Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mangalore and Madras Rasam!

My friend Saritha, had asked for the recipe for Rasam and I thought I will give the recipe for Mangalore rasam. Alongwith that another type of rasam, which I do at home, often which is very easy to make too!

Now, to the ingredients for Mangalore rasam powder first:

Pepper/Milagu/Kaali mirch

Curry leaves/Kariveppilai/Kadi paththa


Cumin Seeds/Jeeragam/Jeera

Fenugreek seeds/Vendayam/Methi

Coriander Seeds/Dhania

Bengaluru Byadige menasu/Sigappu milagaai/Laal mirch

Now, to the Check list of the ingredients for the Mangalore rasam powder:

1. 100g. Red chillies or 150 g. Byadige menasu (the second one is not hot but gives red colour for the rasam!)

2. 4 tsp. Jeera

3. 4 tsp. Methi

4. 2 cups or 100 g. Dhania

5. 1 tsp. of Pepper

6. 1/2 inch piece of Hing

7. 8-10 twigs of Curry leaves

8. 1 tsp. of Coconut oil


In a hot kadai, pour oil. Add hing first. After it gets roasted, add Chilli, Dhania and curry leaves. After everything becomes crisp, keep them in a plate. Then in the hot kadai (whatever oil is there, is enough), roast Methi first, add Jeera and pepper later. Nothing should get burnt. You can roast one by one too. Pepper should be removed from the stove as soon as you hear one pepper bursting. Otherwise, it becomes bitter.

Powder them after they cool down - warm enough to be crisp, the powder will be smooth. If the ingredients become too cold, the powder will not be smooth.

Now, the recipe for Mangalore rasam:




Checklist for ingredients:

1. One small lemon size Tamarind

2. 1 tsp. Jaggery

3. 1 Tomato (if you add more tomatoes, the tamarind should be less)

4. 1 tbs. of Salt or according to your taste

5. 2 tbs. of cooked toor daal, which is mashed nicely

6. 4 cups of water

7. Coriander leaves

For garnishing:

1. 1 tsp. coconut oil

2. 1/2 tsp. mustard

3. 1/2 tsp. Jeera

4. Curry leaves


1. Soak tamarind in warm water. I keep the tamarind in a small vessel and keep it on the cooker lid and it becomes soft to take the juice when the rice in the cooker is ready!

2. Now, take the juice out of it and pour in a medium sized vessel. The tamarind water can be about 2 cups.

3. You can grind and add or add cut pieces of tomatoes, salt, jaggery and boil for nearly 10 mts.

4. Then add the cooked toor daal and 2 tbs. of Mangalore rasam powder. Mix it well with a ladle.

5. Add more water and coriander leaves. You can add curry leaves now itself or add it while garnishing.

6. As soon as it foams on top, remove the rasam from the stove. It should not boil with bubbles, then the flavour goes.

7. Now, for garnishing...take an iron ladle (if you don't have one, take a small kadai!), add the oil, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. After the mustard bursts, add curry leaves. My maami, whose rasam is famous in our family, just adds one or two tsp. of coconut oil and removes from the stove. No garnishing!

Now, for the Madras rasam:

Let me write this rasam in a short-cut method!

1 to 3 steps should be followed as written in the Mangalore rasam recipe. Add 2 tsp. of the saambaar powder and 1/2 inch piece of hing or 1/2 tsp. of hing powder also in the 3rd step (hing is not included in my saambaar powder but it is, in the Mangalore rasam powder!). Boil for 10 to 15 mts. Add 2 tbs. of cooked toor daal. Mix well. Add another 2 more cups of water and coriander leaves. Boil it till it foams on top and remove from fire and garnish!

Altogether the rasam will be around 1 ltr. Taste it, if you think that it is strong, add some more water. It should be a bit strong for mixing with rice and eating. It should be mild, for just drinking!

If you use old, dark coloured tamarind take less amount for soaking. If the tamarind is new (light in colour), take more.

Only garnishing is different for this. I always keep some rasam garnishing powder, which is done like this:

1. 1/4 cup Jeera

2. 1/4 cup or less, pepper

3. Curry leaves

Dry roast all the 3 ingredients...first jeera, then pepper... roast, after a minute add curry leaves and roast a bit more until the leaves are crisp. Powder it when it cools and store in a bottle.

For garnishing rasam, take 1 tsp. of ghee, add 1/2 tsp. of mustard and 1/4 tsp. of jeera. When it flutters, add a tsp. of the above pepper powder, mix it with a tsp. in the ladle itself and garnish immediately!

Madras rasam is ready!

I always add jaggery for tamarind based recipe. It reduces the too tangy taste of tamarind. And for most of other recipes, I add half tsp. at least of sugar. It acts like ajino-moto...blending together all the tastes!

Hope this recipe is easy to follow. If you have any doubts, feel free to ask me. I will be glad to clear the doubt!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kaththarikkai (Brinjal) curry powder!

Roasted ingredients for Kaththarikkai Curry Powder.

This recipe is for my niece, Apparna!

We call it Kaththarikkai curry powder, but actually this is just 'curry powder'! We can use this powder in any vegetable curry...add a half tsp. with our normal chilli powder, just for giving extra flavour or add just this powder...the taste changes! For Brinjal (kaththarikkai curry), this powder is a must!

Now, to the ingredients:

Red chilli/Sigappu milagaai/Laal mirch

Curry leaves/Kariveppilai/kadi paththa

Bangal gram/Kadalai paruppu/Chana daal


Coriander seeds/dhania

Check list of the ingredients:

1. 100 gms. Red Chillies

2. 1/2 cup Coriander seeds

3. 1/4 cup Bengal gram

4. 6-7 twigs of curry leaves.

5. 1/2 inch piece of Hing (you just pull out a piece...half marble size... from the softened hing, it is difficult to measure it!)

6. 2 tsp. of coconut oil (you can take 1 tsp. also)


In a kadai, heat the oil and drop a half an inch piece of Hing. After it is fried, add Bengal gram, roast a bit. Then add the Coriander, Chillies and Curry leaves. Roast it until everything is crisp. Powder it, after it cools down. Your curry powder is ready!

You can add this powder with some coconut, grind it and mix it in saambaar (araiththu vitta saambaar). Less daal should be used when you add coconut.

Edited to Add: The first picture is added now (18.6.11, 3.24 pm)!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Saambaar Podi - South Indian Style

My friend, Kavita had asked for the recipe of our South Indian Saambaar powder, a couple of weeks back and I took my time to present it here! Hope this is easy to follow, Kavita!

First collect all the 10 ingredients:

1. 250g. Red chilli (long chilli is preferable)/Sigappu milagaai vattral/Laal mirchi
(No need to pluck the 'kaambu' - stalk which is supposed to be hottt!)

1 a. 100g. Kashmiri mirch or Bengaluru byadagi menasu (optional), to give colour!

2. 250g. Coriander seeds/Dhania
(We get slightly green coloured coriander seeds at Nilgiris stores. which smells better and fresh and so, I buy that).

3. 100g. Cumin seeds/Jeeragam/Jeera

4. 100g. Fenugreek/Vendayam/Methi

5. 100g. Mustard/Kadugu/Rai

6. 100g. Black Pepper/Milagu/Kaali mirch

100g. Bengal gram/Kadalai paruppu/Chana daal

100g. Tuvar daal/Tuvaram paruppu

9. 3-4 pieces Turmeric root/Manjal kizhangu/Haldi

10. A big bunch of Curry leaves/Kariveppilai/Kadi pattha

Your saambaar podi is ready!

Ingredients (Check list!):

1. 250g. Red chilli (long chilli is preferable)

1 A. 100g. Kashmiri mirchi or Bengaluru byadagi menasu (optional)

2. 250g. Coriander seeds

3. 100g. Cumin seeds

4. 100g. Fenugreek

5. 100g. Mustard

6. 100g. Black Pepper

7. 100g. Toor daal

8. 100g. Bengal gram

9. 3-4 pieces Turmeric root or 2 tbs. of turmeric powder to be mixed with the saambaar powder.

10. A big bunch of Curry leaves


Collect all the ingredients and dry them on a paper or tray in the sun. I keep everything in a huge aluminium tray, cover it with a thin cloth (tuck the edges under the tray) and dry it. We get many pigeons near our house and they are after the daal in the tray, so we cover it for this reason and to avoid dust!

I dry the curry leaves with the stem as shown in the picture separately because it take a bit more time to dry and mix it with the other ingredients later. Turmeric root should be mashed a bit or else the grinder machinewala might refuse to grind it - just break them with a Mortar & Pestle (too elaborate name in English, so click on this word to see the picture!). Please give me the Hindi name, I have forgotten!

If you don't get enough sunlight or if it is rainy season, you can slightly dry roast all the ingredients, one by one...just enough to dry it, not roast it. The powder will be better if the ingredients are dry and will last longer.

Kashmiri mirchi or byadige menasu is optional. I add it just to give colour to the powder/saambaar. You can increase this chilli more and the other one less, if you are not used to hot and spicy saambaar!

Send it to the dry grinding machine for powdering. When you bring back the powder, it will be hot. Don't cover the lid because the sweat from the hot powder will drip into the powder which might spoil the it in due course. Just cover it with a thin paper until it cools down and then store it in an airtight container (like a tupperware container...I was a dealer once, so the habit doesn't leave me for an opportunity to canvas!). I keep a small quantity, in a small bottle for daily usage so that the freshly ground smell does not leave the powder!

One more tip: We send a cup of tuvar daal in a small container separately to the machine. We ask the drygrinderwala to 'run' this daal through the machine to collect the remaining powder from the machine, which we use while making saambar (the ingredients we use here are too expensive...we can't leave the powder to the machinewala...I used to follow these things like a ritual until a few years back, now don't bother that much!).

2 table spoonfull of powder is enough for a litre of saambaar. You can increase or decrease the quantity as per your taste, gradually.

Hope this recipe is clear and easy to follow. I would be happy if you can give suggestions to improve my presentation.