"Rasam sadham" is the common term used in tamil for simple plain white rice mixed with Rasam.In authentic tamil cuisine, white rice and rasam are served as the final course of the meal. The reason for this being that rasam aids in quick digestion.
Usually the basic rasam is prepared by the combination of pepper, tamarind and other spices.But then there are different kinds of rasam's which can be had as the main course like paruppu/dhal rasam, lemon rasam, pineapple rasam etc.These receipes are prepared using the main ingredient in their names + basic rasam.
As kids, we always jump into rasam sadham skipping the main course such as dhals/sambhar or kulambhu.Sometimes when we want to give our Mom a days rest (which she doesnt want to ) we would request her make us just rasam.Whenever I go on a long trip and spend days together by eating fast foods like burgers and pizza, my heart starts aching for the hot steaming white rice and rasam.I get the same feeling while travelling from India- US and vice versa.On such times, I can't wait to go home and make a pot full of spicy rasam.
According to me the definition for 'comfort food' is the food that comes to your mind or the food that you ache for, when you are deprived of homemade food for days.With that in mind my first choice for FMR - comfort food would be 'Pepper Rasam'.
Here's a simple receipe for Pepper Rasam.
3 cups of tamarind juice by soaking and squeezing lime size tamarind in water (or) 2 tsp tamarind pulp dissolved in 4 cups of water.
2 tsp pepper powder
2 tsp jeera powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
4 cloves garlic smashed and roughly chopped
1 medium size tomato
1/cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
salt as needed
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp jeera seeds
1 red chilly
a pinch of hing
few curry leaves
Take the tamarind juice in vessel.Add all the powders, garlic and salt to it. Squeeze the tomatoes by your hand and mix with the liquid well.Check for salt and spice level.Add the coriander leaves and keep aside. Take a kadhai or sauce pot and add 2 tsp of oil. To this add the tempering ingredients one by one.When the mustard pops add the tamarind juice mixture to it.
Reduce the heat the medium and look for the bubbles.The trick for good rasam lies at the last stage.My mother tells me that the rasam should not boil at any cost.When the first stage of boiling bubbles appear like a foam as shown in the above picture,we should switch off the stove and take the pot away from the stove and close with a lid.Allow it to rest for atleast 15 mins. At this stage your house will be filled with the wonderful aroma of the rasam.
Serve it piping hot with white rice, papad and egg curry as a side dish...hmm.. yummy :)
If you are making rasam regularly then its better to make the pepper -jeera powder at the ratio of 1:2 at home.Make it a coarse powder.Add a tblsp of this powder instead of adding the pepper and jeera powder seperatly
Another form of home made rasam powder :
5 red chillies
1/4 cup of coriander seeds
1/2 cup of pepper
1 cup of jeera
2 tblsp of chana dhal
2 tblsp of toor dhal
Dry roast all the above spices, till you get a nice aroma, grind them into a coarse powder, store in an airtight container.Add 1 tbsp of this powder to the above rasam along with the other powders mentioned in the recipe.The Rasam becomes even more spicy and it greatly enhances the taste.
I would like to thank each and everyone of you who have tried this recipe and left such wonderful feedback in this blog as well as in email. Thanks for you support and love readers.