We need a host of powders to prepare a variety of dishes. Almost all the powders like the Rasam powder, Sambar powder and many are available in the market in various brands. Several brands have been very popular for decades now. Yet, I always prepare almost all the powders at home from scratch in order to avoid using commercially available powders. Today I am putting up the Rasam powder and will follow this with other powders in the coming weeks.
Rasam is a combination of sweet, sour and spicy ingredients and goes well with rice and any kind of curry. And its probably the most popular delicacy of Tamilnadu. No Tamilian wedding/traditional parties would be complete with Rasam. Referred as “Saru” in Karnataka, its popular in most of South India and certainly among Konkani families.
I recommend this powder if you are preparing Rasam for lunch/dinner, though not for Sambar (for which a separate powder is preferred, which I shall put up shortly)
What you need to have:
1. Coriander seeds – 250 grams – 3 cups
2. Cumin seeds – 50 grams – 1/4 cup
3. Fenugreek seeds – 2 teaspoons
4. Mustard seeds – 2 teaspoons
5. Pepper corns – 50
6. Asafoetida (soft)- 10 grams
7. Turmeric powder – 4 teaspoons
8. Byadgi chili powder -175 grams – 1 and 3/4 cup
9. Some curry leaves-2 handful
Ingredients of Rasam powder
What you do with what you have:
1. In a dry bowl roast curry leaves on a medium flame so that they just turn crispy but not change the colour.
2. Place 2 teaspoons of cooking oil in a spatula and fry asafoetida in it till it changes its color to brown and becomes a little crispy and hard. In the left over oil fry fenugreak seeds .
3. Roast without oil coriander seeds, cumin-seeds, mustard seeds together on a medium flame till you get a pleasant aroma, again without burning anything and finally add Turmeric powder too.
4. Place a wide bottomed vessel and add 1 teaspoon cooking oil . On heating add chili powder to it and switch off the gas and stir.
5. After all the above fried/roasted ingredients are cooled, crush them in the blender/mixer to medium coarse consistency.
The powder on cooling must be stored in air-tight containers. It will remain afresh for more than 2-3 months.
What it looks like:
Ready Rasam powder
How long it takes: 1 hour
What to remember:
1. While frying/roasting the above ingredients, do not over do it. Doing so would turn the powder bitter and cause it to smell bad. Roast on low/medium flame and always stir it as you do so.
2. The proportion of chili powder also depends upon the spice level of that particular chili powder.