In this pepper-cumin rasam recipe, the heat of pepper is balanced by the tanginess of tomato and sweetness of jaggery for a perfect-for-cool-weather broth.
1 lemon-sized ball tamarind paste (about 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch asafetida
1/2 teaspoon rasam powder
1/2 teaspoon grated or powdered jaggery (or brown sugar)
salt to taste
1 small tomato
5-7 fresh curry leaves
1 teaspoon ghee
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas)
Step 1Obtain a thin extract of tamarind by soaking and dissolving it in 1 cup (200 ml) of water. Discard any fibrous pulp.\r\n
Step 2Dry roast the peppercorns, cumin, and asafetida in a dry skillet, stirring and tossing frequently over medium heat, until they begin to smell fragrant. Cool and grind into a fine powder. \r\n
Step 3Stir the powdered spices, rasam powder, jaggery, and salt into the tamarind extract.
Step 4Roughly crush the tomatoes and curry leaves and add them to the tamarind extract. Bring this rasam mixture to the boil.
Step 5To this mixture, add 2 cups (400 ml) of water and continue heating until the rasam begins to foam.
Step 6Heat the ghee in a small tempering or frying pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the toor dal and fry until the dal turns golden brown and aromatic. \r\n
Step 7Pour this tempering into the hot rasam and stir through thoroughly.\r\n
Step 8Sprinkle over a little cold water, cover and set aside. \r\n