Sunday, July 21, 2019



When we talk of the use of rice in South Indian cuisine, the conversation usually turns to the accompaniments of sambar and rasam. There are in fact so many different types of both sambar and rasam. They can be made by using sambar or rasam powder or by grinding the ingredients as in Arachuvitta Sambar.

Today's recipe is for Paruppu Rasam  which has Split Pigeon Peas as its main ingredient. Pigeon Peas are called Paruppu in Tamil, Toor Dal or Arhar Dal in Hindi, Thogari Bele in Kannada and Thori Dali in my mother tongue, Konkani.

This recipe is best enjoyed with steaming hot plain rice.

I have adapted this recipe from cookery expert Smt Chandra Padmanabhan's book, "Simply South."  I have always been impressed by her authentic recipes and am so proud to be her friend.

  • Split Pigeon Peas (Paruppu/Toor Dal), 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind, ball of a medium-sized lime 
  • Turmeric (Haldi) Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Tomatoes, medium-sized, 2,  cut into quarters
  • Jaggery, powdered, 2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 2 tbsp, for garnishing
For the Spice Paste
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Black Peppercorns, (Kali Mirch), 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, (Jeera), 3/4 tsp
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 2
  • Asafoetida (Hing) Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
  • Oil, 1 tsp
For Tempering
  • Ghee/Oil  2 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Dried Red Chilli, broken into halves, 1
  • Curry Leaves, 1 sprig

Wash the toor dal and pressure cook with 1 cup of water for 2-3 whistles
Once the pressure cooker cools, remove and mash the cooked dal. Keep aside
Soak tamarind in 1 and 1/2 cups of water for 10 minutes
Extract the juice and discard the pulp. Keep aside
In a small pan, dry roast the coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns, and cumin seeds on medium heat till the spices give off a good aroma and change colour slightly. Keep aside. 
In the same pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and fry the asafoetida powder and the Byadgi red chillies on medium heat till the asafoetida gives off an aroma and the chillies change colour 
Next, in a mixer jar grind together the fresh coconut gratings along with the roasted spices and the roasted asafoetida and red chillies adding the required amount of water to form a smooth paste. Keep aside.
In a large pan, heat the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, chopped tomatoes, powdered jaggery, and salt and simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes till the raw smell of the tamarind goes
To this, add the cooked dal and the ground spice paste and bring to a boil
Reduce the flame and allow it to simmer for 5-7 minutes stirring from time to time 
Add more water to get the rasam of desired consistency and bring to a boil
In a small pan, heat ghee and on medium heat add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the cumin seeds and when they sizzle add the broken dry red chillies and the curry leaves and saute for a few seconds
Pour this tempering over the rasam
Lastly, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve the Paruppu Rasam hot with plain rice

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