1/2 to 3/4 cup yellow split peas or moong dal, or masoor dal (washed)
Generous 2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 heaping tsp coriander powder
1 tsp asafetida, divided into 1/2 tsp quantities
1 tsp fenugreek powder
1 cup chopped cilantro, stems included, divided into 1/2 cup portions
2 tsp salt
1 -2 limes, juiced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 heaping tsp whole cumin seed
1 stalk of curry leaves (about 8-10 leaves)
1 Tb olive oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 dried red chili
1. Combine dal, 3 cups of water, ginger, turmeric, coriander powder, 1/2 tsp asafetida, fenugreek and 1/2 cup of the cilantro in a large pot over medium heat and cook until dal is soft. Optional: you can mash the dal with a potato masher once cooked, while still in the pot.
2. Once dal is cooked, add 4 cups of water to the pot. Add salt and the juice of 1-2 limes. Adjust salt and tartness to your taste.
3. Make the tempering oil: Using a mortar and pestle, smash together the garlic and the whole cumin seeds. Set aside. In a small metal saucepan, combine oil, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and red chili. Cook on low heat until the fenugreek seeds turn brown and the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the garlic/cumin mixture and the curry leaves and remaining 1/2 tsp asafetida. Cook until garlic is brown.
4. Add tempering oil mixture to the dal and add the remaining 1/2 cup of cilantro.
Note: If you intend to just drink the rasam, 1/2 cup of dal is all you need. If you are going to eat it over rice, use 3/4 to 1 cup of dal.