Rasam is a light Indian soup made with dal, tamarind and diced tomatoes. The dal (split legumes) is cooked in lots of water and is seasoned with the sour tamarind and spices. When the dal is cooked well, it is whipped so it falls apart and sinks to the bottom of the pot. Tradition holds that you serve the clear, spicy, flavorful broth to guests and the 'dregs' are eaten by the family.
In our family everyone had some of both by stirring up the soup before serving.
The Cauliflower in Creamy Sauce is adapted from a recipe in Flavors of India, a nice little vegetarian Indian cookbook. This was divine. And oh so quick! While the cauliflower is steaming the sauce is made and then poured over the tender cauliflower. That's it. We all loved this version of a sauced cauliflower and it goes on our 'Make Again' list.
I also made the Saffron Rice right out of the same cookbook. I should have followed by instincts to use the amount of water to make the rice as I usually do, but instead I followed my rule of making something from a recipe as the author wrote it. Hence, I got overcooked rice. What a shame. The taste was great and the kids liked it, but you know mushy rice when you eat it.
The simplest way to cook white rice is to combine it with the water (1 c rice to 1 1/2 c water), bring to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer for 5-10 (Max!) minutes, turn it off and let it hang out on the back of the stove for another 15 minutes, covered. Fluff it with a fork and serve.
spices, tomato, tamarind: $1.50
rice, saffron: $1
plant milk, cashews: $2
Total to make 5 servings: