Serving
(click to enlarge)

Rasam Jeera
India - South
  -   Rasam Jeera
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 side  
***
65 min  
Yes

Delicious, but powerful! "Jeera" means "Cumin", and it is strongly flavored with that spice, and chilis too. In southern India Rasams are traditionally mixed with rice, since they lacked spoons, and I recommend using this rasam that way even though we do have spoons, to tame it down a bit.





1/2
1
10
2/3
1/2
5
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1/2
1/2
1
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1-1/2
------
1
1/2
1/2
4
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T
c
oz
t
t

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t
T

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c
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t
t
t

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Tamarind (1)
Water, hot
Tomatoes
Sambar Podi (2)
Salt
Curry Leaves (3)
-- Seasonings
Cumin Seed
Toor Dal (4)
Red Chili (5)
--------------
Water
-- Temper
Oil
Mustard Seed (6)
Cumin Seed
Curry Leaves
-- Garnish
Cilantro, chopped
PREP   -   (45 min)
  1. Dissolve TAMARIND in 1 c nearly boiling water for at least 30 minutes. Press through a fine strainer and discard the solids. Be sure to scrape the outside of the strainer as some paste will cling there.
  2. Scald TOMATOES in boiling water, quench in cold water and chop fine.
  3. Stir Sambar Podi, Salt and Curry Leaves into Tomatoes.
  4. Grind Cumin Seeds, Toor Dal and Red Chili in your spice grinder. Mix.
  5. Chop Cilantro for garnish.
RUN   -   (20 min)
  1. In a sauce pan, place Tamarind juice and Tomato mix and 1-1/2 cups Water. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and simmer slowly for about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in Seasoning mix. Bring up almost to a simmer, uncovered. Turn off heat.
  3. In a tiny skillet, heat Oil, Mustard Seeds and cumin seeds until Mustard Seeds are popping well. Stir in Curry Leaves. When they stop sputtering, pour into Rasam.
  4. Serve hot, garnished with Cilantro, over steamed Jasmine rice.
NOTES:
  1. Tamarind:   The amount is for block form, which should always be used for rasams as it is more flavorful than concentrate. For details see our Tamarind page.
  2. Sambar Podi:   For an easy to make recipe see our Sambar Podi #1 but other sambar podis can be used, or a Rasam Podi.
  3. Curry Leaves   These fresh leaves are necessary for the true flavor of southern India, and are now reasonably available in Indian markets, at least here in California. Dried ones aren't of much use. If you don't have them you will have to leave them out - there is no acceptable substitute. Use caution with how many you use, because some people don't like the resinous taste. For details see our Curry Leaves page.
  4. Toor Dal:   [Tur Dal] This is split and peeled Pigeon Peas, available in any market serving an Indian community, as it is a major item in the region. Do not buy the version preserved with oil.
  5. Red Chili:   I use a de Arbols which are a fairly hot chili. A regular Japone chili would make it a little less hot. For details see our Chili Page.
  6. Mustard Seeds   In India, black mustard seeds are always used (except brown in Bengal), but the yellow ones will work if you don't have black.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste

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