Tempered lemon-water simmered with peppery spice !
Rasam, the name itself makes mouth water!! I just love the rasams so much that I can easily devour 3 – 4 bowls of this hot steaming soup or consommé rather, which is made up of lemon and ground pepper. With the cold winters and occasional round of cough,colds,flu season, this is the best thing one can ask for relief from sore throat. Its healthy, nutritious, has lot of medicinal value and the best appetizer drink I go for, anytime I visit a South Indian restaurant.(not that often since I prepare at home !)
This is one of the specialty of the south Indian cuisines and is known by different names in different states. A regular in southern cuisine, mostly Tamil, it is one of my favorites and had mentioned earlier about my link to tamil cuisine. There many different varieties of rasam and can be served with white rice or just have it as a soup.
2 – 3 lemons
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
7 - 8 curry leaves
1/4 tsp asafetida
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns (reduce for less spiciness)
2 dry red chilies
2 tsp chana dal (yellow split peas)
1. Squeeze the lemon juice and combine it with 6 - 8 cups of water.(use more or less based on tanginess/spiciness)
2. Dry roast the ingredients mentioned and grind them to a fine powder.
3. For tempering, heat oil in a vessel, add mustard seeds and as they pop add the curry leaves, asafetida. Immediately add the lemon-water and bring it to boil.
4. Add in the ground powder, salt and let it simmer for 5 –10 mins
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with steaming hot rice or have it as a soup and is also a good base for some lemon-pepper noddles/pasta.
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2 - 4
Note: Use 3 lemons if they are small and less juicy, otherwise 2 are good enough
This recipe had been really spicy and would suggest to make less use of pepper if one is preparing it for the first time or never had rasam before.