The general tendency of Indians is to spice up almost all food. Their British counterparts do the same, but in the reverse direction. The result - the world is rewarded with three dishes chicken tikka masala, kedgeree and mulligatawny soup. Rasam is the origin for mulligatawny soup meaning milagu thanni (pepper water). Probably Rasam is one of the few dishes that are reminiscence of an old cuisine that managed to retain its originality even after the deadly chillies were unleashed from
This is a special recipe because there is no powder involved and all the ingredients are assembled from scratch. Here is how he makes it. This recipe makes about 3 liters of Rasam. S doesn’t believe in small quantities!
- Tamarind – 1 lime size ball
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Tomato – ½
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Curry leaves – 1 twig
- Corriander leaves – to garnish
- Garlic – 1 whole pod
- Cumin seeds – 3 Tbsp
- Curry Leaves – 1 twig
- Red chillies – 4
- Pepper corns – ½ spoon
Grind the ingredients under ‘To Grind’ in a blender. Extract juice from the tamarind and squeeze the half cut tomato into the tamarind juice and add in the tomato pulp also in the juice. To this add the turmeric powder, asafetida and the ground paste. Add salt and taste it. You can adjust for seasoning at this stage. S feels it is very important to taste it at this stage. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. After they pop add the tamarind water mixture. Another thumb rule is to always add the water to the tempering of mustard seeds and oil, never the opposite. It makes a difference to the end result. The last bit is never to let the rasam boil. When it just starts boiling, take it off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves. This is a bit garlicy in taste. You have to taste it to appreciate the flavours of rasam.
If you want to make parupu rasam, then add some mashed paruppu and the water that it was cooked in.
To make it a tomato rasam, squeeze 1 more tomato and add the pulp.
To make it a pepper rasam, reduce the red chillies and add more pepper corns.