Saturday, July 29, 2017

Kollu Rasam (Horse Gram Rasam - Soup With Tamarind & Tomatoes)

Kollu Rasam
Kollu Rasam is a delicious light soup often served during cold and cough season for its power in assuaging the winter blahs. Kollu or Horse Gram, a legume, is considered very strength-giving and helpful in cold and cough relief as well as maintaining fitness. It is not surprising that kollu is recommended for maintaining fitness; as with other beans, kollu is rich is fiber and keeps one feeling full longer.

Kollu Rasam is a bonus dish when making other kollu dishes like Kollu Thoran or Puzhukku; decant the excess broth from cooking the kollu and voila! you have the magic ingredient for a lovely new recipe! Kollu Rasam is similar to other rasams like Jeera Charu, Lemongrass Rasam, Everyday RasamAmma Rasam, and Lemon-Lime Rasam.

NOTE: Tamarind gives the rasam a lovely tang; if tamarind is not available, add lime or lemon juice to taste. If using lime or lemon, do use the optional jaggery as it mellows the acidity. If fresh tomatoes are not an option, canned or dried tomatoes work well.


1 cup dry Kollu OR Reserved Broth from cooking Kollu (Horse Gram)
1 tsp Tamarind Concentrate OR 1 Tbsp dried Tamarind (about half the size of a ping-pong ball)
1 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1-2 tsp Rasam Powder
1 Tomato, chopped
1 tsp Salt, or to taste
1 sprig Curry Leaves, sliced finely
1 tsp Jaggery/Coconut or Brown Sugar (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh Coriander/Cilantro, chopped


Click here for soaking and cooking the kollu. Cook the kollu/horsegram with 3 cups of water in a pan or pressure cooker. Decant the cooking broth and set aside; reserve the kollu for Thoran or Puzhukku.

If using dried tamarind, soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of warm water for 15 minutes. Knead and discard any shell pieces, seeds and fiber; make a puree using a blender and set aside. 

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin and cook untill it starts to pop; and the curry leaves.

Add in one medium chopped tomato. Add in the salt. Add in the tamarind puree, pepper, jaggery and rasam powder.

Let it simmer on low flame for 10 minutes or untill the  tomatoes are soft.

Add in the kollu/horsegram broth. Add enough fresh water to make the total quantity of rasam one quart or litre. Cook for a few minutes on low-medium heat until rasam begins to foam. Sprinkle the coriander leaves. Remove off heat. Cover and let rest for a few minutes.

Serve hot with rice, serve in a cup or mug as part of the meal, as a starter/appetizer, or at the end of the meal!


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