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Sunday, November 19, 2006

pepper rasam

Rasam is one of my favorite comfort foods. There are several different rasam recipes like lemon-lime rasam, paruppu rasam, pepper rasam, thippili rasam and so on. Some use toor dal, some don't. Some use tomatoes, some don't. Some are pretty watery like a thin soup, some are hearty and thick. The spices used make one rasam different from the other, but, in general many families in south india have their own special rasam recipe, and have their own secret "rasam powder" formula:-)

easy recipe pepper rasam

This pepper rasam recipe is quick and easy to make and is one of my favorites. I like to just drink it sometimes, especially when I have a stuffy nose and head, but, it makes a nice simple meal with rice and sides like simple potato side or snakegourd side or snake beans and zuccini side.

Ingredients easy recipe rasam
4 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 medium tomato, diced
2 Tbsp canola oil (or ghee, i find ghee tastes better)
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish
4-5 curry leaves, chopped, chiffonade (optional)
1 Tbsp whole black pepper
4-5 dry red chilies
4-5 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp brown sugar
salt to taste
water as needed
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds

  1. in a mortar and pestle, pound the cumin, black pepper, dry red chilies and garlic into a fairly smooth powdery paste
  2. if using fresh tamarind, shell it, soak it in hot water and extract pulp, discard seeds strings and skin, if any
  3. in a cooking pot, heat the oil/ghee and add the tempering*, when mustard seeds stop spluttering, add the pepper paste from step 1 and the tomatoes and sautee for a minute or so till the spices bloom
  4. add about 4-6 cups of water, tamarind pulp/concentrate, brown sugar, salt to taste; let it simmer till tomatoes are cooked well and the rawness of the tamarind is gone; amount of water determines how thin or thick the rasam turns out
  5. off heat, garnish with cilantro/curry leaves; serve warm with basmati rice, or as an appetizing soup
    * traditionally, tempering is done last, in a separate tempering "ladle" of sorts and poured over the hot dish and allowed to sizzle; this works best, even tastes a little better; but, doing the tempering first has become a short-hand procedure for some of my cooking as I find it more convenient

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  • At 10:10 AM, Blogger Praba said…

    lovely! Comforting to see the exact same method that I use as well. Little under the weather yesterday...came in handy!

    I sometimes avoid the red chilli if I want to go low on the spice.

    Mostly paired with veggie kootu or any coconut based cabbage or beans dry curry. It's a regular item once-a-week. Made milagu rasam y'day.


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