Friday, March 31, 2006

Flop Week

I'm not a great cook but I can cook, decent. Or at least that is what I used to think, till last week.

It all started this Monday, Shekar had a small cold and I volunteered to make Rasam. I've never made Rasam so I googled, read couple of recipes, but wasn't satisfied and I finally called one of my aunts, (my mom - who I usually call, is in east coast and it was like 11.00pm there) and she gave me the recipe.

So I go and start cooking. Aunt told me to put fresh pepper instead of ground pepper. So I made rasam and tasted it, it was not hot enough, so I added more pepper... still not hot enough so added more pepper, so I kept on adding pepper till it reached my expectation. Then my rasam had now become a think paste of pepper. I added some more water to dilute it, so it looked all good. Little did I know the hotness of the pepper increases as it stays longer. So when we started to eat, the Rasam was so hot that we could barely eat. On the bright side, the overdose of pepper cleared all the congestion Shekar had.

Couple of days after that I made Moru Curry (for all non-mallus, this is a curry made with yogurt- something like kadi, and is a very common curry in every mallu household) and this is the first curry I learned how to make. We add jeera powder to it and I accidentally added Garam Masala to it. It was too late before I noticed it. So we had Morru Curry with Garam Masala.

Then last night around 9.00 pm I was making Double ka Meeta, thank you ROS for the Recipe. I rarely make desserts other than cake and cookies. So I start warming up half and half and then I'm supposed to add sugar to it. So I put 2 huge scoops and then I realize, damn this is salt (My salt and sugar are in 2 entirely different looking containers, and they are placed on different levels of the cabinet). Nothing can be done to undo this, so without disturbing the mixture I tried to slowly drain my entire half and half. Then I tasted the half and half and it was so salty. So around 9.30 I go confess to Shekar and beg him to go to the grocery store. Not having another choice he went and got me a new quart of half and half (I also bribed him with couple of extra pieces of double ka meeta).

As I was stirring the half and half, I started thinking how come I messed up so many times this week? May be I've become more confident that I do not pay attention as before. Or maybe I just am not a decent cook.

Jo bi hai, my Double ka meeta turned out very well and makes me happy and brings my confident back (a little).


quills said...

Rasam has always been the tough one to make I feel inspite of everyone saying it is the most easy. My first time disaster with rasam has prevented me from attempting a second time.

Thanks for the link to the bread pudding recipe site. It looks yummy. Btw a good site for Kerala recipes is

Thanu said...

Yeah I did search in Pachakam, but did not like it. My Kerala food recipe bank is mom. I modified the recipe for Double ka meeta, if interested let me know I'll email it to u.

quills said...

Ok never tried Pachakam's rasam rceipe. But then when you have your mom no cookbook can match her culinary skills. In fact when I moved here, I came loaded with my mom's recipes, cook books and what not. But the only way to learn is through trial and error.

My email id is Thanks a lot. :)That's very sweet of you.

Rays Of Sun said...

Oh Boy!!
Rasam!! I am an EXPERT!
call kyun nahi kiya mujhe:(

Rays Of Sun said...

In case, this is the authentic recipe..that I picked from mom

You need:
Ripe tomatoes
Tamarind Water
Rasam powder
Tuvar daal
Fresh cilantro
Curry leaves if available

1. First microwave tomatoes in water for 5 mins, just enuf to remove its skin. Blend it into nice puree and keep it aside.
2. Boil tuvar daal and turmeric in cooker seperately. Mash it really well. Since rasam is of slightly fluid quality, add more water to daal.
3. Similarly..take 4-5 pods of tamarind and put in water. Make a pulp out of it by warming it slightly. Tamarind paste is avalaible. But, it doesnt taste as good as made from original tamarind.
4. Next, take the tamarind and mix it with the tomato puree and place it on stove top.Along with that, add the following to the mixture:Curry leaves, cilantro, asafoetida (hing). These three ingredients give that aroma to rasam.
5. Add 1-2 tbsp of Rasam Powder to it.
6. Allow it to boil properly. The whole room will smell of this boiling mixture.
7. This might take 25-20 minutes depending on the quantity.
8. Add salt.
9. Later add cooked dal mixture to this boilling liquid.
10. Let it stay on flame for 10 minutes on low flame.
11. In a seperate kadhai, add the following for tadka: Little oil or ghee (ghee is fundu), add Udad daal(little bit), mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add jeera and 1-2 red (dried)chillies to it (optional). I generally dont add chillies coz my spice level is really low. But, traditionally rasam does contain this.
12. Add this tadka to the rasam.
13. Here you go. It tastes divine. Have been eating this rasam for eternity and the recipe never fails:D
14. Enjoy.

Rays Of Sun said...

Two types of rasam: Tomato rasam is what I gave you. Pepper rasam me not likey:(

Abe that recipe site se apna khud ka recipe jyada accha hai:)

Thanu said...

Thank u ji so much..
I just put that link. Kal banaya acha aaya. we are gonna take it to our aunts place.

silverine said...

My maid gave me the best Rasam recipe ever. And these accidents do happen at least once in a cooks life :))

p.s. If you go to and see the Cookery Blog Listing you will get the most amazing cook blogs. My favorite is Mahanandi and All recipes are tried and tested.

Anil The Great said...

Thanu :

blunders in cooking .... ha ha !!

never mind, you always have a nice cosy around the corner south indian resturant in the bay area
so you can afford that luxuary.

Doubble Ka Meeta, sounds quite meeta...

Happy Cooking !!


Alexis Leon said...

It was interesting to read your cooking experiments :-)

The only way to learn cooking is by trial and error. And it is important to experiment so that you can fine tune the recipes to suit your taste buds.

I whish you all the best with your cooking...

Uncle J..aka Jaguu... said...


Good Luck Shekar...LOL.....She is using you as a lab...t;)...*ducks* ROTFL Salt instead of Suggah??LOL...

Anyway Happy Birthday :D

Deeps said...

Oh I can absolutely understand what you must have gone through. My only cooking disaster was rava idli becoming upma :-D. I put too much water, so it flowed like water all over inside the idli cooker, so ultimately had to eat it as liquidy upma :-D. But it was sorta fun ;-).

Geo said...

So, you trying out your culinary skills on your poor hubby dear… tat too when he is sick… hope he will be alrite :_))

Archana said...

Hahahah :-). Hmm, rasam was the first "proper" dish I learnt to make.

I generally love the rasam I make :-D - but recently it turned into a disaster when I added black-jeera instead of the regular one (I did not know that different varieties of jeera exist and thought they all were the same :-(() and the rasam had a minty taste to it - different but so not my taste! Ah, well, you cook and you learn!

Vikram said...

Atleast you know how to cook. :(

Thanu said...

Will bookmark those links. Thanks for them.

$Anil The Great
We are not huge restaurants goers. Esp not south Indian. My dosas taste much better than restaurants ones. I would rather eat not so great food at the comfort of my home rather than great food at a restaurants.

$Alexis Leon
These are not experiments. These are things I know and I still messed up.

$Uncle J..aka Jaguu
On the bright side, I caught it before it was served and resolved it.

i know we learn like this. Ur rava idly's batter is gonna be correct texture alwaz.

He is feeling much better, thanks to my pasty think rasam.

I know I need to learn to make a good rasam. It’s more like a challenge

I know, yeah beer is not my staple diet.

educatedunemployed said...

You have lost your concentration.Why?

Jagan said...

and you were making fun of me when i was cooking ? ...ha ha .

RandomThoughts said...

All these Thanu go on to show you are in the right track!
That day is not far off when you would be a good cook! Just don't give up! Keep trying!

All the best to Shekar.

Take care Shekar.


Jiby said...

good fun reading ur culinary experiments...thankfully looks like i dont have to cook ever enjoying mummy's food now! never made rasam but my morre curry always used to mom used to say that was because i didnt keep stirring in the same direction!!!

btw doesnt using the rasam mix give the same effect as goin the whole length of a recipe??? just a sincere doubt and not a poke intended!

Sayesha said...

Baap re ROS, itna lamba recipe!! I adore rasam lekin itna patience nahin hai re... :(

Jithu said...

u remember i hv a visit pending to ur house for those kerala cuisine u make. fish curry i guess :p

Kusum Rohra said...

Don't bother too much thanu as long as poor shakher agrees to eat whatever u make :0

I am a good cook, but i like experimenting, and thankfully aaj tak kuch garbar nahi hui hai, lekin last week i made puran pouri (its a maharashtrian sweet dish made of jaggery and chana dal) .. it didn't turn out ver well, but me is determined to make it agian :0

Arun R said...

That was a good read....

Thanu said...

Pata Nahin re..

Whatever I did not fill bath tub with hot water.

I can not give up need to survive na.

Morru curry pirujufies b/c the heat is high.
Yeah rasam powder has the same effect, but making with rasam powder, the texture gets real thick.

$Sayesha said...
I know I need to learn to make a quick rasam soon.

Yes fish curry... Vano njaan undaki theram. FIsh curry with morru cury adipoli combination

$Kusum Rohra
Shekar is not the issue re, woh kuch bi kaa leta hin, its my taste buds that are picky.

$Arun R
Thank u, but it was more of a venting for me.