Beetroot Rasam- Beets and Lentil Soup, Southindian Soup

Rasam, an integral part of south-indian meal! I can eat without sambar, but rasam is a must, in my daily lunch menu. Even my kids too prefer rasam over sambar any day. The pleasure of eating hot hot rasam mamu (rice),  is something unexplainable, you have to experience that joy! 
Since it is part of our daily meal, we had room for lot of creativity and so we have varieties of rasam to make. Some of our favorites are 
I have an affinity towards beets, i love to include it more in my diet. These days i have trained myself to even drink raw beets juice. I know for many cooked beets is a put off, even my own SIL love to eat raw beets, but she hates beets curry, as she feels it is too sweet for her palate. If you are like her, you should try this  Beets lassi or Beets thogayal, a spicer version of Beets.
Ok, now coming to the rasam, it is again one of our favorite, especially my lil ones! He loves this rasam and calls it Blood rasam, yeah i know a bit scary, right! He will ask for second servings on the days  i make this rasam.  The recipe is very simple, all you need to do is soak some jeera and dal before hand, rest is all done is 20 minutes. Yes a simple meal ready in 30 minutes, pair it with some potato curry, you will have a fab meal ready in no time!!
You can also drink this rasam just like soup, with coming winter months, this would be a lovely combo of veggies and lentil, pair it with some bread to make a complete meal.

Ingredients
100 grams beets, chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp toor dal/tuvar dal/split pigeon peas
2 nos large plump tomatoes or 3 medium ripened tomatoes
2-3 pods of garlic, i used indian garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 green chili
a strand of curryleaves
1.5 tsp of homemade rasam powder
1 tsp salt or to taste
coriander leaves for garnish

Tempering

1 tsp ghee/oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 round red chili, optional(crushed)
a pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 peppercorns crushed

Method

  • Soak cumin seeds and tuvar dal in 1/4 cup of water for 20 minutes. Sometimes i do it morning itself around 7:30 am and make the rasam around 11 am. But the minimum time for it to soak is 20 minutes.
  • Wash, peel and cube the beets. Take it in a microwave safe bowl, add water to immerse the beets well. Microwave it for 10-12 minutes @ high for it cook. The beets must be fork tender. This can be done on stove-top also.  Do not discard the beets water.
  • Let the cooked beets cool completely. Now take the cooked beets with the water, along with the soaked cumin and tuvar dal with the water, add chopped tomatoes, garlic, ginger, green chili, curry leaves and 1/2 cup of water. Blend them well with a stick blender or using a mixer jar. The liquid should be quite smooth.
  • Now take this blended liquid in a sauce pan, keep it in on the stove. Add rasam powder, turmeric powder and salt to this and mix well.
  • Let this cook in a medium flame, once it starts to boil, let it be on the stove for 10 minutes for the raw smell of the rasam powder to evaporate. Add another 1 cup  of water to this. If you feel the rasam is too thick, add another 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water to it.
  • Let this simmer in a slow flame for the rasam to froth well on top. Garnsih it with fresh coriander leaves and remove it from the flame.
  • Heat a small tadka pan with ghee, once it is hot, splutter mustard seeds, add cumin, hing and curshed peppercorns, crushed red chili, pour this sizzling tadka over the rasam. Serve rasam hot/warm with rice and vegetable curry/appalam