AT A GLANCE
Rasam is a sour, fragrant and refreshing broth that can be enjoyed on its own or served alongside a curry-style dish, as it is here.
|01||Soak mung dhal in cold water for 1 hour, drain and transfer to a large saucepan. Add 2 litres cold water, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and skim any scum that rises to the surface.|
|02||Meanwhile, process ginger and chilli in a food processor to a coarse paste, add tomato and process to combine. Heat ghee in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallot and garlic, and sauté until tender and lightly caramelised (4-5 minutes). Add mustard seeds and turmeric, sauté until fragrant (1 minute), then add chilli mixture and sauté until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add to mung dhal, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer until mung dhal is very tender (1¼-1½ hours). Season to taste with sea salt, whisk to break up dhal and keep warm.|
|03||For rasam, heat ghee in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallots, mustard seeds and chilli, and sauté until lightly caramelised and seeds start to pop (6-8 minutes). Meanwhile, coarsely crush peppercorns and cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle. Add garlic and pound to combine, then add to the shallot mixture with tamarind purée, turmeric and 500ml water. Season to taste with salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Keep warm.|
|04||For crisp cauliflower, heat ghee in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, chilli and garlic, and sauté until tender (2-3 minutes). Add mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop, then add cauliflower and sauté until crisp and golden (8-10 minutes). Add curry leaves, season to taste with salt and keep warm.|
|05||Serve dhal, topped with crisp cauliflower and scattered with coriander, with steamed rice and rasam.|
Note Mung dhal (dried mung beans) is available from Indian grocers and select delicatessens.
CORIANDER-SCENTED WHEAT BEER. , suggested by MAX ALLEN