Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thili Saaru (Udupi rasam/soup)

Did I mention before that we shifted to a new place? We moved to a different locality here. This is our first high floor house (yippee.., we are in 16th floor!). The beautiful & quiet view of the sunrise, orange-ish red evenings & the lights at night is awesome. Greenery, sun & sea is what I see from my balcony. I wake up happily to see the beautiful sun rising. My son enjoys seeing the flights landing & taking off. He sometimes gets overjoyed to see 4-5 flights at a time. (Yes, we are near the Airport). I am really happy with the move we made (though we had to sacrifice the distance from the city!). This is what we see, the moment we open our eyes.
I eagerly wait for the sunrise these days :)

Back from the trance to reality.

Here is the recipe that was waiting for the longest time in my drafts. Every time I wanted to publish this recipe, I would postpone it, just because of the pictures. I wanted to make complete justice for this exquisite dish. I donno how successful I am, in this...

Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins (including the time to pressure cook) 
Recipe source: mom-in-law and sis-in-law.


1. Tomatoes: 2 nos
2. Green chillies: 2 nos
3. Curry leaves: 4-5
4. Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
5. Pigeon peas/toor dal/togari bele: a fistful
6. Thick tamarind extract: 1.5 tsp 
    Tamarind: medium lemon sized ball (soak it in water & extract the juice)
7. Rasam powder: 1 tbsp
8. Thick coconut milk: 1.5 tbsp 
    Thin coconut milk: 1/2 cup
    Milk: 3 tbsp (low fat or full cream milk)
9. Jaggery: 1 tsp (powdered)
10. Salt: According to taste
11. Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp (for garnishing)
12. Water: 3 cups

Ingredients for tempering:
Coconut oil: 1 tsp (Other cooking oils could be used too)
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: a string (6-8 nos)
Asafoetida: a big pinch


  • Wash the tomatoes, green chillies, curry leaves & chop them into finely.
  • Wash the pigeon peas/toor dal. 
  • Add the tomatoes, green chillies, curry leaves, coriander leaves to the pigeon peas. Add a cup of water & pressure cook for 3 whistles. Allow the pressure cooker to cool a bit.
  • Meantime, in a broad vessel add a cup of water. To that add tamarind extract, salt, jaggery & heat it on a medium flame. When the mixture starts boiling, add the cooked pigeon peas mixture & boil it again. 
  • When the mixture just starts to boil again, add the rasam powder, coconut milk or normal milk & boil it on a medium-high heat (Turn off the heat when the rasam reaches the rolling boil state).
  • Prepare the tempering. Heat oil in a small pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter add curry leaves & asafoetida. Turn off the heat & pour the tempering over the rasam prepared.
  • Garnish it with coriander leaves & serve it hot with steaming hot rice, palya, pickle or papad/fritters.


  • Addition of jaggery makes this dish very unique. For authentic taste, do not skip the jaggery.
  • I have made this rasam with coconut milk & with normal milk (full cream or low fat milk). Both taste equally good. However, the actual recipe calls for the freshly extracted thin coconut milk.
  • In case you do not have home made rasam powder, use MTR rasam powder. I have tried with MTR rasam powder too. Tastes good too...

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