Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pineapple Rasam

In many south indian households a main meal consists of or must contain sambar. In some households a kootu/thogayal is preferred. I can skip both if I can have some rasam. However I am not one of those that loves to drink rasam. I just prefer it to the other heavier counterparts that contain tamarind.

If you have forgotten, remember the two cups that are there in most south indian wedding lunches - one for rasam and one for payasam. Many oldies get very very upset if they are not asked for seconds for both these items :D 

Back to the focus of this post here - Pineapple Rasam. A sweet yet tangy rasam that gets its unique taste from the pineapple. Addition of the bit of jaggery makes it complete. I especially like this with spicy potato chips sprayed with chilly powder all over but this goes very well mixed with rice with any south indian side vegetable.

Time: 30 min 

Difficulty level: Easy

  • 1 can Dole pineapple tidbits in their own juice
  • 1/4 cup cooked thoor dal
  • a small cherry sized tamarind soaked in water and juice extracted
  • a lemon size jaggery piece
  • salt (to taste)
  • turmeric (a pinch)
  • chilly powder (a pinch)
  • chopped coriander leaves (to garnish)

To temper:
  • ghee ( a tsp)
  • mustard ( 1/2 tbsp)
  • jeera ( 1/2 tbsp)

Method de Preparation:
  1. Cook thoor dal in a pressure cooker with water in the ratio 1:3. Cook well and allow the equivalent of three whistles.
  2. Extract tamarind juice from the pulp. Extract tamarind juice by soaking it in water, squeezing pulp, and repeat till water no longer turns brown in color. Easy way is to heat the tamarind in water for a  min in the microwave. This softens the pulp and allows you to extract the juice easily. This will give u about a cup of tamarind water from the tamarind pulp or the tamarind concentrate in which case just mix it with the water.
  3. Take this in a vessel, add salt and turmeric and allow it to boil. Once heated and raw smell is no longer there, add the thoor dal, chilly powder and allow to cook some.
  4. Then add the pineapple bits (if you like) and the juice. Else just use a blender and mash the entire contents of the tin before adding it to the rasam.
  5. At this point, add the jaggery bits also and allow everything to come together. Turn off heat as soon as the liquid starts to bubble some.
  6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and temper with mustard and jeera spluttered in ghee.
  7. Serve with rice and chips and a good book!

Chef's Tips:
  • Use very little tamarind else the rasam will taste too pulippu :)
  • If at the end you feel sweetness is not enough,add some brown sugar or just plain sugar because the jaggery will not dissolve if added again at the end.


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