It is getting cold outside; you sniffle once, and the next thing you know, your South Indian Paatti or Mom will get a pot of rasam going. Rasam is the chicken soup of southern India, and everyone swears by their mother’s recipe. Sick kids all around India enjoy a warm cup of south Indian rasam to clear congestion and brighten spirits. It is also a staple food, enjoyed by the masses, sniffles or not. Today I will share an easy homemade rasam powder recipe to make this spicy, aromatic soup.
Rasam is a tamarind and tomato-based soup that is supercharged with fragrant and hot spices. Rasam is not only healthy but also invigorating and delicious. Once you have a good homemade rasam powder (or store-bought if that’s more convenient), rasam is a quick fix. It is also a perfect pre-dinner apéritif. Here is an aromatic rasam powder recipe that won’t disappoint.
What Is Rasam Powder?
Rasam powder is one of the Indian spice powders, like sambar powder, but with slight differences and a unique flavor. It is a beautiful spice blend of red chillies, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and black pepper that is used to make spicy rasam. Add the tartness of tamarind extract and tomatoes to these roasted spices, and you get a spicy, thin soup-like dish that will lift anyone’s spirits. The key ingredients of this spicy concoction undergo a dry roast to unlock a unique flavor and aroma. Then you grind them to a fine powder. These roasted ingredients permeate the soupy broth that bathes them, creating a symphony of flavors for the imbiber.
You can make this homemade rasam podi in large quantities and store it to use on a daily basis. In old times, people always made it in large quantities, and used a flour mill to grind it. With the help of this homemade rasam powder recipe, you can make a delightful dish that will tantalize your taste buds, lighten your spirit, and clear your sinuses.
We can make this easy rasam spice mix in a few easy steps, but first, let’s have a look at the key ingredient list.
Ingredient List For Homemade Rasam Powder
Most South Indian recipes use spice mixes like homemade sambar powder, garam masala, idli milagai podi, etc. Similarly, a good Mysore rasam, tomato rasam, pepper rasam, or any other kind of rasam recipe needs rasam masala powder, which is a dry grind of spices. The good thing about these spice mixes, however, is that most of the ingredients are already available in any Indian store.
So, let us see what we need for this homemade rasam powder recipe.
Toor dal (Tuvar dal) or split pigeon pea lentils are required as a basic ingredient to provide a sort of foundation for this recipe. You need about one cup toor dal for this; you can take less tur dal if you need to make a smaller batch, as I did. Some people also use chana dal, but I skipped it.
Dry Red Chilies
You need bright red chilies to brighten up your day with this soup.
Fresh curry leaves are the base ingredient of almost all South Indian recipes, so you need a bunch of them to enhance the taste of the rasam.
You need some whole spices to roast and grind for this recipe, including black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and a pinch of turmeric powder.
Directions To Make Homemade Rasam Powder:
Now that you have all the ingredients that you need for this homemade rasam powder recipe, let us make it together. Here is the detailed recipe with step-by-step pictures. You can also see the instructions in the video recipe or on the recipe card at the end.
Take a deep bottom pan to roast the ingredients. Keep the flame on low to medium heat to dry roast all the spices, you can heat oil and roast them with a little ghee or coconut oil as well, but I prefer dry roasting for a smoky flavor in my homemade rasam powder recipe.
First, add the coriander seeds to the pan on low heat and keep stirring continuously. Roast the coriander seeds on a medium flame until aromatic, then let them cool down on a plate.
Next, add pigeon pea lentil (toor dal) to the pan, and roast toor dal till it is golden and aromatic. Keep stirring to avoid burning. Then remove and keep them aside.
Now add 2 tablespoons of black peppercorn and 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds, and roast them till they are fragrant and change their color. Remove and keep them aside to cool down.
Roast the curry leaves next, and roast until crispy. They burn quite easily, so keep stirring on a low flame to avoid burning.
Lastly, add dried red chilies to the pan, quickly stir and begin to roast till the color darkens a bit and they release their smoky. Do not burn them, remove roasted red chilies and keep them aside.
Let the spices and lentils cool completely to room temperature before you begin to grind them. Roasted spices and lentils are kept on a large steel plate to let them cool down.
Now, add the roasted spices and cooked lentils to the spice grinder, mixer-grinder, or blender. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/4 tsp asafoetida.
Grind everything to a fine powder, and store your rasam powder in a ziplock bag, any airtight container, or glass jars. It depends on the quantity. Small quantities are easy to manage and store for a little time.
Storage and Use:
Homemade spice blends, or masalas, are best, as they are packed with a lot of flavor and aroma and can be refrigerated for a long time.
You can store this rasam powder in your refrigerator for up to six months in an airtight jar to keep its freshness intact. I prefer making smaller batches every month or two.
Yes, the tangy rasam helps clear your respiratory tract and soothes cough and cold. It is an ancient remedy.