Toor dhal - 2 to 3 tbsp, cooked
Green chillies - 4 to 5, slit in half
Ginger - half inch piece, chopped
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Lemon/Lime - 1/2, juiced or increase/decrease to taste
Cumin seeds - half tsp
Black pepper (whole) - half tsp
Rasam powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - half tsp
Salt - to taste
Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - quarter tsp
Cumin seeds - quarter tsp
Curry leaves - 5
Asafoetida - a small pinch
1) Chop the peeled tomatoes finely. Microwave with some water for 5 minutes. Allow to cool a bit and mash.
2) Coarsely pound cumin and pepper together ( I used my handy-dandy mortar & pestle). Dissolve the 2 to 3 tbsp of well cooked toor dhal in 2 cups of water & keep aside.
3) Many people season rasam at the very end, but I do it in the beginning. Heat a pan with 1 tsp of nallennai, and season with mustard seeds, once it splutters, add cumin seeds, asafoetida & curry leaves.
4) Next add the crushed cumin and pepper, chopped ginger, slit green chillies and after a few seconds of sauteeing them, add the crushed tomatoes with the water they cooked in. Next add the rasam powder, salt, turmeric powder and the toor dhal mixed with water. Allow this to boil for about 10 minutes.
5) Switch off the stove, add the lemon juice, coriander leaves and the tsp of ghee. Cover and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Here's a quick snack I made when we had some surprise guests... It's just vegetable crackers (plain, salted ones will work too) that has been topped with a layer of 'Laughing Cow' cheese (any flavor), topped with thin slices of cucumber/tomato slices with a tiny dollop of sour cream and a leaf of cilantro/coriander. Best eaten as soon as it's made or it can get soggy. My daughter loved making and eating them as well.