Vellanga Rasam

Rasam, a simple dish is a staple in most South Indian homes. Lunch or any special mid day meal is not complete without rasam. I did not have a special liking for rasam when I was growing up. It was available every meal but I don’t remember ever relishing it. All of that changed ofcourse when I came here, I longed for the smell and taste of rasam, especially the Vellanga Rasam. It was always prepared at my grandparent’s house and the smell was heavenly. The herbs and the pepper healed even the worst colds. Seeing Mint Rasam which won second place in the Souper Challenge on Sugar and Spice I was reminded of this rasam. My nose was running and it was time to make this awesome rasam.

Rasam

Herb Powder
1.thuthuvalai (solanum trilobatum)
2.musumusukai (mukiamaderaspatana)
3.chinnathalai (seerathlai, don’t know botanical name)
4.vathanarayanan (delonixelata)
5.karuveppilai. (curry leaves)
All the above are dried and powdered

My mom brought this powder when she came here for a visit, the botanical names and the herb names were all supplied by her. But the above herbs can be substituted with fresh Curry Leaves and Corriander leaves.

Ingredients
1. 4 red pearl onions
2. 3 pods garlic
3. 2 tsp pepper (depends on how spicy)
4. 1/2 tbsp cumin
5. 1/2 tbsp corriander seeds
6. 1 tsp herb powder or 2 sprigs of curry leaves and corriander leaves
7. one small lemon sized tamarind
seasoning
8. 2 pearl onions chopped and mashed, curry leaves, mustard
9. 2 tsp of ghee

grind all the above ingredients with water into a coarse paste or grind 1-6 into a paste and extract the tamarind juice

Method
1. Heat ghee in a pan, add the mustard and curry leaves and when the mustard starts to pop add the onions and saute till translucent.
2. Reduce the flame to slighly below medium, add the ground mixture with 2 cups of water (the consistency should be watery) and enough salt.
3. Boil till small white bubbles start to appear on top.

Serve as a soup or with steamed rice. The smell is amazing and it warms you.

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