Rasam (Indian Lentil & Tomato Soup)


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I’m in the mood for soup these days. It’s simple to make and it’s lighter than eating a massive bowl of curry. This is a delicous Indian soup which uses curry leaves to up the taste. The soup should be quite thin, and don’t throw away the leaves. They’re perfectly edible.



1 cup red lentils
4 cups chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons hot curry powder
24 fresh curry leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
2 tablespoons ghee (or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 lime (juice of)

Pick over the lentils for any stones. Rinse and place in a large deep pan. Add the curry powder, tomatoes and 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 35 minutes or until the lentils are soft. With a hand blender, or in batches in a food processor, blend the mixture to form a smooth texture. Add the curry leaves and another 2 cups water and the salt. Stir well.
In a small frying pan, heat the ghee/oil over a moderate heat until hot. Add the mustard seeds and cover the pan. Once the seeds seem to have stopped popping, take off the lid and add the garlic and the cumin, stir for 30 seconds and remove from the heat. Mix this into the soup, stirring thoroughly. Bring the soup to the boil again and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes. Add half the lime juice and taste, add a little more at a time to avoid over seasoning. Adjust seasonings to your taste before serving.

Serve on its own with a little bread if you like.

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