Milagu Rasam or Molagu Rassam is so simple and comforting. It is my go-to dish when I get the shivers or a touch of fever. The heat from the black pepper makes you sweat reducing your body temperature. It can be a natural antipyretic and also soothes the throat.
#30daysofdaal is on and I hope you are enjoying the different daal recipes from the various regions of India. I am trying to simplify them as much as possible so that they can be made without too much time or fuss. Rasam or rassam is a South Indian dish which is typically made with daal broth. It is the consistency of a broth and can easily be sipped from a mug. There are many types of rasam, and the rasam powder is a mainstay in a Southern Indian kitchen. I had blogged about making a sambar powder from scratch, and a similar rasam powder post is still on the calendar.
Ginger or garlic can be typically used to make very flavor rasams. This milagu rasam – milagu refers to black peppercorns – is the easiest of recipes because it does not use any rasam powder or spice mix. At least, my recipe doesn’t. All you need is cumin seeds and black pepper corns and most people have these on hand. Curry leaves add a nice herby touch but they can be optional.
Tomatoes add some body and tang and are the main ingredient here. You can use water instead of adding daal broth. I have done that sometimes. But the rasam won’t be as tasty as the one using broth. And it will also lack nutrition wise. In the vegetarian Indian diet, daal broth is a way of really stretching the goodness of the daal. Daal is one of the most expensive pantry items in India, and many families cannot really afford a lot of it.
I am using ghee today for this rasam but you can use oil for a vegan version. Adjust the spices to suit your taste. The cumin pepper combination is so unique. Smoky cumin balances the harsh pepper. But it can easily become too strong. I suggest you start small and add more as you get used to the taste.
Serve rasam hot with steamed rice and fried potatoes. That is Indian vegetarian comfort food for you.
Milagu Rasam Recipe – Black pepper and Daal Soup
- 2 cups toor daal broth
- 4 Tbsp cooked toor daal
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 4-5 curry leaves
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp black pepper corns
- 2 Tbsp ghee
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- pinch of hing or Asafoetida
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- 4-6 cups water
- Cook half a cup of toor daal with 3-4 cups water in the pressure cooker. We will be using the broth from this.
- Chop tomatoes.
- Coarsely pound cumin seeds and pepper in a mortar/pestle or grind them.
- Heat ghee in a wok.
- Add a few cumin seeds and some hing when the seeds puff up.
- Add the curry leaves and the tomatoes.
- Sprinkle some salt to draw water out of the tomatoes.
- Once tomatoes cook and reduce, add the daal broth and about a ladle of cooked daal.
- Season with salt, sugar and the cumin-pepper mixture.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning according to taste. Add more cumin-pepper or salt or sugar as needed. The mixture should have a slight bite from the pepper.
- Serve hot with rice.
- You can strain through a colander if you want clear rasam.
Milagu Rasam is a different kind of daal. The daal here is not used abundantly and is not easily visible, but it is at the heart of this rasam. I hope you like this simple and spicy daal based soup.
Just use vegetable oil instead of the ghee for a vegan version. You can also use a butter-oil combination if you don’t have ghee.