Apparently,Rasam is not a simple gravy spiced up with podis and tomatoes.To make a water-like gravy taste good there has to be a good balance of ingredients.I've tried many recipes for making rasam but this one comes close to what amma always made when there was a dearth of vegetables.One tomato,a handful of dal and coriander leaves and a tsp or so of Rasam powder,she even added sambhar powder sometimes,and a simple tadka of mustard and curry leaves and there it was-simple,quick and delicious!
I've tried to maker her version instant by cooking the dal and tomatoes in a pressure cooker,a method frowned upon by many but works like a charm.
Tomato - 2,chopped
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Rasam powder - 1 heaping tbp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - 3-4 tbsp,chopped
In a pressure cooker add the dal and tomatoes(keep 1/4 of a tomato aside for seasoning) and cook for 4-5 whistles or till the dal is mushy and the tomatoes are cooked to a pulp.Using a potato masher or a spoon,mash and mix the dal-tomato together.
In a kadai add oil,splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves.Mix in the reserved tomato and give a good mix.
Add rasam powder and saute for a minute.Pour the dal-tomato mixture into the kadai,add salt to taste and let it come to a boil.
Add coriander leaves and simmer for 3-5 minutes.Switch off the flame,add some more coriander leaves and serve with rice and urulai roast.