• Recipe by
  • Prep time
    15 minutes
  • Cook Time
    45 minutes
  • Serves

Equipment: Classic Dutch Oven


4 cups of red lentils

2 cans of chopped tomatoes or 2 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes

2 tbsp tamarind paste

2 tbsp of jaggery (can be substituted with coconut sugar or dark brown sugar)

1 tsp turmeric

2 tbsp of homemade Rasam powder

For the Tempered Spices

2 tbsp ghee or butter

1 tbsp black mustard seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

3 curry leaves

1 cinnamon stick

2 dried red chillies

Rasam Spice Blend

4 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp peppercorns

1 large cinnamon stick

A handful of fresh or dried curry leaves

A handful of dried red chillies (use less if you want a less spicy blend)

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tiny pinch of asafoetida (optional)


Using a fine mesh sieve, thoroughly rinse your lentils until the water draining out runs clear. This will remove all of the excess starch of the lentils reducing that frothy foam that can build while simmering. Pour the lentils into a large soup pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, add a bit of salt and 1 tsp of turmeric. Stir and leave to simmer uncovered until the lentils become thick and creamy (about 20-30 minutes). Don’t be afraid to add more water if it all absorbs too fast; you want the lentils to be soft and mushy.

Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes and Rasam powder and 2 cups of water in your Kana Dutch Oven. Stir well and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the jaggery (sugar) and tamarind paste and stir again.

When the soup is red in colour, add the cooked dal, stir well and simmer for another 10 minutes uncovered. Adjust for taste, adding salt, tamarind or sugar if needed.

To serve, pour the tempered spices over the top of the dal. Serve with fluffy basmati rice, fresh limes and coriander.

Tempering the Spices

While the soup is simmering, heat up the ghee or butter in your Kana Ultimate Skillet and throw in the cumin and mustard seeds and the curry leaves, cinnamon and chillies. After a few seconds the seeds should begin to sputter and pop; remove from heat and set aside.

Rasam Spice Blend

Dry roast all of your ingredients except for the turmeric and asafoetida in your Kana Ultimate Skillet on medium-high heat until fragrant. Leave to cool then grind the spices using a spice mill, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Stir in the turmeric and asafoetida. Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

rasam spice blend in cast iron skillet

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Melanie Hadida