‘Kalyana Rasam‘ refers to the rasam that is typically served in South Indian weddings. It tastes absolutely delicious, with well-balanced tangy and spicy flavours, with just a tinge of sweet to it. In Tam-Brahm weddings, there is no garlic added to this rasam and it is, hence, referred to as ‘Brahmin Kalyana Rasam‘.
Why restrict yourself to slurping on this beautiful rasam just at weddings, when you can very easily make it at home yourself? I often do! I tried out Kalayana Rasam for the first time at a relative’s wedding, a few years ago, and loved it to bits. I loved it enough to walk into the kitchen and request the staff to teach me how to make it. They were sweet enough to oblige, and this Kalyana Rasam has been a regular fixture at our dining table ever since.
The husband, the bub and I absolutely adore this Kalyana Rasam. We are big-time fans. It brightens up a dull day for us, and is a saviour on those occasions when we want to eat something hearty but don’t know what to cook. It is not very tough to put together either!
Today, I share with you the recipe for the gorgeous Kalyana Rasam that the gracious cook once taught me to make. Do try it out, and let me know how you liked it!
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
For the spice mix:
- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon toor daal
- 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 3-4 dry red chillies or as per taste
- A few drops of ghee
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- A small lemon-sized ball of tamarind
- 1 tablespoon jaggery or to taste
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- For the tempering and garnishing:
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 2 pinches asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- A few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves
First get the spice mix ready.
- Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in a pan.
- Add the black pepper, coriander seeds, cumin, dry red chillies and toor dal. Fry at medium heat till the ingredients start browning and emit a lovely fragrance. Ensure that the ingredients do not burn.
- Let the ingredients cool down completely and then grind to a powder in a mixer. Keep aside.
Now, get the ingredients for making the Kalyana Rasam ready.
- Chop 2 tomatoes and puree them in a mixer. Keep aside.
- Chop the remaining 1 tomato finely. Keep aside.
- Soak the tamarind in boiling water for a few minutes. When it has cooled down enough to handle, extract a thick paste out of it, adding more water if needed. Keep aside.
- Finely chop the coriander. Keep aside.
Now, we will make the rasam.
- Take the tamarind paste, salt to taste, curry leaves and chopped tomato in a heavy-bottomed pan. Cook on medium flame till the tomatoes turn mushy and the raw smell of the tamarind goes away, 2-3 minutes.
- Now, add the tomato puree, jaggery and turmeric powder. Add about 2 cups of water. Mix well. Cook on medium flame till the raw smell of the tomatoes goes away, 4-5 minutes.
- Add the ground spice mix. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Let the rasam simmer for a couple of seconds and switch off the flame.
- Now, add the chopped coriander to the rasam.
Now, we will make the tempering.
- Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in a pan.
- Add mustard and allow to splutter.
- Add asafoetida and let it stay in for a couple of seconds. Switch off the gas.
- Now, add this tempering to the prepared rasam. Mix well.
Serve the Kalyana Rasam hot with steamed rice.
1. Ghee, and not oil, works best for making this rasam.
2. Do not cook the rasam too much after adding the spice mix. Just simmer a couple of minutes after adding it.
3. Skip the jaggery if you want to, but I wouldn’t personally suggest it. The jaggery adds a lovely flavour to the rasam.
4. Adjust the quantity of water you add, depending upon how thick or watery you want the rasam to be.
5. The pureed tomatoes will add just the right thickness to the rasam, and there is really no need to add in cooked toor daal. However, if you want to, you can add in a couple of tablespoons of cooked toor daal to the rasam, too. If using, add the cooked daal in while you are adding the tomato puree.
6. Add a dash of red chilli powder if you feel the spiciness from the ground rasam powder is not enough. I typically use a mix of Bydagi and Guntur dried red chillies to make the spice mix.
Do you like this recipe? Do let me know, in your comments!