My culinary memories of South India are laced with an impressive array of rice-based creations and infused with the hearty and warm smell of sambar and rasam. Sambar is a thick stew that combines pulse and vegetables, while its versatile sibling rasam resembles a thin, clear and spicy soup.
Some time ago, I looked up a tomato rasam recipe and passed to action. I used red split lentils that are a staple in my pantry. My stew came out thick as a sambar and spiced as a rasam, whereby the name rasambar…
The cooking process is particularly enjoyable. Already while processing the fresh coriander stems in the mortar and pestle you will feel a delicious aroma spreading. Personally, I was immediately teleported to the subcontinent…
This lentil stew is not only heart-warming, but also very nutritious. Lentils are full of cholesterol-lowering fibre and a good source of protein and minerals. At the same time, they contain no fat and are low in calories. I like eating my rasambar with Indian-style savoury pancakes (dosai), or as a spread on a piece of toast. Of course, it also goes perfectly with rice.
- 80 g red (split) lentils (100 ml)
- 300 ml water
- 300 ml tomato concasse
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cm ginger, minced
- 30-40 g coriander stems from one batch of fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp asafoetida
- 1 tsp curry leaf powder (optional)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 0.5 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- oil and/or butter
- some coriander leaves for decoration
- Wash the lentils and strain them
- Mince the garlic and the ginger
- Wash the coriander, cut off the stems and chop them into smaller pieces; keep the leaves
- Process the garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander with a mortar and pestle until you have obtained a coarse paste
- Heat up a tsp of oil in a cooking pot and add the mustard seeds, half cover the pot with the lid and let the seeds pop
- Add the bayleaf
- Add the lentils and the spices and fry for a minute or so, all while stirring
- Add the coriander paste and keep stirring for another minute
- Add the tomato concasse and the water
- Let simmer on slow to medium heat for about 30 min until the lentils are really soft.
- Serve the lentils with rice or another cereal of your choice, combine with savoury pancakes, or enjoy on a piece of toast.
- For a more soup-like result, you can add another 200 ml of water.