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side angle shot of Paruppu Rasam in a small wok
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Tamarind & Lentil Soup | Traditional Paruppu Rasam

Learn to make this easy Paruppu rasam by following these steps. It's a comforting South Indian broth or soup made with tamarind & lentils. Serve with rice.
Course Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine Asian, Indian, South Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Soaking time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

To make the lentil paste

  • 1/3 cup tur dal
  • 1/3 cup chana dal
  • 1 large tomato roughly chopped
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • Half inch ginger
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 5-6 curry leaves

To make the Rasam

  • 1 lemon size ball of tamarind/imli
  • 2 tbsp rasam powder/sambhar powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander cumin powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt as required
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

To make the tadka

  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 dried red chillies

Instructions

To make the lentil paste

  • Soak chana dal and tur dal (together) for about 40 minutes. Drain the water.
  • Grind the lentils along with red chillies, ginger, tomatoes, cilantro, curry leaves and salt, coarsely.
  • Dilute this paste with 1 cup water, mix it to ensure there are no lumps.

To make the Rasam

  • Soak the tamarind ball in hot water for 15 minutes.
  • Press the tamarind to remove its juice and throw away the pulp. Pour this tamarind juice into a pan.
  • Add 1 cup of water, rasam powder, turmeric powder, coriander cumin powder, asafoetida and salt.
  • Cook it on medium flame. Bring this to a boil.
  • Add the diluted lentil paste. Mix well. Cook it on medium.
  • Take the pan off the flame as soon as you start to see froth on top. Garnish with some chopped cilantro.

To make the tadka

  • Give a tempering or tadka of dried red chillies, mustard seeds and cumin seeds in ghee. Pour this over the rasam. Mix it well.
  • Serve this hot with rice or just drink it as a soup.

Notes

The whole thing about making rasam right is in the timing. You need to know when to turn off the gas. Over cooking the rasam takes away the taste. So you need to be alert and careful. When you see the froth on top after the first boil, that is your cue to take it off the gas.
Also using a good quality rasam powder which is a spice mix made with different roasted lentils and red chillies is crucial to the recipe.
To make this dish vegan, give the tadka in regular cooking oil instead of ghee. 
You can also use tamarind paste in this recipe. 
Frying a tbsp of chopped cilantro along with the tadka gives it a good taste.