If I were asked what my idea of comfort food is, I would most certainly say rasam and rice with vendaikkai vadhakkal kari. Thus I always want to try different recipes for the rasam powder. Though many a times it will be the rasam powder listed in the naagaiyanallur rasam recipe, I have a few others that I make in rotation. one such powder is the varuththa rasam podi, adapted from S.Meenakshi Ammal book, modified slightly to add some more flavour and nutrition.
Since the ingredients are well roasted prior to being powdered, the rasam need not be boiled for long for the raw taste of the powder to subside. And I mainly use it in tomato rasam or the lemon rasam where the tamarind extract is used minimally or not used at all. Thus the rasam will be ready in just about 15 minutes.
Varuththa rasam podi:
2 cups dry red chillis
3/4 cup coriander seeds
1/2 cup thuvar dhal
1 /2 cup black pepper corns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon horse gram lentils
4 tablespoons curry leaves
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons cooking oil
Heat the oil in a pan and toss the dry red chills until they are brittle.
Remove and keep aside in a large tray to cool.
Dry roast separately the rest of the ingredients on a medium flame without burning them.
As you remove from the pan transfer each into a plate other than the one you have the chillis in.
When all the ingredients have attained room temperature, they are ready to be powdered.
First transfer the chillis alone in mixer and powder to achieve an almost fine powder.
Then add the rest of the ingredients and powder further until the powder is well blended and nearly fine.
Allow to cool and store in airtight containers.
3 large tomartoes
a very small piece of tamarind ( about the size of a cherry fruit)
1/4 cup thuvar dhal
2 teaspoons varuththa rasa podi (the above recipe)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon ghee for tempering
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
Few sprigs curry leaves
Fresh coriander leaves
Wash the dhal clean. Add sufficient water to the same and the turmeric powder.
In a bowl place the tomatoes and the tamarind. Place this bowl in the pressure cooker while the dhal is being pressure cooked. The dhal should be cooked until very soft so that we can mash the same very smooth.
When the pressure inside the cooker has subsided, remove the dhal and add more water to it. Mash the same and keep aside.
Peel the tomatoes and puree them along with the tamarind roughly using your hand.
Add about 1/2 cup water to the tomato puree, the salt and the rasam powder.
Bring the same to a boil and allow to simmer for just about two to three minutes.
Add the mashed dhal to the simmering contents. Allow to boil for a few minutes and take off the heat.
In a pan heat ghee and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to crackle and then add the cumin seeds and just before taking off the heat add the asafoetida powder.
Transfer this to the rasam.
Garnish with fresh curry leaves and coriander leaves.
You may choose to retain a few cubes of tomato and add to the rasam while the pulp is being simmered.
Keep the rasam covered until ready for use to lock the flavours in.
Enjoy warm with steamed rice and vegetable of choice.