First of all let us see why this dish is named this way. Kattu (pronounced as cuttu) means the water from boiling pigeon peas. In fact the stock left on boiling the pigeon peas or kandipappu/bedalu is referred to as kattu in Telugu and Kannada. Rasam made from this kattu is called Kattu chaaru. kattu rasam is the simplest of the recipes we know and the best thing to have when ill.
Preparation time 10-15 mins
Pigeon peas (kandipappu/Toor dal) ½ cup
Cumin (jeera/jeelakarra) 1 tsp
Mustard seeds (Aavalu) 1 tsp
Curry leaves (karvepak) 4-5
Red Chilli 1
Ghee 2 tsp
Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing/Inguva)
Pinch of Turmeric
Salt to taste
Fresh chopped coriander to garnish.
The actual traditional method of making kattu chaaru is to drain out all the stock or water left from boiling the Pigeon peas into a vessel.
Now take a Kadai/pan and add 2 tsp of ghee. Once hot add mustard seeds and once they splutter add the curry leaves and red chilli and a pinch of asafetida or hing. Add this seasoning to the drained water or stock.
Add a pinch of salt, 1 tsp of cumin and garnish with coriander.
The pigeon peas so boiled were and are still used to make sambar or dal and so on.
Now a days we all use pressure cookers to boil the pigeon peas (kandi pappu/toor dal). There is not much stock left generally when the pressure cooker is used unless of course we add more water to the pigeon peas while keeping it in the cooker. This way there is some stock available.
Season this drained stock or water as in the above method, add salt to taste and garnish with chopped coriander.
This is an advisable option, but incase this is not done then the method we have begun to use now a days is also useful and is as follows:
Pressure cook the pigeon peas with a pinch of turmeric.
Now take 3 large spoons of the pigeon peas into a vessel. Add one and half cups of water. Add salt to taste and 1 tsp of cumin (jeera). Keep the vessel on the stove and leave for boiling. Once the pigeon peas are completely mashed and the water is of soup consistency switch the stove off.
Now take a Kadai/pan and add 2 tsp of ghee. Once hot add mustard seeds and once they splutter add the curry leaves and red chilli and a pinch of asafoetida. Season the rasam with this tampering and garnish with coriander. Kattu chaaru is ready to gulp down.
All the methods we have mentioned above are authentic and anyone of them will mean the same. Kattu chaaru can also be had as a soup especially when ill since it contains proteins, the body building nutrients and is easily digestible. The best way to have kattu chaaru however is with hot rice, mixed with a tsp of ghee and some lemon juice sprinkled on it.