Naagaiyanallur is a small village in Tiruchi district. Most families there were in the culinary business. So famous that, they were the most sought after groups in the entire Salem, Trichy, Karur, Erode belt to be hired for every function in the family.They create sheer magic that our tongues will tickle at the mere look and aroma emnating from the kitchens.
As both my parents were born with lot of siblings, there were some big eventful wedding to insignificant, but crowded small functions happening in the family throughout my childhood. Oh we just used to love those days as preparations will go on for days and the house will be filled with all kinds of aroma. As kids we would be fascinated. They were the caterers for my wedding and my sisters' weddings too.
This RASAM is their trademark recipe. I can't claim to have achieved 100% taste. But I know it is sure somewhere in that range. The recipe makes for four servings.
Tamarind -1 small lime size
Tomato - 1 medium
Thoor Dhal -4 tablespponsful
Salt - to taste
Rasam powder (recipe given) -1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder -! teaspoon
Mustard seeds -1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds -1 teaspoon
Black pepper powder, cumin powder -just a hint of each
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few
Ghee - for tempering
Soak tamarind in warm water and extract pulp until the water is almost clear.
Cook thuvar dhal and half tomato in the pressure cooker. Mash well , mix some more water.Keep aside.
To the tamarind extract, add salt, 1/2 spoon of asafoetida, turmeric powder, the other half of tomato and rasam powder.
Microwave on medium high for 8 minutes.
Add the cooked dhal. Return to microwave and cook on high for 4 minutes.
Temper mustard seeds, cumin seeds and some asafoetida in ghee.Quickly transfer to the rasam. Drop the curry and coriander leaves. Dash a bit of pepper and cumin powders. Close immediately until you are serving at the table. This locks the aromatic goodness.
For best results, the tamarind extract should boil well. Rasam should be off the fire just when it is frothing.Don't boil. The thuvar dhal must be well cooked, mashed and should be thin. Thick paste is for sambhars. Rasams are meant to be lighter.
This rasam is suitable to drink and for rice.Rasavadais will need more thicker base.
Hope you will enjoy this rasam as much as our family does.
Red chillies 2 cups
Coriander seeds 1 cup
Black whole peppercorns and Cumin seeds put together 1/5 cup
Heat in your microwave the redchillies until brittle.
Roast coriander seeds, peppercorns and cumin seeds. Transfer all of these to the jar of a blender and powder to a fine consistency.
If you are getting the powder done in commercial mills, it is enough to sun-dry the contents. However, adding just one drop of castor oil to the red chillies while roasting helps reduce irritation while roasting and also enables longer shelf life.