My grandmother used to make this stew/soup when the kitchen was a bit bare. If nothing else was available in the kitchen, she would make what she called moru rasam accompanied by slices of bread toasted on an open flame using a steel wire contraption that would hold four slices of bread. Nothing could equal the taste of that simple bread and soup.
It’s till one of my favorite recipes. I make it often and my guests really enjoy it. Over the years it has morphed from a scarcity recipe to a cornucopia of plenty. At its core, it is still my grandmother’s recipe. As a school boy I began to enjoy it and have improvised a number of variations over the years for the American kitchen.
My grandmother was an extraordinary cook. We all knew it as children. She was acknowledged and watching her cook in her prime was each time a learning experience for the rest of my life. As a boy growing up, I was not expected to be in the kitchen, let alone learn to cook. But I was always hungry and would often linger there waiting for something to get ready to consume. Later, when I had to do for myself my first attempts at food preparation were from my memories of watching her cook.
- Plain Yoghurt - 2 cups
- Potato Cubes - 1 cup
- chayote squash cubes - 1cup
- chopped ripe tomato - 1
- Chopped fresh Cilantro - 2 tbs
- Rasam Powder - 1 tsp
- cumin seeds - 1 tsp
- Black mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
- fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
- canola and sesame oil blend - 2 tbs
- Green chiles, minced - 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
- cherry tomatoes - 4 -6
- Tamarind paste from a jar (optional) - 1/2 tsp
Cook a few vegetables in an inch of water with a tsp of rasam powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Potatoes, chayote squash, zukini, pumpkin, any squash cubed, and a couple of tomatoes will work. Snow peas, spinach... you name it. Add a piece of fresh ginger and some chopped cilantro for flavor as well as the tamarind if you desire greater tartness. Cook covered for a few minutes till the vegetables are cooked but still firm.
Splutter mustard and cumin seeds 1/4 tsp fenugreek and two fresh chillies and a pinch of hing and add when the vegetables are cooked. (for South Indians - manathakkali vaththal would add that home flavor). allow to cool and add two cups of yoghurt frothed up in a blender and stir. salt and pepper. Warm over low heat and serve with dry toast or french bread or rotis.