Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pepper & Cumin / Kurumullaku Jerakam Rasam

Now that the temperatures are dropping, eating and drinking hot things are the most enjoyable. With the body burning fat just trying to keep warm in this weather, gives an excuse to eat up. Like they say, you don't have stomach problems in the winter because the body typically doesn't fall sick in the cold. I can't wait for the temperatures to fall a little more, to get out & eat all that street food. For now rasam and soups are on the menu at home, and today this is a recipe for another rasam - a pepper and cumin rasam or a kurumullaku jeerakam rasam like it is called in Malayalam. This rasam is typically made the minute someone at home has a cold. The pepper in this rasam is good to open all the blocked sinus and nose and cumin is known to help our digestive system.
Tuwar dal - 1/4 cup
Tomato - 3
Tamarind - 1 small ball
Turmeric pwd - 1 tsp
Red chilli pwd - 2 tbsp
Coriander sprigs
Salt as per taste
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
for the powder
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Peppercorn - 15 to 18
for the seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 5 to 6
Oil - 1 tbsp
Wash the dal and add a cup of water and pressure cook till it turns mush. Soak the tamarind in a little water for some time. Then with your fingers make it mush and extract the pulp and keep aside.  
Wash the tomatoes and chop into big pieces. Heat a saucepan and pour in 2 cups of water, add the tomatoes, a little salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Let this come to a boil and add the cooked dal in. Lower the heat and cover the saucepan. Add in the tamarind pulp with some more water and coriander sprigs and cook till the tomatoes are done.
Dry roast the cumin seeds and the peppercorns on low heat and once they emit their aroma, take off heat. Powder this finely and add into the rasam. Add the sugar to the rasam and check the taste and add salt or more tamarind pulp if necessary. Take off the heat.
Put a small pan on heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and when it splutters add the curry leaves. Take off the heat and pour into the rasam and cover the rasam immediately. Mix when ready to serve.
Notes: The quantity of pepper is high in this rasam to help soothe a sore throat or cold, it can be lowered to about 10 peppercorns for daily use.
Don't discard the coriander stalks, save them to be used in rasam. Add as much of coriander as you like, it only tastes better.
The rasam has to be very watery like a clear soup.

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