Mudda Pappu – Tomato Rasam

dsc_0147.jpgRoasted Pigeon Peas and Spicy Tomato Rasam

Lentils play a prominent role in my everyday cooking. As a vegetarian, for me they are the protein pack filled with valuable nutrients and vitamins besides vegetables. Dishes made of lentils are must in my everyday cooking. It can be dal, rasam, sambar or even chutney. There are lots of different varieties of lentils available and each one has a distinctive flavor and used in preparation of different kinds of delicious dishes. In India lentils are used extensively right from side dishes to savories and deserts.

In India, toor dal (split pigeon peas) are one of the most popular lentils—along with, chana, urad, masoor and mung. Pigeon peas are nutritionally important, as they contain high levels of protein and the important amino acids methionine, lysine, and tryptophan.

As a South Indian I’m very fond of toor dal/kandi pappu (split pigeon peas), urad dal (black gram), channa dal (split chickpeas) and moong dal (slit yellow mung beans) and my pantry is always well stocked with all these different lentils and legumes, looks more like an mini lentil bazaar.

When it comes to cooking time by default I go for toor dal (Kandi pappu in Telugu). When Linda announced that she is extending the deadline for JFI- Toor dal, I have decided to send my favorite mudda pappu .The nutty flavor of the roasted toor dal gives a unique taste to the dish. Mudda pappu is relished with different combinations. Today’s combination is with simple tomato rasam and potato fry. When ever I cook this dish, it takes back to my childhood days. My mom always use to make small balls of dal rice and drop them into the spicy hot rasam and use to me feed and my sister telling us all those beautiful moral stories.



 our meal today mudda pappu, tomato rasam and potato fry

Thanks Linda, I’m sending this to you .
Mudda Pappu


1 cup toor dal/ kandi pappu
Salt to taste
Water to cook


Heat a dry skillet on medium low, dry roast toor dal till golden brown and until you smell the nutty aroma of roasted dal. Remove from heat, shift into a bowl. Add required amount of water and pressure cook until done (I usually cook for 3 whistles). Cool down and drain the excess water into a bowl (don’t throw it). Lightly mash the dal and mix salt and little reserve water to thin it /desired consistency.


Tomato Rasam/Charu
Call it a “Soup” in western style or “Rasam” in Indian way. It’s a comfort food for many Indians especially South Indians. There are a lot of different varieties of Rasam, they are good for tummy and also yummy side dish for rice usually had along with dal, dry curries and papad. This is a simple version of no dal tomato rasam.


1 small tomato
Tamarind (small lemon size)
1 tsp jaggery
2 cups water / reserved lentil water
1/4 tsp turmeric
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste

For seasoning
1 tsp veg oil
1/2 tsp jeera
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of hing
2 tsp MTR rasam powder
Few coriander leaves (chopped)

Heat oil in a small frying pan and fry the seasonings 1-4 (except rasam powder and coriander leaves). Allow mustard seeds to pop. Turn off the heat and keep aside.


Soak tamarind in warm water for 15 mins and extract the pulp (around 2-3 tbsp)

In a deep pan/ pot, add the tomatoes (crush or chopped) , tamarind pulp, salt, turmeric, jaggery, curry leaves and water. Bring all together to boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook the rasam mixture for 10-12 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and done. Add rasam powder and cook for 2 more minutes. Adjust the taste, stir in the seasoning and coriander leaves and remove from heat.

To serve (like my mom) , mix rice, ghee (clarified butter) and mudda pappu and make balls. In a soup bowl pour rasam and drop the dal rice balls as shown in the above picture. Let it stand for 3-5 mins and enjoy listening to a nice story. 🙂


Notes and Tips

You can make mudda pappu without roasting dal. You can use sugar instead of jaggery in your rasam. If you don’t like the sweetness in your rasam just skip the sugar/jaggery. Rasam powder can be substituted with ½ tsp of coriander powder and ¼ tsp of red chilli powder. Add these ingredients to seasoning and fry for a minute or so and mix. Toor dal/ pigeon peas is also know as tuvar dal, red gram , arahar dal.


23 Responses to “Mudda Pappu – Tomato Rasam”

  1. December 6, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    elegancy lies in the presentation. baaga telisina ee combination ni athyantha intresting item gaa marchi…anduloni amrutha tulyamina aa ruchi ni…. nee photola tho maaku andinchaavu. hatts off…!!!!

  2. December 6, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    That bowl is too much of a temptation 🙂

  3. December 6, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    both dishes are simple n elegent. perfect rasam for this winter….nice pics

  4. 4 bee
    December 6, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    comfort often lies in simplicity. your rasam looks very inviting.

  5. December 6, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    I’m hungry right now, what will it take for you to send me some? 🙂

  6. December 6, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Shivapriya, this is a wonderful post. I love your pretty muddas floating in the rasam 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing these great recipes for JFI Toor Dal! 🙂


  7. December 6, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks Chaitu, but I need a translator to translate that core telugu compliment 🙂

    Suganaya, Remya and Bee thanks for your humble words.

    Cynthia Mam its right on ur way :).

    Linda I have to thank q for hosting wonderful event. I’m glad you loved it.

  8. December 6, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    loved ur rasam! looks so very tempting with those balls floating in them! great job!

  9. December 7, 2007 at 12:48 am

    pappu looks wonderfulllll beaituful pics

  10. December 7, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for sharing the way to enjoy dhal rice with rasam shivapriya! Pictures are too good!!

  11. December 7, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    I love these dishes they look so gourmet Shivapriya. I love anything that resembles a dumpling and those lentil balls in your lovely soup are amazing. Delicious recipe I bet it is wonderful to taste yummy. 🙂

  12. December 8, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    This is a perfect comfort food …..Pics are too good …must have tasted great …

  13. December 11, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    I loved loved loved the mudda pappu, such a nice way to dunk those balls in the dal

  14. March 6, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Hi Shivapriya,

    I’ve blogged your Mudda Papu as a model recipe in the 1001 South Indian curry cookbook at

    /Thanks for the detailed recipe


  15. August 13, 2008 at 3:08 am


    You forgot to mention pepper powder along with coriander powder to substitute rasam powder. Without pepper, this can be treated as pulusu. Difference is, we add pepper to rasam. Anyway, nice posts. I always follow your recipes. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  16. 17 Sunita
    November 27, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Hi Shivapriya,

    The rice balls in rasam look so tempting! And photos are amazing.

    thanks for sharing your recipe.



  17. 18 Krishna
    April 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Sivapriya Garu,

    Thanks for your amazing recipies on the net. I forgot to bring the cooking notes made by mom while I was travelling to UK. So started searching on the net… and here I find it. Its no different from my mom’s way of preparing… how ever the presentation is serving style is superb…. thanks one again…


  18. 19 sarala kodamala
    August 7, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Dear Siva Priya,
    your recipes are very simple and tasty. I would like to know of a recipe made long back by friends mother. I donot know the exact name of it but I know she made with kandi pappu . they were ball s made of kandipappu and cooked as koora. she was from Vijayawada Brahmin girl.
    i really like to have that recipe.
    keep good cooking

  19. 20 Santi
    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 am

    Hi Ramakrishnan,

    The mudda pappu recipie reminds me of my grandma. Thanks for the recipie details,as well as for your effort that has gone into this.


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