Rasam, an essential component of South Indian lunches for many takes on many forms. For many others, it is the soothing soup on a cold night or an appetizer! Ranging from the tangy tomato rasam, to the bright lemon rasam, buttermilk rasam, or the cumin/jeera rasam, each one is unique in flavor and extremely satisfying! Here is the humbly simple Jeera Rasam!
Cumin seeds (jeera), Tur dal, Black pepper, Dried red chilies, Ghee, Mustard seeds, Tomatoes, Tamarind paste, Turmeric powder, Rasam powder, Asafoetida (hing).
- In a bowl, soak 1.5 tsp of jeera, 1 tsp of tur dal, 3-4 black peppercorns, and 1 dried red chili for about 1 hour and grind to a fine paste and keep aside.
- In a pan, heat 1/2 tsp of ghee and add 2 medium chopped ripe tomatoes.
- Saute for a couple of minutes till the tomatoes get slightly mushy.
- Add 1 cup of water + 3 tbsp of freshly squeezed thick tamarind paste + 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder + 1 tsp of hing + salt to taste.
- Partially cover the pan and allow the tomatoes to cook down till most of the water evaporates and the mixture resembles a thickish jam.
- Add the ground jeera-chili mix to the tomatoes.
- Add 1.5 tsp of rasam powder and mix well.
- Add 2 cups of water to the tomatoes and allow the rasam to boil for 3-4 minutes.
- Tempering: Heat 1 tsp of ghee and add 1.5 tsp of mustard seeds and 1 tsp of jeera. Allow the seeds to splutter and pour on top of the hot rasam and allow it to sizzle!
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and fresh curry leaves.
Serving: Pour the rasam on hot rice and serve immediately with a refreshing kosamiri salad.