Does anyone remember the erstwhile Anant Mahadeven starer "Ghar Jamai" on TV. The series was revamped with actor Madhavan in the lead for Zee TV in the early 2000's. Anant Mahadevan used to wear a T shirt which said " I love Rasam". I could actually relate to the t-shirt. A simple and easy to make dish like Rasam is an exemplary trademark of a decent Tamil saapadu.
I make 11 different permutations of rasam. Most common ones being, paruppu potta tomato rasam, poondu rasam, arachu vitta rasam, vepamboo rasam, lemon rasam, and killu milagai rasam etc. One of my favorties is the mysore rasam, which is a slight variation of the arachu vitta rasam (or vice versa). I learnt this recipe from a friend's mother while in class 8. I used to have my "box" lunch in their house and invariably ate something from their kitchen in the bargain.(chuckle)...
The recipe is fairly simple. This is exactly aunty's version of the mysore rasam. Before we jump to the recipe, here is a peak at my bowl of mysore rasam.
Instead of cooking tur dal in a pressure cooker, pre soak it for an hour or so and fine grind it with dry roasted coriander seeds, coconut, jeera, milagu, dry chilli, a tsp of til and curry leaves. Add this to required amount of tamarind water, salt, haldi and tomatoes (optional). The rest of the recipe is to just boil the yummy mix and temper it with mustard seeds, red chilli, jeera and hing. A special bonus would be to use ghee for tempering any rasam. YUMMY.... It is a food for your soul...Hey, I am not exaggerating. Try it to believe me!