Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pepper Rasam/ Pepper Spiced Broth

I am not sure about other places, but its still winter here in Chicago. Although, days are more pleasant recently, it is bitingly cold most of the days.

I always wonder what is it about the cold weather and food. Who doesn't want to snuggle up to a warm meal especially with the freezing temperature outside?!?

But as much as I tend to crave for hot,spicy comforting food (at times, even ice creams and shakes), there is something about the winter that makes me want to make a burrito of myself with super cozy comforters and pillows...along with hot coffee and my favorite novel - PURE BLISS !! 

If only a magic genie can make me any food that I want at anytime I ask for!

Ummmm.... if only....!

At times, I go all gaga on weekends and try to make complete breakfast, full course meals for lunch and even snacks for the evening just to burp away the weekend to my heart's content.

But then, It is so 'ME' to turn a bag of lazy bones at the flick of a switch. And most of the times, I happily waste away my weekends.After all, my wise friend once said, 

"A weekend wasted is never a wasted weekend !"

At times like that, this recipe comes handy. It is quick and easy, hot and spicy and probably just the thing you may need on such cold winter days!


To grind:
Toor Dhal : 3 tsp
Black Peppercorns :  4 tsp
Red Chilli : 1
Cumin Seeds : 2 tsp

For Broth
Tamarind Paste : 1 tsp ( or lemon sized pulp)
Water: 1.5 cups
Tomato : 1 chopped finely
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp
Salt: as required
Curry leaves : 1 sprig
Cilantro : few roughly chopped

Ghee/oil : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp


1. Grind the ingredients mentioned under 'to grind' to coarse powder.You can store this powder for at least a week although freshly ground powder tastes even better.

2. Mix tamarind paste/pulp with water. You can also microwave the solution for 30 seconds. IF you are using tamarind pulp, make sure you filter the solution to get just the liquid leaving away the pulp.

  •      Boil the tamarind water along with finely chopped tomatoes,turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt,curry leaves and some cilantro. Stir at regular intervals. The tomatoes should be soft and well cooked.
  •      Add the ground powder. I add about 3 tsp of the powder. But it can vary with how much spicy you want the broth to be.
  •      Allow the powder to get well combined with the liquid and turn off the stove.    
  •      Heat a teaspoon of ghee/oil and add mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter and add them to the broth.
  •      Garnish with cilantro leaves and it is ready to be served with steamed white rice.
     Adjust your tamarind paste measurement with how much dilute/concentrated the paste is. The measurement I have provided is for concentrated paste. Add more,  if the paste is not concentrated enough.
     The color is usually on the darker side than usual rasam as we are using peppercorns.
     This is linked to the series - South Indian Tamil Kitchen! If you want to know more about it, click here

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