Rasam is the most simple thing to make. The technique and fresh rasam powder make a difference.
For Rasam Powder
4 fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon pepper corn
2 teaspoon toor dal
1 dried red chilli
2 cloves garlic
4 curry leaves
Other Rasam powder Ingredients (Add while grinding)
½ teaspoon turmeric
⅛ teaspoon asafoetida
For Tamarind Pulp
1 Lime size Tamarind
1 cup water
For Tomato Puree
4 medium size ripe country tomatoes
1 tablespoon sesame / ginger oil
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1 teaspoon veg oil
3-4 stalks chopped coriander leaves
1 teaspoon salt
For the Rasam Powder
Add in all the rasam powder ingredients except turmeric and asafoetida to a heavy bottomed pan. No need to peel the garlic. Have the skin on. Dry roast it on a low flame until all the spices and pulses are nice and golden. Remove off heat and let it cool.
Add in the dry roasted spices along with the turmeric and asafoetida to a spice grinder / mixie and grind it to a very fine powder. Set aside.
Other Prep Work
Soak a lime size tamarind in 1 cup of water. Let it soak for 15-20 minutes. Sqeeze the tamarind to extract all the juices. Strain the liquid to get rid of the tamarind seeds and the hard flesh. Set the tamarind juice / pulp aside.
Boil some hot water and drop in the tomatoes and let it boil for 3-4 minutes. Remove off heat and drain. Peel the skin and grind the de-skinned tomatoes to a puree. Set aside.
Heat sesame oil in a pan and add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and the curry leaves. Let it splutter. Add in the tamarind extract and the tomato puree. Add one cup water. Let it all come to a roaring boil.
Add in the rasam powder and salt. Let it boil for 2 minutes. Switch off the flame and add in the veg oil and coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice or have it as a soup.