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Watermelon Rasam

While going through many recipes which include fruit as main ingredient, watermelon Rasam caught my attention. I found it very interesting as I love experimenting with different cuisines. This is a recipe developed by Shri Mountbatten Iyer, a well known Chef from Chennai. So decided not to give it a miss and went ahead.
I have come across so many types of rasams and this one made with watermelon totally blew me off. A combination of tangy, sweet and sour, this rasam is very different but tasty.

Prep Time 20mins   Cook Time 10mins       Serves 4People

Ingredients:

Cooked toor dal – 1 cup (this should be extremely watery and should have no trace of dal)                                                                Watermelon juice 3 cups (strained without seeds)                                                     Tamarind juice – 1 cup                       Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp                          Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp                     Hing/ asafoetida- 1/4 tsp.                                 Salt to taste (preferably rock salt)                   Jaggery 1/2 tsp

To make Rasam Powder :

Rasam powder 1 – coarse powder of whole pepper & Jeera/ Cumin seeds (2:1 ratio)
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Cooked toor dal – 1 cup (this should be extremely watery and should have no trace of dhal)

Note on rasam powders 1 & 2: There are 2 powders that need to be used to make this rasam. Rasam powder 1 should be added while making the rasam and Rasam garnish powder to be added after the rasam is made.

Ingredients to make rasam powder 2 for garnish: (this powder to be made preferably before making the rasam for freshness and added flavour)

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Ghee – 1tsp
Hing / asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Toor Dal – 1.5 tbsp
Channa Dal – 1.5 tbsp
Pepper – 1.5 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 3 tbsp
Whole red chilly – 10 nos (can increase if you want more spice)
Jeera – 1 tsp
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves – finely chopped
Rasam powder 2 (recipe)

Heat ghee in a wok, add toor dhal, channa dhal and fry till golden brown and add pepper corns.
Once they pepper corn splutters, add coriander seeds and fry till golden brown (or till the raw smell dissappears)
Add red chillies and fry till the red chillies inflate and are fried.
Add curry leaves and once you hear them crackle add some jeera and immediately turn off the flame
Cool this mixture down and grind to a coarse powder (roasted rava like texture).

 
Method to make Watermelon Rasam:

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Pour tamarind juice into a wok and add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, hing, salt, curry leaves and jaggery and bring to a boil
Add a little water to the boiling mixture if you think it is a little too thick.
Let it boil till the raw smell of the tamarind fades and add chopped coriander leaves
Now add the rasam powder. Allow to boil and add the watermelon juice
Add some pepper powder nd let it boil. The colour is a lovely deep red colour. Add the cooked dal water and let it boil just a little bit.

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Add the powder that is used to garnish and immediately turn off the flame
Add ghee in a separate wok, temper mustard seeds, jeera and pour over rasam
Add a squeeze of half a lemon.

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NOTE: The tempering and squeezing of lemon is done after turning off the stove always.

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Notes
Try and use your hand as much as possible while cooking, especially while making Rasam. Your hand imparts flavour that no ladle can. This is a secret tip shared by   Shri Mountbatten Mani Iyer.