Sunday, September 11, 2011

Amma's Rasam + Beans Poriyal - Virundhu Saapadu Series

Every Vinayagar Chaturthi it's a dad-daughter ritual between me and appa to go buy the Vinayagar from the market place. Every street has rows over rows of Vinayagar murtis in different avatars. And I always chose the fattest and cutest Vinayagar. Appa would carry him home on the pooja thaali and thus begins each Vinayagar Chaturthi. I've lost count of the number of Vinayagar Chaturthi's I've missed since I moved out. This year was particularly difficult because I've had a long period of home-sickness that doesn't seem to go away; even with my sister visiting me so often. So this year, I made a promise to myself that I would try and re-create the "virundhu saapadu" that amma and appa make for every festival at home. This is the first post in that thread and I sure do hope to see more in the coming weeks.

This weekend Kupy got me started with the rasam + beans poriyal combo which is a go-to lunch for me when I'm sick. Which by the way I am though; caught a nasty cold over the end of the week and had to miss school and work on Friday. So Kupy decided to make amma's famous rasam and we picked up some beans at the Farmer's market on Saturday; Sunday lunch was thus fated in a way.

What follows is ONE of the ways to make rasam and personally for me, the ONLY way to make rasam :)

Tamarind - lemon sized ball or 1/2 teaspoon instant paste
Tuar dal - 1/4 cup
Tomatoes - 1 roma tomato
Garlic - 2 cloves
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Hing/Asafoetida - a generous pinch
Ghee - 1 teaspoon
Rasam powder - 2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - as needed
Salt - to taste

1. Soak the tamarind in some warm water for about 15 - 20 mins. Crush and extract the tamarind seeds and pulp to get tamarind water (should measure to about 1 cup). Alternatively, take a cup of water and dissolve upto 1/2 tsp tamarind paste.
2. Place a rounded bowl on the stove with the tamarind water and some salt. Wait for the first boil.
3. Cook the tuar dal in enough water (1/2 to 3/4 cups) and mash well with a rounded spoon.
4. Add the cooked tuar dal to the tamarind water along with rasam powder and pepper powder.
5. Crush the garlic. Cut the tomatoes into large pieces and microwave for 1 to 2 mins on HIGH. Add this to the mix along with the crushed garlic. Add salt to taste and let it boil for about 10 mins on MEDIUM. By this time all the spices should have blended well. Taste to make sure that the flavoring is right.
6. Take ghee in a small kadai and splutter mustard seeds in it. Then add the hing and curry leaves. Add this tadka over the rasam and stir it in. Garnish with freshly chopped coariander leaves.

Beans Poriyal
Beans - 250 gms
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal (split) - 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies - 2
Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Coconut (shredded) - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1/2 to 1 tsp
Salt - to taste

1. Wash and finely chop the beans into small round pieces.
2. Place the beans with 1/2 cup water in a pan/vessel. Cover and cook until the beans is soft yet firm to the touch.
3. Remove the beans in a bowl.
4. Heat oil in the same pan/vessel and splutter the mustard seeds. Break the red chillies into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the oil along with the spli urad dal. Mix for 10 seconds or so until the urad dal is slightly browned. Be careful not to burn them at this point.
5. Now add the cooked beans and mix well. Add the red chilli powder and salt and mix well. Taste to make sure the seasoning is right.
6. Let it fry for about 5 minutes while stirring continuously. Remove from stove and add the shredded coconut. Mix well and serve with hot rice and rasam.

Amma :)

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