Dal Rasam/ Dal Soup is an age old traditional recipe, very similar to western soup recipes. It is a very simple, easy & quick dish prepared at every home in India especially in South India. It is a super healthy dish, every ingredient added in this dish has healing/medicinal properties. It is a warming comforting soup, keeps you warm, heals you from within if you are under the weather & also promotes digestion if you want to get your system clean/healthy. It is our go to recipe when any of our loved one are unwell.
Delicate, warming spices like cumin, pepper are sautéed in little oil along with slightly crushed garlic, curry leaves, dry red chillies, tamarind pulp, then cooked mashed dal/lentil & tomato is added along with water, then fresh coriander leaves are torn & dropped. It is brought to rolling boil & in the end it is finished by adding ghee/clarified butter.
It is traditional served with hot rice or to be had as a hot drink. Please do give it a try. Prepare it for yourself, your loved ones or for an unwell friend/neighbour.
- 4-5 Tbsp or little less than ½ cup – Toor Dal/Split Pigeon Peas
- 2 ½ Cups – water (to soak, cook dal/lentils)
- ½ Tsp – Castor Oil
- ¼ Tsp – Turmeric Powder
- 1 Lime size – Tamarind or ¼ cup – Tamarind pulp
- ½ Cup – Water (to make tamarind pulp)
- 1 Medium – Tomato
- 2 Glasses – Water (to make Dal/lentil watery)
Ingredients for seasoning:
- 2 Tsp – Oil
- ½ Tsp – Mustard & Cumin/Jeera
- ¼ Tsp – Asafoetida
- 2 Tsp – Cumin (coarsely ground)
- 1 Tsp – Pepper (coarsely ground)
- 3-4 – Dry Red Chillies
- 10-15 – Curry leaves
- ¼ Cup – Garlic Cloves (with skin slightly crushed)
- 1 Tsp – Salt or as required
- A handful – Fresh Coriander leaves/ Sprigs
- 1 Tsp – Ghee
- Rinse & soak Dal/lentils in 2 cups of water for atleast ½ hour.
- Take a lime size tamarind place it in a bowl & add ½ cup water & let it soak for 10-15 minutes.
- After 10 -15 minutes mash the tamarind in water & remove the pith.
- Add soaked dal & water into a pressure cooker.
- Add ½ cup more water or as required (water level needs to be slightly more than dal).
- Add turmeric, castor oil, tomato (tomato cut into four pieces).
- Cover with lid & let it come to boil.
- Once it comes to boil lock lid & let it make 3 whistles.
- After it makes 3 whistles, turn off heat & let pressure reduce completely, then open lid.
- Now we slightly mash tomato with back of a spoon.
- Then with a whisk mash dal slightly (it is important dal needs to be cooked well).
- Transfer it into a bowl & add 2 glasses of water into pressure cooker, mix & pour into the bowl.
- Mix the dal & set it aside (dal needs to watery for this dish).
- Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan (please keep heat on low).
- Add oil, mustard, cumin, asafoetida.
- As mustard splutters add dry red chillies (you can tear it or add it as a whole for less heat).
- Add curry leaves & sauté.
- Now add slightly garlic cloves & sauté (you can add a whole head of garlic cloves too).
- Since the spices are very delicate please turn off heat if pan is very hot.
- We add coarsely ground cumin/jeera & pepper (you can use mortar & pestle for this).
- Sauté & then add tamarind pulp (if tamarind pulp is thick please add few tbsp water).
- Please take caution while adding tamarind pulp, if you pan is hot turn off heat add pulp & then turn on heat.
- Add salt & we let tamarind pulp cook for a minute to remove its raw flavour.
- After a minute add the dal we set aside earlier.
- We let it come to boil (please turn heat to medium).
- As it starts to boil we tear coriander sprigs/leaves & drop into the dal mixture.
- We let it come to rolling boil.
- Once it comes to rolling boil the foam will slowly go down.
- The turn off heat (the foam will reduce as it sits or skim it out if you wish).
- Now add ghee, mix & let it sit for a minute.
- Ready to serve.