Friday, December 2, 2011
Jeeraga rasam ready mix powder
There are quite a few Indian dishes that can be made in preserves and stored. Lately the trend of ready to eat meals has caught up and I see so many varieties of food in small cartons stocked up in the local Indian store aisles. Though I might like to keep some of them handy for a lazy day, I am also apprehensive as they use lot more oil than we normally would and sometimes preservatives.
So when I have to travel and my husband has to cook for himself, I prepare a few stuff at home and he makes a quick meal using these almost ready to eat mixes. For want of time he prefers to keep these stuff to make his job easier.
Not only me, but my sister's mother-in-law who travels every alternate year to stay with her other son prepares much more stuff for my sister before she leaves. It is easy for my sister to manage home alongside her work with some stored quick meal options readily available.
The jeeraga rasam is a quick idea rasam as it does not need the dhal to be pressure cooked. Making the jeeraga rasam fresh at home? Follow this recipe. However, if you think you would like to store some powder and mix it in a quick rasam, try the following.
My aunt (sister's mother-in-law), powders only the dhal, chillis, salt , cumin and other condiments. Her powder requires to prepare the tamarind extract fresh. But I have taken it a step further. I have powdered the mix along with tamarind and hence it is just 'mix with water, bring it to a boil and add tempering and you are ready to serve' recipe.
150 grams (1X 175 ml cup) thoor dhal
60 grams (2/3rds of the 175 ml cup) cumin seeds
10 to 12 dry red chillis (they weighed less than 5 grams)
2 tablespoons sea salt ( I use salt crystals; if you want to use table salt, adjust accordingly)
50 grams (1/2 of the 175 ml cup loosely packed) tamarind
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
2 teaspoons asafoetida powder
Dry roast the dhal until just about warm. transfer to a flat dish and allow to cool.
Dry roast red chillis until they are brittle and then add to the same the cumin seeds. Toss them around for about two minutes. Transfer to the same dish as the dhal.
Likewise, dry roast the asafoetida powder, salt and the turmeric powder just a little bit.
Clean the tamarind and tear it in pieces. If possible dry the tamrind in hot sun or dry roast gently on a low flame. This exercise is to ensure that the tamarind is dry enough and the powder is uniform without clogging in lumps and removing the moisture.
Take the dhal and condiments in the dry spice blender and pulse. Add to this the tamarind and grind to a fine to slightly coarse powder.
Cool and store in airtight containers.
To make the rasam, mix a 2 table spoons of this powder in two and half cup hot water.
Pour the mixed solution in a pan and bring to a boil, stirring off and on to avoid formation of lumps as the dhal cooks.
Switch the heat off soon as the rasam foams.
Heat a teaspoon ghee in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they crackle add the curry leaves and transfer the tempering to the prepared rasam.
Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves if you have them on hand.
This rasam will be rare in density and can be had as soup also.
Enjoy with steamed hot rice and any vegetable of choice.
This powder and some other ready mix powders have been stocked now in my pantry for my husband as he will fend for himself for about twenty days when he leaves ahead of me from our holiday in the US of America.
We will be leaving shortly and spend most part of December with my daughter.
See you all when I get back to routine in January 2012!