Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My recipe on Key Ingredient!!!

My recipe is on Key Ingredient!

Here is the link...


As the name suggests, this is a mixture of lot of things....If you make laddus, then this becomes easy....
You need to make,
Karaboondi (Spicy Boondi)
Oma podi (Fine and Thick sev)
Roasted Channa Dal
Roasted Peanuts
Follow the same recipe as boondi in the laddu recipe, but add some salt and some chilli powder to it. Deep fry till it gets crisp, drain and keep aside

Oma Podi
To make the sev, the ratio is two parts rice flour to one part Channa Dal (besan) flour.
1 cup Rice flour
1/2 cup Besan
2 table spoons melted butter or ghee
Salt as needed
Omam powder (Powder some Ajwain or Bishep's weed in your mixer)
Make a thick dough and use your sev maker to make this and keep aside
This is puffed up rice,you get this in Indian stores.
Take some murmura and deep fry this in hot oil and keep aside
Shakkar Para
Follow the recipe and make it and keep aside
Roasted Channa Dal
Soak some Channa Dal for two hours, drain and let dry on a dry towel for an hour.
Deep fry this in hot oil and keep aside.
Roasted Peanuts
Take some unroasted, peeled peanuts and deep fry in hot oil and keep aside.
For spice,
Deep fry 4 dry red chillies in oil and keep aside.

Powder this coarsely with rock salt by hand or a mixer and add this to the big bowl where you are going to mix everything.

And just mix everything with a dry hand and store in an airtight container.

Boondi Laddu

For Deepavali, I usually make Boondi Laddu and Mixture.
If you would like to read the story of why I started making laddu's please go to the end of the recipe...
To make 20 laddus, you need the Laddu Ladle and
You need
Channa Flour (Besan) - 1 Cup
Water - 1/2 to 3/4th cup
Oil - to deep fry
Sugar - 1 and 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
and optional
Kalkandu (Square sugar candy) - 1 handful
Cashews - sliced and roasted in ghee
Raisins - (Optional) Roasted in ghee
Pachai Karpooram (Raw camphor) - 1 pinch
Saffron - 1 pinch

---> To the besan add 1/2 cup water and mix well. Make sure it does not have any lumps in it. If you want colored laddus you can add the food coloring to the besan.
---> The consistency you want is thick. It should not be runny.
--->If you want you can add a pinch of baking soda to it. I have not added it at all.
---> In a kadai, add cooking oil, enough to deep fry the boondis and keep on medium high flame.
---> You can deep fry in ghee also, but I used canola oil.
---> When the oil is ready, take a small ladle with the premixed boondi flour and pour it slowly on the laddu ladle on top of the oil, and swirl as fast as you can until the smaller ladle is completely empty.
---> When the boondi's are 3/4th fried (not too crispy and also cooked), take it out of the oil. If you let it become crisp, it will not absorb the sugar syrup.
---> Repeat this process until you are out of all the mixed flour.
---> In another kadai, add the sugar and the water ad heat on medium high flame.
--->And heat this until you get in between the single thread and the double thread consistency.
--->Let it cool down completely.
---> Mix the boondis to this and also add your optional nuts, raisins whatever you want
---> Leave the mixture for an hour or so, and when you come back you can see the sugar has become crystals.
---> Now just make the laddus and store.
This will last fresh up to three weeks, left outside.
Happy Deepavali!!! There is a story of why I made a tradition of making Laddus .... for that we have to go back about 15 years... when my son was born. (Imagine a spiral going backwards with a sound drooiiinngggg)
When my son was born, my dad got him a book to teach the tamil letters. My son loved to read and whenever he wanted to read he used to pick this book and we would go over all the tamil letters with him and he knew all the words for each letter.
(The word for the letter la, in that book, was laddu....)
Fastforward 4 years, we visited India when he was 4 and my daughter was 4 months old. My mom had made laddus for him, and when she handed him one, she asked him, whether he knew the name of this thing... and he said "la.... laddu, bookla irukkume!"
whch translates to, la is for laddu and it is in the book...!!
My mother was so moved that she vowed to make it for him whenever possible. When she visited us the next time, she brought with her the laddu karandi, (Ladle to make it) and ever since I try my best to make it every year.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cluster Beans and Lentils Gravy (Kothavarangai Poricha Kuzhambu)

When my kids were 10 and 6, we lived in India for a year. Our neighbor had a 2 year old at that time, who used to sing this tamil song, like a rhyme

"Thambikku Kalyanam.... " and it used to have the words Kothavarangai Paruppu kootu, in it.
If anyone knows the full song please email it to me.
I have mostly made the Paruppu Usili with it. My mother used to make this kootu a lot. In the US, mostly the beans we get here are very mature hence it tastes beter in a paruppu usili. But when I came across the tender ones, I made this Kootu. I referred to "Meenakshi Ammal's Samaithu Paar" which literlly translates to "Cook and see" but means "Try and Cook"
And I have to talk about this book here... every Tamilian girl who gets married will have all the three parts of this book, whether she cooks or not. I bet you, ten times to one, to go and look through a tamilian girls recipe books and you will find these either in english or Tamil.
Since I got married in two weeks time, and was here immediatly after the two weeks, I have my mother's books with me. So some pages are missing or some recipes have been marked with oil stains, so it is very precious to me!!!
I do refer to these books from time to time, I love the way she writes, even though the amount of oil she asks that you use is incredulous, i still love it.
These 3 books have all that you need to know about tamilian cooking right from, how to make rice, to planning the menu for a wedding, or how to get ready for a puja... Just GREAT!!!
If you have the book, this recipe can be found in Book #3, under chapter 2, which is Poricha Kuzhambu and Kootu Types. It is called Kothavarangai Thengai Paal Poricha Kuzhambu.
I have followed it exactly except for the oil amounts!
Now lets come to the recipe...
Tender Cluster Beans - Cut in small pieces -- 1 and 1/2 cups
Toor dal (Split Pigeon Peas) - 1/2 Cup
Thick Coconut milk- 3 Tablespoons
Salt - 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons
Sambar Powder - 1/2 Teaspoons
Dry Red Chili - 2
Black Pepper Corns - 7 to 8
Mustard - 1 Teaspoon
Urad Dal Split (Bengal Gram Dal) - 2 Teaspoon
Rice flour - 1 Teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Teaspoons
Hing - a dash
Curry Leaves and Coriander - To garnish
Oil - 2 Teaspoons
--->Pressure cook Toor Dal in your cooker.
--->In a teaspoon oil roast one teaspoon urad dal, the dry red chillies and black pepper corn till it becomes a light rose color and make a fine powder
--->Mix the coconut milk and the rice flour and mix the powder along with it and keep aside.
--->In a vessel, put the chopped cluster beans, and add water till it covers , then add the salt, turmeric powder and sambar powder and keep on a medium high flame.
--->Once the beans is cooked, add the masala you have made (coconut milk +rice flour + and roasted powder) to it. Let it come to a boil.
--->By this time your lentils will have cooked, mash it and add this to your cluster beans.
--->Let it come to a boil again.
---> In another pan, add a teaspoon oil and the mustard and let it sputter, once it sputters add the rest of the Urad Dal and roast till it becomes rose in color.
--->Pour this on the Cluster beans and garnish with Curry Leaves and Coriander Leaves.
Enjoy with hot rice and ghee.....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tomato Chutney (Tomato Thokku)

In Tamil, there is a phrase -
"All in All Azhaguraja"(Azhagu means Handsome or Beautiful and Raja means King)

Azhaguraja the guy has everything in his shop etc.
There was this character played by Actor Kaundamani in a tamil movie where he has a store and he rents out everything for the village.
I found this clip, the scene in which he claims to be "All in All Azhaguraja".
I am reminded of that whenever i make this Chutney, because it really can transform in to anything you want if you have this at home.

Some uses for this chutney in my house
--->As a spread for bread
--->Mix with hot rice and you have tomato rice instantly
--->Use it as a pickle for Curd Rice
--->Goes great with a soft Dosa as a chutney
--->Spread on a hot roti with ghee and this chutney and roll it up for an extremly yummy snack.
--->Serve on the side with Idli
(I make some small Idlis and roll them in this chutney lightly and put in a bowl before my daughter and it vanishes instantly!)

Now Don't you ALL agree this is an ALL in ALL Azhaguraja???

Whenever I shop for Vegetables, I go overboard when I see Tomatoes and invariably by too many of them. And after a week to 10 days of cooking, if I still havent used them then I make this.

I had 6 tomatoes leftover, and they were big, The oil to tomato ratio is for 2 big tomatoes use, 1 tablespoon oil. I dont make this too spicy since my kids also enjoy it and use it liberally. If you find the spice is too much, you can reduce it. The tomatoes I use are generally little sour, so this brings it to a better taste.

You Need
Tomatoes - 6 chopped
Gingelly Oil - 3 Tablespoons
Salt - 2 Teaspoons (more or less according to your taste)
Mustard seeds- 1 Teaspoon
Green Chillies- 3 chopped
Red Chili Powder - 2 Teaspoons
Hing- 1 Teaspoon


---> First Chop the Tomatoes.
---> In a pan, add the oil (on a medium high flame)and the mustard seeds and once they sputter add the green chillies, hing, tomatoes and salt all at once.
---> Mix well and cover this and reduce the flame to a medium.
---> Go around the house and do your chores returning to the stove every 15 minutes to mix once and make sure the mixture doesnt get too thick.
--->After about an hour, you will see it become almost a liquid and the and also gone considerably low in the pan, please look at the picture above.
---> Once you feel this is thick enough switch it off and let cool.
---> After it cools down, transfer to an airtight container and treat it like a pickle, so NO wet hands or wet spoons. This will last as long as a month, or even lesser if you finish it faster :)

I have made some tomato rice with it....

How I Store Green Thai Chillies

I use Thai Green chillies in my cooking. I find that it matches the closest in taste and spiciness to our very own Indian green chilies. (Even though the ones we get in India are way better, we have to settle for this in the US :( .... )

These are available in the Indian Store or the Korean H Mart.
As soon as I come back home from the market, i don't wash them. I just pluck off the stems and store them in a dry, airtight container. And when you need it, just wash them use them.
This lasts more than two to three weeks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Masoor Dal Kofta (Red Lentil Balls in Tomato Gravy)

The recipe for the much awaited Masoor Dal Kofta...

I had made this for Navrathri last year... I have used Whole Masoor Dal, with the skin. If you are using broken, then please increase the quantity by atleast one/third cup.

You need

For Kofta Balls
Masoor Dal- 1 Cup (Saoked for 2 hours atleast)
Carrots - 2 (Grated)
Mint Leaves or Coriander Leaves - 1 handful washed (the recipe calls for Mint, but I used Coriander)
Onion - 1 Chopped
Green Chillies - 2
Salt - 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons
Oil- To deep fry the kofta Balls

For Gravy

Onions -2 Chopped
Tomatoes- 4 Chopped
Ginger - 2 Inch Piece peeled and chopped
Garlic - 6 Cloves chopped
Salt- 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Teaspoo
Coriander Poser- 2 Teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder- 1 Teaspoon
Curd - 2 Tablespoons
Oil- 3 Teaspoons
Coriander leaves- To Garnish

To Make the Kofta Balls
--->When soaking the dal, check for any stones or dust particles and then soak it.
--->Just take everything except the carrots and salt and put in the food processor. Grind to a thick paste. Do not add any water to this.
--->Now add the carrots and the salt and mix well.
--->In a kadai, put some oil and put it on a medium High Fire.
--->Once the oil is hot, make balls out of the paste mixture and make the koftas.
--->Once it gets a rich brown colour all over, take and drain the excess oil on a tissue.

This paste makes atleast 20 Koftas.

To Make the Gravy
---> In a Kadai, add the oil, and oce it gets hot, add the ginger and garlic pieces and fry well, once it starts to get brown
--->Add the Chopped Onions to this and fry till it gets brown
--->And then add the chopped tomatoes and all the masala powders now
--->It will all boil together and the tomatoes will start to get juicy
--->Switch off the stove and let cool
--->Grind this gravy to a smooth consistency
--->Pour this back on to the kadai and turn the stove to a medium low flame
--->Add the 3 tablespoons of the curd and let come to a slow boil
--->Pour this on to a serving dish and check for salt. If you need more salt, please add.
Arrange the koftas according to your taste and garnish with fresh corainder leaves...

You can enjoy this with hot Rotis!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Update on my Hand

I did meet with a specialist in the first week of October. It seems it was calcium deposit. Nothing to worry. It seems it will go away on its own in 3 to 6 months!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gold Coin is the right Answer!

Rekha from Rekha's Kitchen had the right answer! It is Gold coin....
Mina learnt this from her sister, Neeta. And she learnt this from a cooking class she went to in the early 90's in Andheri, Mumbai..
Anyway, Mina has "WOW'ed" us everytime she makes this. It is a great appetizer and also easy to make.
You need
1 lb Frech cut Frozen Beans, thawed
3 carrots Grated
1/2 cup Green Peas
2 Potatoes (Boiled and Mashed)
Ginger Paste - 1 Tsp
Green Chili Paste - 2 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Garam Masala - 1 Tsp
Salt - as needed
Oil - 2 to 3 Tsp
Mustard- 1 Tsp
Hind - a dash
Bread - 1 Loaf
---> In a kadai, add the oil, and when it gets hot add the mustard and hing.
--->Once the mustard sputters, add all the veggies except potatoes and also add the masalas including the pastes.
--->Cook this on a medium flame until all the veggies are cooked and blended with the masala mix, and once it is cooked, switch off the stove.
--->Once the cooked mixture of veggies and masala is cooled, add the potatoes and make patties
--->Take two slices of bread and wet one side of each slice and drain on a towel
--->Put the patty on the wet side of one slice and cover it with the other slice, with the wet side facing the patty
--->Seal them both together with water and cut the whole gold coin to make a circle.
---> Do this until you have finished all the vegetable mixture.
--->Deep fry this in hot oil, until golden brown.
Actually, Mina does all prep work and keeps the bread filled patty in the fridge the day before she needs them.
Enjoy this with some green chutney....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Guess What This Is......

My friend, Mina made this. this is one of her signature dishes... Guess what this is called??

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Cooking Oil ?????

I have mostly used canola oil for cooking. A couple of years ago, I was using Olive oil to cook for about 6 months. at that time, everyone was saying that Olive oil is healthier etc, so I switched.

Now I am back to using Canola Oil. I read in readers digest that Canola Oil is used in Mediterranean cuisine and it seems after some survey they found that people from that region had fewer hear attacks.

I also use it to deep fry.

I use it mainly because it does not have a taste to it.

My mom used to use Sunflower oil. That also did no have a specific taste to it.

I found this information about Canola Oil,

Let me know what oils you all use..

In India, my Mother in law, (Mrs Meena Ganesan) uses Gingelly Oil,
My aunt (Mrs. Sugantha Gurumoorthy) uses Sunflower Oil, to cook.

Here I have not seen Sunflower Oil in the markets. But I have come across Vegetable Oil.

Other Than Canola Oil, I use
Olive Oil if I make Pasta or Salads and use
Gingelly Oil, to mix with rice with some Podi, with Idli Milagai podi, to make Vathakuzhambu, etc.

Thenga Podi (Coconut Powder (Mix) with rice)

Mina, my friend commented that tamilians make a lot of podi's (mixes), which is so true. We really do make these mixes and keep so that on the days there is nothing to eat, you can just make rice and eat the podi rice. You can even make this rice for your guests...
This is just one of those podi's...
The perfect combination for this thenga podi rice is " Sutta Arisi Applam" which means rice papad made on the stove, mmmm...
I ended up with two extra coconuts soon after Ganesh Chathurthi celebrations, and had this coconut grater that I bought in Apna Bazaar, in Seattle. My kids helped me in grating the coconuts...
This mix lasts long in the fridge, provided you handle it with care, (no wet spoons or wet hands)
You need
Grated Coconut - 3 Cups
Urad Dal - 1 ½ Cups
Dry Red Chillies - 1 ½ Cups (whole Chillies)
Tamarind - Small Lime Size
Salt - 3 Tbsp
Hing - 2 Tsp
Oil - 2 Tbsp
--->The whole thing should be done on a medium flame.
--->In a Kadai, add the oil, roast the urad dal until it is light red in color, add the hing and the tamarind and roast until the urad dal is red in color.
--->Take out the roasted Urad Dal and pour on a plate to cool
--->Next in the same kadai, add the red chillies, roast it well, add little more oil if needed.
--->Take out the roasted chillies, on a plate to cool.
--->In the same kadai, add little oil and roast the grated coconut until it becomes rose in color.
Once everything is cool, put everything, and add salt to this and make a fine powder in your Indian Mixer Grinder.
Mix this powder, with hot rice and little Gingelly Oil, and to have the utimate effect, you should try it with the Rice papad!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Golu 2008

Navartahri started on September 30th. Just like last year I had two big Parties...
This time around, I didn't have the time to take pictures of what I made, but here is the menu for both the parties....
On Friday October 3rd I had made
Sambar (it was a mixed vegetable sambar)
Chutney (regular Coconut Chutney
Poricha Keerai (Spinach with seasonings --Tamilian style)
Potato Curry
Rotis (This was catered)
Carrot Mango Vatana Sundal
Sabudana Payasam
Cut Cantaloupe

And for the Sunday October 5th Party I had made

Vegetable Rava Idli
Vathakuzhambu Sadham
Curd Rice
Potato Curry
Cut Mango Pickle
Sabudana Payasam
The sabudana payasam (which Aparna started and I finished) made for the friday party tasted so good that my husband didnt get to have it, everyone told him it was the best, so he requested me to make it again so I made the same payasam again for the Sunday Party.
The Vadai Morkuhambu was the Hit of Friday party and the Vathakuzhambu Sadham, was the hit for the sunday Party.
I will post the recipes of the dishes that I have made here, which still I have not blogged about. I know the masoor Dal Kofta which I had made last year is still pending for the blog. Can't believe that I haven't made that in a year, but hopefully you will see all the recipes soon...

Before I end this blog, I have to thank some people who helped me a lot in both the parties;
(Imagine me having an Oscar award in one hand and saying this :)))) )

For the Friday Party, many thanks to
--->Bindu, who just landed at my place in the morning, and stayed till 2 in the afternoon, and helped me cut all the veggies and made me stay on track and just gave me GREAT company,
--->Priya, who stayed for an hour and a half in the evening and helped make the potato curry, cut, peel and grate the huge enormous mango for the sundal and also helped me clean up the sink before everyone came,
--->Aparna, (my cousin), who came at 7pm before everyone came and made the rice, started the payasam on the stove and started the first load of the idlis,
--->Manju, Suman, Harshi for helping to keep the subsequent batch of idlis as and when needed...

For the Sunday Party I have to thank
--->Sivagami, who was one of the first few guests, who helped me peel all the potatoes,
--->Devina, who diced all the potatoes,
--->Vasanthi, who helped me in making the potato curry,
--->Asha and Abi(my cousin), who made the idlis in batches...

If I have forgotten anyone, please excuse me....

Even though the last week has been hectic and my sister calls me the craziest person alive to cook everything by myself for the parties, I still enjoyed every bit of it. I could not sleep properly because I was so excited about cooking ..... :)
As promised, I will post all the recipies one by one........
Tomorrow is Saraswati pooja, and the day after is Vijayadasami!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Green Tomatoes in VathaKuzhambu (Spicy Gravy)

When I saw plump green Tomatoes at the market, I started dreaming about this! Seriously!! This Vethakuzhambu is so tasty that once you make it it will be on one of your favorites list.
My mother used to call these "Naatu Thakkali".
I bought three of them, and made Vethakuzhambu. You can also add one or two of this to your sambar in addition to other veggies you may have and also in your kootu. I also added this, to mango dal i had made and it had an unique flavor. I loved it.
These are different from the Tomatillos you get in the market. They come covered and are much smaller and more sourer in taste.
This is the same way that you would make the Brinjal Vethakuzhambu.
You will need (this measurement serves 3 to 4 adults)
Green tomatoes - 3 (cubed)
Tamarind - (2 grape tomatoes size)
Sambar Powder - 2 or 3 Teaspoons
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Water - 3 to 4 cups
Hind - 2 dashes
To Garnish
Oil - 3 Teaspoons
Mustard - 1 Teaspoon
Red Chili - 3 Broken
Fenugreek - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 2 strands

For making Vethakuzhambu, I prefer sesame oil, or gingelly oil, it adds a whole lot of flavor to it.
--->Start with Soaking the tamarind in 1 cup of water, (for atleast 10 to 20 minutes)
--->Start Cubing the tomatoes
--->when the tamraind is soaked well, you should squeeze it well and extract all the juice out of it., take the juice from that slowly without letting the tamarindout of your hand!
--->In the vessel you are going to make, pour this tamrind juice, add the sambar powder, turmeric powder, 2 Cups of water and the hing and let it start to come to a boil on a medium-High Flame
--->In a different vessel, add the oil, and then add the mustard seeds and once it starts sputtering, add the fenugreek, Curry leaves and then the Cubed green tomatoes.
--->Saute this for 5 to 10 minutes
--->Pour this in to the Boiling tamarind water and reduce the flame a little and let it all come together
--->After you see that the gravy has thickened a little, you can turn the stove off.
I have made my Vethakuzhambu in my Kal Chetti. The great thing about this pot is that even after you take it off the stove, it keeps boiling for 10 minutes! It retains heat that long.

And once you are done with your vethakuzhambu, just add a handful of cooked rice to the empty Kal chetti and just move the rice around so it holds on to whatever little bit of the vethakuzhambu is remaining in the vessel, and enjoy it. You will become an eternal slave to this taste!!!!
As an afterthought I added some Fried Manathakkali to this. I don't know what it is called in English but I found this in Wikipedia.

More about Manathakkali (What I know)
Manathakkali is an acquired taste.
It usually grows on the roads, like a weed in Tamilnadu. you can pluck them and eat them from the plant itself. This berry is very high in Iron Content.
We also use the ripe green ones to make pachadi (Raita).
The way they dry this India is they pluck the berries, and wash them and soak them in buttermilk and salt and dry them in the sun.
After the drying is done, (the Manathakkalis shrink) they are bottled and lasts as long as 10 years! Nothing happens to them if they are kept water free.
When you are ready to make them, just deep fry them in hot oil, it is so much fun to see them plump again once they are in hot oil, and as you would fry a vadai, take them out and place them on a tissue paper, thats it.
My kids eat it just like that. They love it for the salt!
Whenever I make it I put two handfuls of the fried ones in a Ziploc box and store it for my son. My son has it with whatever I give him for Dinner.
I also add them in Vethakuzhambus like this to give an extra taste. It is fun to hear the sizzling sound when you plop the freshly fried ones to the boiling Vethakuzhambu.....
It also tastes so good with some Jeera Rasam, I will post the recipe soon.
I am dreaming about this combination... now so bye bye!!

The one on the left is the Dry ones and the one on the right is Deep fried ones. The deep friend ones stay crunchy till a month if stored in an airtight container.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Simple Rasam

This is one of the most simplest dishes which is totally gratifying.......
So many ways to make the rasam, but this is the most easiest recipe!
As you can see I have made it in my Eeya Chombu.
You need
What you need: (This is for 2 people)
A tiny ball (grape tomato size) of tamarindYou could use tamarind paste (about 1/4 teaspoon), but do not expect the rasam to be tasty :(
One medium sized tomato (chopped as desired)
1/4 cup of uncooked Tuvar Dal (pressure cooked till soft)
1 tsp of jeera
2 Green Chili (Optional)
1/2 tsp salt (more or less as needed)
1 tsp of rasam powder (in our house, it is the same as sambar powder but sambar and rasam taste completely different!!)
2 and 1/2 cups water
Dash of Hing
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
To garnish
1 tsp Ghee or Oil ;
1/2 tsp Mustard;
1 Red chili
1 strand Curry leaves
2 strands Coriander Leaves
--->Cook the Tuvar dal with 1/2 cup water in the pressure cooker, you can add the turmeric powder to it.
--->Take 2 cups of water and soak the tamarind in it. Extract all the juice from it and filter the water. You can use your hand to filter and it is ok if some tamarind escapes(!) your hand and falls in to the pot!
--->Add the chopped tomatoes, jeera, Green Chili, salt, hing, rasam powder, turmeric powder.
I also add some coriander leaves and curry leaves (Chopped Finely) to the rasam at this point.
--->Let it all come to a boil. (medium high flame, keep watch, you don't want it to boil over)
--->Once it is all boiling, add the extra half cup of water, the cooked Dal,reduce the flame and let it again come to a boil.
To garnish
--->Add oil or Ghee in a small kadai
--->Add the msutard seeds and once it sputters add the red chillies and pour over rasam
--->Add some coriander leaves for flavor to the rasam.

To serve, Mix rasam with hot rice and a dab of ghee and just enjoy!!