“There is no sincerer love than the love for food” – George B Shaw
As a child I always wanted to be a chef but as years passed by, I wound up being a teacher (no regrets though!). I had spent most of my childhood in the kitchen watching my parents cook – especially my dad, who loved his food. According to him, the best way to spread joy was through food, and I too believe that, and that it’s the best way to be creative.
I am sure as a food lover there will be someone who has inspired you to cook even after the tiredness of an entire day of work. Although there are many magazines, TV series & books that would give many people inspiration, but for me, my dad was my biggest inspiration. He inspired me to cook the most delicious and the simplest of all meals – each which always had the perfect balance of elements – bold flavours, the right seasoning, crunchiness / texture, aroma and the freshest produce.
Food has always been great at bringing family and friends together, and for me it got my dad and I together to make and experiment. I still remember the Thursdays (my dad’s day off from work) when my brother and I came back from school, my dad used to dish out some great food for us [little hungry piglets that we were back then 🙂 ]. Post his retirement, if my mum was travelling we would just research and look for recipes and then make our own twist to popular dishes. We shared an amazing time in the kitchen from buying fresh produce, chopping veggies (he used to chop veggies like a Masterchef) cooking and presenting the dish.
He used to love eating and appreciating every kind of food – be it any of the traditional Palakkad dishes or butter chicken and old monk (sacrilege in a Tam-Brahm household!). Amongst all the dishes that we made, I still vividly remember his love for Rasam. Most of my family members would appreciate his Rasam, which he made with so much passion.
My dad has truly inspired my love for the culinary arts and this is how I started appreciating food and enhancing my skills. Although, he left us and went to heaven, his dishes are still cherished and remembered by many of his well-wishers. Though Rasam was his comfort food, there were various other dishes that he loved. I would be sharing many of these recipes in my upcoming blogs. Stay glued! 🙂
Welcome to Rasam-boat – the story behind the name of this blog is here in my dad’s favourite comfort food and the start of my culinary voyage.
Here’s the recipe for Ramnath’s Rasam – the perfect dish at the end of a long day, or if you’re not feeling well, or if you just want to remember your inspiration!
Ramnath’s Tomato Rasam
Easy and simple
Cuisine: South Indian
For the rasam:
- Tamarind – 25 to 30 gms (Size of a lemon)
- Tomatoes – 2 nos (medium)
- Toor dal – ¼ cup
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Rasam powder – 1-2 tbsp
- Pepper powder – 2 pinches (Freshly ground)
- Coriander – ½ tbsp
- Salt as per required
- Water – 1-2 cups
For the tempering:
- Clarified butter (Ghee) – 2 tsp
- Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Asafetida – a pinch
- Soak tamarind in hot water for 15-20 mins and squeeze out the pulp.
- Chop the tomatoes finely
- Soak and pressure-cook the toor dal.
- In the saucepan, add turmeric powder, Rasam powder, asafoetida, water and tomatoes to the tamarind pulp and cook for 10-15 mins.
- Add the cooked toor dal and bring to a boil.
- Add coriander, pepper powder and salt as per required.
- For the tempering – Heat ghee and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and a pinch of asafoetida.
- As the tempering starts to splutter, switch off the stove and add the tempering to the Rasam.
- Serve tomato rasam hot with rice and papad.
Think of that person who was your inspiration and enjoy the delicious Ramnath’s Tomato Rasam.