rasam powder and how to prepare a simple rasam

rasam powder


rasam powder

rasam powder

rasam powder

rasam powder ingredients

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 .



8-10 or even 12 red chillies depending on variety you are using .
whole red dry chillis, small round ones are preferred and they are spicy , so you can use about 10 . if using byadagi and other long variety 10 should be enough 
1 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup toor dal
1/4 cup whole black pepper
1/4 cup cumin seeds
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 
some curry leaves /


Roast all the ingredients carefully, separately ,  till a fine aroma is released and be careful not to darken or scorch the ingredients as cumin blackens very quickly. Patiently roast them individually especially the spices.
When cooled, dry grind to a fine powder. Let the powder cool well before storing in glass jars or a steel container. 

rasam powder by your everyday cook


How to prepare a simple Rasam

Ingredients :

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 



Prepare  1.5 to 2 cups tamrind water depending on the tanginess of the tamrind used.  (  by soaking it previously in warm water  to soften it.)
Pour it in a vessel
Add  chopped tomatoes,salt, rasam powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder,and the crushed curry leaves.Keep this to boil till tomatoes cook.
Meanwhile keep the dal cooked with enough water ready,  by cooking in pressure cooker along with rice or separately .
Use the cooked  dal water first by taking the dal water  from the top and leaving the cooked dal  at the bottom ,in the vessel to be mashed and added later. This way your excess dal water will not go waste and adds more nutrition to the rasam. 
After a few minutes.when the tomatoes have softened, and the  boiling  Rasam is slightly reduced and appears to thicken .
Add this mashed dal plus water to the reduced rasam extract boiling, and totally it will be around 4 cups of water finall. After adding dal , check to see the consistency and it should appear thin and not like a sambar.
Do not add water all at once in the beginning. After adding the mashed dal plus water, now switch off gas when rasam appears to froth gently all over .  
Add the chopped coriander leaves, check for salt.
Next step is to temper the rasam by spluttering mustard seeds by heating oil/ghee in a pan, add more curry leaves, pinch of asafoetida powder,2 red chillis and pour over the prepared rasam .
Remove and cover immediately. 


Usually when we prepare both rasam and sambar at home, we keep sufficient dal to cook in the cooker along with rice , to speed up cooking , then we mash the dal, and use the excess dal water on the top for rasam with little mashed dal saved for rasam and the remaining mashed dal we save for sambar.
Am sure everyone is aware of it but for those who do not prepare rasam or sambar frequently, this will be useful.


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