Most of the foodies in South India are Rasam fanatics. My family is no exception. We enjoy tall glasses of piping hot rasam as starters at multi cuisine restaurants before we indulge in a North Indian or even a Chinese meal ! A bowl of hot rasam rice is ambrosia when one is laid up with fever or cold. Just one spoon of rasam rice is enough to make the dead taste buds spring back to life.The noisy slurps of a delicious rasam rice is real bliss.
One of the most delicious rasams adored by my family comes from the temple town of Udupi.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE RASAM POWDER
Coriander seeds - 1 cup
Red chillies - 1 cup
Split black gram dal - 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds - 2 tbsps
Fenugreek seeds - 2 tsps
Mustard seeds - 2 tsps
Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp
TO MAKE THE RASAM POWDER
1. Dry roast mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds on low flame.
2. When the mustard seeds start spluttering and the fenugreek seeds turn reddish in colour remove them on to a dry plate.
3. Roast cumin seeds similarly till you get a pleasant aroma and remove it into the same plate.
4. Heat oil in the same pan and add coriander seeds, black gram dal and red chillies.
5. Roast them together till the ingredients emanate a pleasant aroma and the chillies become crisp.
6. Remove the roasted ingredients on to a plate and allow to cool.
7. When all the ingredients are cooled grind them together into a slightly coarse powder.
The Udupi Rasam Powder is now ready. Store in a clean air tight jar and use it up within a week.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE UDUPI RASAM
Split yellow pigeon peas/Toor dal - 1 cup
Tomato - 1 big (chopped )
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Green chillies - 2 ( chopped)
Tamarind - The size of a plum
Salt - 1 tsp
Jaggery ( powdered ) - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch
Udupi Rasam Powder - 2 tbsps
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsps ( ground into a coarse paste )
Curry leaves - a few
Fresh coriander leaves - for garnishing
TO PREPARE UDUPI RASAM
1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract a thick juice and keep aside.
2. Pressure cook toor dal with chopped tomato and chopped green chillies adding turmeric powder and 2 cups of water.
3. Add salt, jaggery, asafoetida powder, fresh coconut paste and curry leaves to the tamarind juice and boil for five minutes till the raw smell of the tamarind is gone.
4. Remove the pressure cooked ingredients, mash well using the back of a ladle and pour it into the boiling tamarind mixture, and continue to cook till the ingredients blend well.
5. Stir in the rasam powder avoiding the formation of lumps and simmer for two minutes.
6. Add 2 glasses of water in a slow and steady stream till the rasam becomes foamy.
7. Reduce the flame and top the rasam with fresh coriander leaves.
8. Cover with a lid but keep checking till the rasam starts to simmer again.
9. Switch off flame as soon as the rasam reaches boiling point and starts rising.
Enjoy the hot and flavoursome Udupi Rasam in a tall glass or stir well and savour it with steaming hot rice.In both cases do not forget to top it with a spoon of fresh ghee.