- 1 cup yellow split lentils
- 10 ripe tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 4 tablespoons tamarind
- 8 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seed
- 2 curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 5 teaspoons rasam spice mix, recipe follows
- 3 sprigs cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup cooked brown basmati rice
- ½ cup cooked yellow split lentils
- ¼ cup acorn or other squash, diced and cooked
Cook lentils in 3 cups salted water; strain and reserve water to thin the soup.
Mill tomatoes, place in a pot and add turmeric when hot. Simmer 15 minutes, add tamarind and simmer 30 more minutes, both times covered. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saute pan, crack cumin seed, mustard seed, curry leaves and add to the oil. Add oil and spice mix to soup; taste, adjust seasoning and thin with lentil water if necessary.
Ladle into bowls and finish with cilantro, rice, lentils and seasonal vegetable.
To make spice mix, toast 1 cup coriander seed, ¼ cup black peppercorns, ¼ cup Spanish-style smoked paprika and ½ cup yellow split lentils until fragrant and grind. Makes 1¾ cups.
Chef de Cuisine David Chapman; Green Zebra; Chicago