Rasam and Sambar are the two most frequently prepared dishes in almost all Tamil households everyday and therefore it is better to stock up the kitchen pantry with the weeks supply of powder or the month supply of freshly roasted ground powder. Rasam and Sambar although prepared in all the Southern States , have their own distinctive ingredients, aroma, spices, blends making this quite unique to each state. Some have evolved by adaptations, trials in the kitchens, little bit of everything till a individual style is arrived at and thus becomes a personal recipe.
Rasam and Sambar recipes have become somewhat a mish mash , yet each having a special taste. Here am detailing simple recipes for rasam powder and the procedure to make a simple rasam daily.
I like to prepare freshly roasted and ground spice powders for both Rasam and Sambar on a weekly basis or sometimes once in a fortnight but never in bulk as the flavours and the aroma seems to lose their depth even if refrigerated.
Besides there is something exciting about roasting and grinding fresh spices in the kitchen as the aroma wafts all over the house and it sort of increases the appetite for food!
Many prefer store bought powders than the ones freshly ground at home as they feel intimidated by the ingredients , measurements but believe me , couple of times may be you need to cross check with your recipes but after two attempts, it is a lark. It is always a good idea to keep pinned certain measurements for spice powders in the kitchen cabinets as ready reckon-er instead of searching for the recipe books or browsing around the net .
1 or 2 small dry turmeric root called varali manjal ( if using the commercial mill or turmeric powder is also enough if using home mixie
How to prepare a simple Rasam
1/4 cup toor dal , cooked and mashed well with enough dal water
2-3 Small tomatoes roughly chopped.choose the native small variety for good taste .
1 gooseberry size tamrind soaked in warm water (about 1.5 cups )
1 tbsp rasam powder or as you prefer .
Pinch of asafoetida powder/hing
Pinch of turmeric powder ( If your rasam powder doesnt have turmeric added)
2 small green chilies slit
Sprigs of curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds.
2 dry red chillies for tempering
Chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnishing.
Salt to taste
1-2 tsp oil/ghee for tempering