Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ginger Lemon Kollu Rasam (Spicy soup with horse gram ,lemon juice and ginger))

I will never look at Susan G. Komen, the charitable organization quite the same way again. I have never really paid attention to the charity other than thinking highly of the work they do for women's health. I have not directly contributed to the organization but have participated indirectly by buying pink yogurt boxes, chips or other items with pink ribbons on them. I have reached for the pink ribboned items rather than a brand I usually buy.

The drama the last few days with Komen cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood proved how far ideology can move an organization away from what should be it's core mission namely protecting women's health. After the latest episode I started reading about the organization and what I found out is not making me comfortable.

To have right wing ideologues in the board and top positions in an organization that is purely run from donations collected in the name of women's health is one thing. Right wing radical groups have made it a mission to jeopardize women's health and rights every chance they get. To sway to pressure from these groups is another thing altogether.

I also spent some time in Charity Navigator and looking through Komen's audit report - not that I understood much from reading those reports anyway but enough to know that the percentage they spend on Administration costs is way too high. I would not willingly contribute to an organization with that high of an overhead and who pays a failed right wing politician that high of a salary to run a non profit organization.

Whenever I make a donation I do check up on the charity to see their expenses but an organization like Susan G Komen I probably would not have because of their reputation and them being in our face all the time. This is another lesson not to judge a book by its cover. Never ever make a donation to an organization without finding out who sits in decision making positions. Especially an organization like this one which has ardent supporters and chapters all over the country.

Have any of you made donation to the organization and did the episode last week leave a sour taste in your mouth?

Now on to something tasty like this rasam for example. I saw this delicious looking rasam on Cilantro for Ginger Lime Rasam and I could not wait to give it a try. Add to the urgency was the fact that each one of us had a runny nose. Kollu Paruppu and Rasam does what all the cold medications of the world cannot do.

I decided to give Cilantro's lime rasam a try with horse gram instead of the toor dal. The combination of lime and horse gram is one that you have got to try. It was perfectly soothing for those scratchy throats. I mashed up a quarter cup of the horse gram into the rasam and so it was a slightly thickish rasam.

Recipe Source: Cilantro - Ginger Lime Rasam
Ginger Lemon Kollu(Horse gram) Rasam
1. 1/4 cup horse gram
2. juice from 2 limes
3. seasoning: mustard, cumin and asfoetida, curry leaves
4. 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
5. 2 tsp ghee
6. 1 tsp red chili powder
7. salt to taste

8. 1 tomato chopped
9. 2 inch piece of ginger

To Roast and Powder
10. 5 red chilies
11. 1/2 tbsp of pepper corns
12. 2 tsp coriander seeds
13. 1 tsp cumin seeds
14. few fenugreek seeds

1. Cook the horse gram with 5 times as much water till soft and mushy. A pressure cooker works best. Cool and blend the cooked dal to smooth.
2. Blend the tomatoes and ginger to a paste.
3. Roast 6-10 till they start to turn color and make a powder (Coffee grinder works best for this)
4. Mix 1-3 with the coriander leaves and in a vessel gently bring it to a boil. I let it simmer for about 3-4 minutes for the raw smell of tomato to leave. Add salt and chili powder half way through.
5. In a small pan heat the ghee and add the seasoning ingredients and pour over the boiling rasam. Turn off the heat.

Drink as a soup or with white rice.


  1. I've had very negative views of the Susan G Komen foundation for many years now. Over time they got so big that it seemed to become a bloated organization, with hefty paychecks for all the top people. The "pinkwashing" with all products peddled in pink is so aggressive and unsavory.

    These days I feel better about supporting smaller organizations that are closer to home in the sense that I (or someone I know) knows their work personally.

  2. A lot of the Charities spend a lot on administration and it is hard to decide whom to give. I was very sad with what finally turned up about the author of the book "3 cups of tea". I usually like to support children's org where you can sponsor & track a particular child's progress.
    You did quiet a thorough look up on the Komen foundation I must say. I find this whole right wing hula-balloo about planned parenthood ridiculous.

    Kollu I do not have but with a toor I guess this dal can be as good.

  3. ISG...thanks for thowing some light on this topic. All I had been hearing last week was ...cut of planned parenthood....

    anyways. From sometime now I have been a bit disillusioned with the whole medical industry.They seem to spend millions of dollars making drugs with so many side effects it completely throws me off.
    I wish people in this industry would start looking into some ancient and alternative medicine before becoming hell bent on solving the symptoms. Yes just that... all these drugs do is give relief from sypmtoms and not the is such a collosal waste of and hell lot of information overload.

    The rasam looks good...looking forward to trying it.

  4. I agree with you re: Susan Komen. No more donations to anything connected with them. Just another rabid right-wing operation, stealing our money.

  5. Thank you Indo for trying it out.
    All of us are having a bad cold & sore throat and I would have loved to make it with kollu but I do not have it with me.

  6. It seemed like the more I read, the more irritated I was. The scratchy throats is doing it's round here too. The rasam looks delish.


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