Guest Blogging # 5 - Tomato Rasam by Chethana

Hello to all Aps Kitchen readers,
A year back I had wonderful guests sharing their wonderful recipes, just like that I thought this year I will welcome more guests and showcase their wonderful recipes here in Aps Kitchen.
Its more than 5 years I have never blogged about tomato rasam here in my blog. The reason is I always have not got the right shot for it. I have n number of pictures but all not upto the mark. Now that doesn’t mean all my photos are awesome ;) . getting a rasam snap is not a easy task for me ;).
Let us move on to today’s guest, she is a lovely lady, a darling and my good friend Chethana.
I’ve known her since school times, she was not my school mate or classmate but we were commuting friends and our friendship grew as years passed by. This lady is multi talented I must say. She turns a piece of cloth into a crayon pouch or waste papers into a basket and what not. Not only this she is a crochet designer she just loves doing it. You are a super girl Chetu J.

Coming to her recipe, when I asked her what she makes the best she said rasam is one of the best one she makes. I know Rasam is such a simple thing but simple can be awesome isn’t it?


Now over to Chethana.
Aps Kitchen. It has been a huge savior for me ever since it came into being. when i got married,5 years back, all i knew to make was whole moong usli and panpolo. don't even ask me about different types of curries and ghashis...i used to be overwhelmed. As time passed, Aparna's blog recipes have become a regular visit for me and have become as dependable as Jaya v Shenoy 
's book that my mum gave me. (i am sure most of us konkanis have a copy of her book. my mum did and so do i.) However if i have any doubts, its Aparna i turn to,apart from my mum. She is the best person with who i clear doubts no matter how silly they are and even learn new recipes everyday from. And i must say she has done a commendable job despite have a boisterous three and a half year old along with another cutie baby. (it is a commendable job, as i,with justone three and a half year old feel like screaming all the time.) How do u do it Aparna? And i must say i was so honouredwhen she asked me to do a guest post that i almost leapt at the opportunity (lest she change her mind, i mean,  I ask HERabout basic recipes even now!) cause honestly ,not all can be as good as she is. Right?

Well after lot of consideration (read: asking and literally harrassing a lot of people, what i make best!) i decided to make my version of tomato rasam. i remember aparna once mentioning that, for her, it was her comfort food. upkari, rasam and rice. I so agree with her, cause it seems to be my comfort food as well and something that i tend to make often in my home as well. i love tomatoes but unfortunately, my hub, having had too much of it while growing up, loathes it. Imagine the trying times in my home. Sigh! so i come up with different ways to make it. this one is my favorite way of doing it. I mixed rasam powder along with tomato saaru and voila! my version of tomato rasam was concocted. common, who doesn't mix up methods to try and see what is the result! right? Experiments is what keeps us home makers sane i feel... and keeps us from screaming when asked cant u make anything else??? But mind you, i have variations even for this (i can experiment endlessly). But do not worry, this is a tried, tested and a hit recipe with which no one cant go wrong. even if u tried to. Do try and let us both know!

My version of the tomato rasam

Ingredients:
To boil together
Tomatoes 2 nos
Garlic cloves 3-4 cloves
Green chillies 2 nos
Salt as per taste

To Dry Roast and Powder
Peppercorns 4-5 corns
Cumin seeds/jeera 1 tsp

To add to the rasam:
Rasam powder 2tsp (increase or decrease depending upon how spicy you want it to be)
Tamarind (optional/as per taste)
Asafoetida/hing
Dry roasted n powdered jeera and pepper, prepared above
Jaggery (optional)

To Temper:
Oil 
Mustard seeds
Red chillies
Asafoetida/hing
Rasam Powder 1tsp

Method:

1. Boil tomatoes garlic n green chillies along with salt till tomatoes are well done. Once cool, remove the garlic pods, discard the skin and retain the pulp of the garlic, remove green chillies and blend the rest well.

2. Keep the above for boiling. Add salt if required, little jaggery, the green chillies, along with hing/asafoetida and the rasam powder and bring it to a good boil. Check for seasoning. u can add tamarind if u feel the tangy taste of tomatoes is not enough.

3. In a tempering pan dry roast jeera/cumin seeds along with peppercorn till the cumin/jeera stop spluttering... powder it. it can be as coarse or fine as per ones taste. Add this to the boiling rasam.

4. For tempering: in a small pan heat oil add mustard seeds.. Once they have stopped spluttering add red chillies a little bit of hing/asafoetida and rasam powder... n immediately temper the rasam. check if all the spices and salt are balanced. Enjoy it hot.


Other notes:
On special occasion when garlic can’t be eaten u can avoid it, u get a slightly different taste however it is equally enjoyable.
Tamarind is not necessary however i like tangy rasam. use as per personal preference.
Using hing n rasam powder while tempering gives a slight different taste... does try it once if it doesn't suit you you can avoid it. DO NOT BURN RASAM POWDER AND HING as that causes the tomato rasam to taste burnt. 
For garnish u can add coriander leaves. I usually don't cause its not available all the time with me.
If u do not like sweet u can avoid jaggery all together... however jaggery gives it a balanced feel
U can even add curry leaves in tempering. I personally don't like it ,hence avoided it.
Other variations: u can add two or three spoons dal and make a thicker rasam, avoid rasam powder n make saar with the dry ingredients, if u cooking beetroot u can add beetroot water (this one i tasted in kamath hotel once made it at home n turns out just as great).
Hope u enjoy my version of tomato rasam. And once again Aparna thanks for this opportunity and for everything and most importantly for being You.
Thank You Chethana for the awesome recipe and haven’t you said a little more about me ;). I have tried this before writing here and as you said its great.
Happy Cooking,

 

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