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.