Friday, January 3, 2014

Bele saaru | Toor dal rasam | Pigeon peas Soup: Karnataka Recipes

Wishing all my readers a very happy 2014!

Let me update you guys about our weight loss. As promised to myself, I did not cook any deep fried dishes for the month of December. We did eat junk food once a while at parties, but tried to avoid it as much as possible. We limited our intake of cakes & other desserts too. Without any exercise & eating healthy, we both could reduce about 4+ pounds. We are happy with the results & would plan to continue doing it.

Back to the recipe.I have spoken a lot about my in-law's side cooking & I have learnt a lot from them. However, there are many classic recipes from my mom's side that I miss terribly. This bele saaru is one of them. I'm making this rasam frequently these days. Looks like it is time I visit my mom's place :)

This is how my mom prepares bele saaru or rasam.

(I served rasam with rosematta rice & zucchini palya/stirfry)

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 3-4

Toor dal | Pigeon peas | Thogari bele: 1/2 cup
Tomatoes: 2 nos, medium sized
Grated coconut: 2 tsp, fresh or frozen
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Rasam powder/saarina pudi: 2 tsp, refer notes
Tamarind paste: 1/2 tsp (refer notes)
Jaggery/Brown sugar/bella: 1 tsp
Salt: As needed
Asafoetida: a big pinch
Turmeric powder: a big pinch

For the tempering:
Ghee/Clarified butter/Cooking oil: 2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 3-4 nos, torn
Asafoetida: a pinch
Wash the pigeon peas, cut the tomato in half.
Add about 1.5 cups of water to the washed pigeon peas. Throw in the cut tomato to the pigeon peas. Add the turmeric to it & pressure cook the pigeon peas & tomatoes for 3-4 whistles. Let the cooker cool.

Once the pressure is released from the cooker, take out the cooked peas.

Mash the tomatoes & pigeon peas thoroughly. (refer notes)
Pour the mashed dal to a sauce pan. Adjust the consistency (Add about a cup or more of water!). Add the rasam powder, salt, tamarind paste, brown sugar, asafoetida, coriander leaves & coconut to the mashed dal. Boil it on medium heat for 15 mins.

Remove from the heat.
Heat ghee/oil in a small pan. When ghee is hot, throw in the mustard seeds. When seeds splatter, add the curry leaves. When leaves wilt, turn off the heat & add the asafoetida. Pour the tempering over the prepared saaru/rasam & cover the rasam with a lid immediately. Let it sit for 5 mins. The tempering will infuse a nice flavor to the rasam.
Serve the rasam/saaru hot with steamed rice & fritters (or some vegetable side dish like palya).

  • If the tomatoes are sour, you might need less tamarind paste. Adjust the tamarind paste accordingly.
  • If you do not like the skin of the tomatoes in the rasam, you could mash the tomatoes separately & strain them.
  • You could use store bought rasam powder. MTR rasam powder works best!

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