Rakshita, this one is for you!
This is a common recipe from typical South Indian households. Any changes from the regular recipe are my own. A hot cup of rasam during the monsoons tastes out of this world. It is also very good for the stomach. A diluted version of this is served at five-star restaurants as mulgitawni soup. I suppose they mean milagu thanni (pepper water, literally) :)
Tamarind – a small ball the size of a lemon. Soak it in hot water and squeeze the syrup and extract two cups of tamarind water and keep aside.
கடலை பருப்பு - Channa dal – 1 tsp
தனியா - Dhania – 1 tbsp
மிளகு - Pepper – 1 tsp
ஜீரகம் - Jeera – 1 tsp
கிராம்பு - Cloves - 2
வெத்த மிளகாய் - Red Chillies – 2
பூண்டு - Garlic – 10-15 cloves (optional)
Ghee – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
கடுகு - Rai – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Salt to taste
Take a vessel and pour the tamarind extract into it. Add salt and turmeric and keep on the gas to boil. Take a sauce-pan and add half a spoon of ghee to it. Shallow fry the channa dal and as it turns golden, add the dhania and when that turns a light red, add pepper, jeera, cloves and red chillies and roast them for a minute. If you are using garlic, add them at this point and shallow fry till golden in colour. Otherwise turn the gas off. Cool the masala and grind it as a powder and add to the tamarind mix that has boiled for at least 7-8 minutes. Bring the mixture to a boil and add water – about 3-4 cups should be fine. Wait for the mixture to boil and taste the same and add more salt or water if necessary. Crackle the rai and curry leaves in the balance ghee and add to the rasam. Drink the rasam in a soup bowl or add to white rice and relish the same.