur of good food and is an excellent cook himself. It is one of the best books I have ever come across when it comes to Indian vegetarian cooking. Priced ridiculously low(Rs.16 in 1995), it gives you about 200 authentic South Indian recipes. The only drawback is that it does not include typical Iyer recipes from Palakkad but then, asking that too at this price would be too much!
If you are looking for great pictures and excellent paper quality the book falls flat but who cares when the recipes turn out great, isn’t it? Don’t judge the book by its cover, just buy it if you find it somewhere!
Time taken: 10 minutes excluding the time taken to cook the pulses
Yield: About ½ to ¾ litre
Serves: 5 people if you can limit those swigs to one cup!
Tuvar dal (Pigeon peas) cooked – 1 cup
Tamarind extract (thick saucy consistency)/Imli ka gooda – 1tbsp
Salt to taste/Namak
A pinch of turmeric powder (optional)/Haldi
B – To roast and powder
Dry red chillies/Sukhi lal mirch – 4(As per taste)
Coriander seeds/Saboot dhania – 1tsp
Black Peppercorns/Kali mirch – ½ tsp
Bengalgram/Chana dal – 1tsp
Pigeon peas/Tuvar dal – 1tsp
Asafoetida/Hing – 1/8 tsp
Cumin seeds/Jeera – ½ tsp
C - Seasoning:
Sesame seed oil/ghee – 1tsp
Mustard /Rai – 1tsp
Green chillies (broken into two bits or minced lightly) – 2
Dilute the tamarind extract with ¼ litre water, add salt and turmeric powder and boil.Mash the cooked pigeon peas well so that the pulses are no longer visible separately and set aside.
Dry roast the ingredients under ‘B’ and grind to a fine powder in a spice/coffee grinder.
Add the ground masala to the boiling solution and simmer in low fire for about five minutes. Add the mashed dal/pulses to the solution above. Bring the mixture to about ¾ litre by adding enough water.
Remove from fire when it froths from the sides. Do not let the soup overflow as the flavours will be lost. Add roughly chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves.
Heat a tsp. of sesame seed oil / ghee (clarified butter) and splutter mustard and green chillies.
Pour over the frothy rasam and serve hot as a soup or have it with rice and any dry side dish.
Aparna has a wonderful array of side dishes that complement the rasam well. Do not forget however that I would love to have you over at my virtual space too!
Meanwhile I hope you enjoy having a look at my flickr favourites which happens to another favourite virtual haunt of mine!
The copyright for this post and photographs rest with Harini Prakash of Tongue Ticklers,and are reproduced here with her permission.