Shital's-Kitchen: Rasam Wada

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rasam Wada

Holi of 2014 was special, we were invited for a get together and karaoke to Pranita Mami's and Bharat mama's place. I am sure, by now you would know who they are. If not, you should read my post from December 2013 :) Technically speaking, they are my aunt and uncle -in-laws, but they are so adorably wonderful people to be with and talk to, that they always make an Indian daughter-in-law like me feel at home and comfortable. Spending time with mama and mami (uncle and aunty) is always fun and memorable. So was the holi celebration this time. With the beautiful spring climate in California, we could enjoy their backyard dosa party, corn on the cob grilled live, and Gujarati style Thepla with Aloo Matar.

While Bharat mama's dosa parties are fun and popular, I thought of bringing along some rasam wadas. This dish is easy to make, can be made ahead of time, and great for potlucks!

Festival of colors enjoyed with chilled Thandai shots!

Rasam is a spicy, tangy, concoction of tomatoes and toor dal. It is a South Indian delicacy served with rice, wadas or as is like a soup.

To make rasam:
Pressure cook 5 large tomatoes (cut into pieces) and 1/4 cup of toor dal for 30 mins. or up to 4 whistles.

Remove in a large container. Use a hand blender to puree cooked tomatoes and dal. Add 6 cups of water.

Add salt to taste. Start by adding little, as you could add in more later.

Make fresh Rasam powder.
2 tbsp. coriander seeds, 1 tbsp. whole cumin, 1 tbsp. black pepper corns, 2 dry red chillies, few curry leaves.
Dry roast these spices. When cooled, grind to form powder.

Mince 4-5 cloves of garlic.

Here is my mini rotary garlic chopper. The blade can be easily disassembled and washed in running water or dishwasher. I love it!

Just before tempering, I add ground rasam masala/powder to tomato and dal mixture.

To temper:
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small pan or tempering pan. Add minced garlic, few curry leaves.
(you could also add 1 tsp. mustard seeds)

Pour tempering over tomato and dal mixture. Mix well.

Add 2 tbsp. of tamarind paste or squeeze in fresh lime juice.

Boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Take a taste test. 
If needed, add salt, or tamarind pulp or red chilli powder for spice.

Serve in a cup and enjoy as is or with wadas.

Wada is a deep fried, gluten free ball made of lentils or urad dal.
Soak 1 cup of urad dal in 2 1/2 cups of water for 8 hours.
This will make 25-30 wadas.

As they soak, they double in size. Remove most of the water and add soaked urad dal to the food processor or grinder with few green chillies and ginger.

If the batter looks very thick, add 2 tbsp water so that it can grind well.

Add 1 tsp. salt.

Coarsely ground pepper corns.

Mix the batter well. I like to keep it aside for 15 minutes to ferment or aerate the batter. You could also use a ladle to mix the batter for 5 minutes till the batter become light and fluffy.

Urad dal batter is thick and sticky. This batter tends to cling to your finger and would resist being dropped to be fried. So keep a bowl of regular water. Dipping finger in water before picking up some batter will make it stick less and easy to fry. 
Remember no excess water on your fingers.

To check if the oil temperature is correct. 
Drop a tny bit of batter in the oil. If it immediately starts to float without browning, then the temperature is correct.

Take around 1 1/2 tbsp of batter. Make a nice round ball. (wet hands make this process easy).
You could use both your hands and toss the batter back and forth to form the ball. Remember to wet all your fingers.

Drop in the hot oil and fry till they turn golden brown. Temperature of oil should not drop. Be aware to crank up the flame.

Drop is hot rasam and enjoy.

Here is the backyard dosa party brunch! 
With live dosas and uttapams and some rasam wada on the side.


  1. Hi sheetal ... I just want to tell u i am in complete awe of u !!! U r simply superb !!! U explain each & every detail for cooking & its a very imp thing for person like me who is learning to cook... I am also bewildered as to how u manage to cook such lovely dishes & click pics write the blog with such patience knowing that u do a job as well !!!! Hats off to u !!!!

    1. Thanks Rashmi for taking time to write this heart touching comment! Cooking, for me is the way to relax and rejuvenate myself :)

      Thanks again, and looking forward to more comments from you :)

  2. I like the detailed pictures of the recipes, and what makes it different from other bloggers is you have exact measurement of salt, which makes it so easy for me to cook with confidence. Many bloggers would write, salt to taste which makes it hard for beginners and especially if it is fried dish. Thanks so much, I will surely visit your site often.