Varagu Rasam Saadham

A South Indian Flavored Millet Congee / Porridge in the Instant Pot

Be it the Congee from the Japanese cuisine or the Kanji from the Tamil cuisine, it stands for comfort food. A rasam congee/ kanji is food that is eaten when you feel like detoxing or when you want to eat light or when you are down with a cold/cough/fever or sometimes when you just crave for it.

Rasam is a very watery / runny tamarind or lemon stew that is flavored with tomatoes, garlic, cumin, black pepper and a few more South Indian spices. It can be made as spicy as you can take or as mild as a baby or child needs it to be. Every South Indian’s diet includes the humble rasam. Tomato rasam, Lemon rasam, Garlic rasam, Black Pepper rasam, Pineapple rasam….there is a long list of rasam recipes, each one unique in flavor and it’s own place in our diet!

Contemporary palates crave a good rasam rice / congee/ kanji to suit the low carb and quick to make lifestyle. Time on hand is short some days but the craving hits. This recipe fits that bill well. Using millets makes it low carb and making it in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker saves time.

Millets have made a huge comeback and is being used instead of the polished white rice that is stripped off all nutrients and sometimes even wheat when one wants to go gluten free. People make almost anything using millets or millet flours…like pilafs, rotis, cakes, brownies, bread, etc.,.

I have used certain millet flours regularly in our diet but now I am trying to include more whole millets in our routine diet. The recipe ideas out there are innumerable and I may have even splurged on a couple of cookbooks too.

This recipe is loosely based on this YouTube video : This channel focuses on the some very traditional Tamil food and I admire the energy and passion they bring to the table.

Recipe : Varagu Rasam Saadham

Prep Time : 10 minutes Soak Time : 20 to 30 minutes (Optional)
Cook time 15 minutesEase Level ; 😃
Spice Level : 🌶🌶Entrée
Servings : 4Gluten Free

Ingredients :

  • Kodo millet / Varagu – 3/4 cup
  • Split yellow mung dal – 1/2 cup
  • Lemon Juice – 2 tablespoon or to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Rasam powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Crushed Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ghee – 1 teaspoon

For the tempering :

  • Ghee – 1 tablespoon
  • Curry leaves – 4 or 5
  • Black mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Powdered jaggery – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafetida – 1/2 teaspoon

How to :

Soak the mung dal and the millet in warm water for 20 – 30 minutes
Add the soaked dal and millet to the inner pot of the Instant pot and then add the turmeric powder, rasam powder, salt, crushed black pepper.
Add enough water to cover the entire dal millet mix, at least 5 cups. We are looking for a soupy consistency. Add the ghee to the water. Using hot water speeds up the cooking process. Close lid, set vent to seal and cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes.
Once it is cooked and the timer runs out, let the pressure settle on its own. Open, check for salt, then add the asafetida and the jaggery.
Now add the hot ghee tempering over the millet dal mixture and fold it in thoroughly.
Add more hot water if you like it soupy, a congee is usually eaten in a bowl with spoon. Serve it hot in bowls, with a vegetable side of your choice and a dollop of ghee.
Varagu rasam Saadham with Carrot Beans Thoran and a dollop of ghee.

Rasam powder :

This is the homemade instant rasam powder I used in this recipe :

  • Cumin seeds – 1 tablespoon
  • Toor Dal / split pigeon peas – 1 teaspoon
  • Peppercorns – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • A few curry leaves
  • Dry red chili – 1 – medium spicy variety

Add all these spices to a spice grinder and grind to a coarse powder. Use in the above recipe.

Hope you give this a try. Thank you for stopping by!

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