Ordinary Rasam

Course : Curry
Serves: 4
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3 tablespoons red gram dal -- (pigeon peas, toor d - picked over and washed
1 cup water
2 medium tomatoes -- diced
1 bunch a lemon-sized piece of tamarind pulp
1/2 teaspoon asafetida powder
2 teaspoons rasam powder
1 teaspoon salt -- to taste
2 1/2 cups water -- (extra)
1 bunch coriander leaves -- to garnish
2 teaspoons ghee
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium red chile -- halved
1 bunch a few curry leaves

Preparation / Directions:

Wash red gram dal well. Drain. Place in a heavy saucepan. Cover with 1 cup water and bring to the boil. When boiling, cover pan with a lid, leaving slightly ajar. Lower the heat and simmer dal gently for 1 1/2 hours. Stir several times during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Set dal aside without draining. Dice the tomatoes. Place in a heavy saucepan with the tamarind pulp, asafetida powder, rasam powder, and salt to taste. Add 1 cup water. Crush the contents of the pan together. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the undrained cooked dal and the remaining 1 1/2 cups water to the rasam. Bring to the boil. Tempering: Heat 2 teaspoons ghee in a heavy frying pan or skillet. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, halved red chile powder, and a few curry leaves. When the mustard seeds splutter, add this mixture to the rasam. Garnish the rasam with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

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