Freshly ground spices are magic. They transform a dish. It’s incredible how freshly ground spices elevate the taste of a dish to a whole new level, vis-a-vis using home-made or store-bought spices from a bottle. This Arachuvitta Rasam is one such dish, made with spices ground fresh, the taste heightened to the max thanks to this simple change.
The Arachuvitta Rasam is a hot favourite at home, especially with fried ragi papads and Beetroot Poriyal made South Indian-style. I love how this rasam brightens up a gloomy day, how it seems to rejuvenate the digestive system. It is comfort food for me, stuff that I make when I don’t know what else to make or when I’m feeling down in the dumps.
I make this Arachuvitta Rasam the way my grandmother used to make it, using the recipe that she passed on to my mother, who in turn taught me. Today, I present to you our family recipe for this lovely rasam.
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
- 1/4 cup cooked toor daal
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- A gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
- 10-12 fresh curry leaves
For the spice mix:
- 1 tablespoon toor daal
- 4-5 dry red chillies
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 3/4 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (kali mirch)
For the tempering:
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 pinches asafoetida (hing)
- 2-3 dry red chillies
1. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling water for at least 10 minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, extract a thick paste out of the tamarind, adding a little more water if needed. Keep aside.
2. On medium flame, dry roast all the ingredients listed under the ‘spice mix’. When the ingredients start getting brown, switch off gas and transfer them to a plate. Ensure that the ingredients do not burn.
3. Once the roasted ingredients have completely cooled down, grind them together to a powder, using a mixer. Keep aside.
4. Now, we will begin preparing the Arachuvitta Rasam. Heat a little water in a heavy-bottomed pan, and add in the chopped tomatoes, curry leaves and salt. Cook on high flame till the tomatoes turn mushy.
5. Now, add the tamarind extract to the pan. Let cook on high flame for a couple of minutes, or till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
6. Add the cooked toor daal to the pan, along with turmeric powder and the spice mix we prepared earlier. Add about 2 cups of water. Cook on high flame till the rasam comes to a boil, then turn down the flame to medium. Let the rasam simmer for a minute, then switch off gas.
7. We will now get the tempering for the Arachuvitta Rasam ready. Roughly crush the garlic cloves, using a mortar and pestle. Heat the ghee in a small pan, and add in the mustard seeds. Once the mustard pops, add in the asafoetida, dry red chillies and the crushed garlic cloves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, then switch off gas. Transfer this tempering to the rasam.
8. Add the chopped coriander leaves to the rasam. Mix well. Keep the rasam covered till you are ready to serve it. When you are serving it, you may lightly heat the rasam. It goes best with piping hot rice, papad and vegetables of your choice.
1. Make sure all impurities and seeds are removed from the tamarind, before you use the extract in the rasam. Adjust the quantity of tamarind you use, as per personal taste preferences.
2. I have used the small, round Salem Gundu dry chillies in making the spice mix and for the tempering. Adjust the quantity of chillies and black peppercorns you use, depending upon how spicy you want the rasam to be.
3. Do not cook the rasam too much after adding the spice mix. Once it comes to a boil, allow the rasam to simmer for just a couple of minutes, and then switch off the gas.
4. Adjust the quantity of cooked toor daal and water you use, depending upon how thick you want the Arachuvitta Rasam to be.
5. Don’t forget to cover the rasam and let it rest for a while, after the tempering has been added. This helps the garlic in the tempering to infuse the rasam with its flavour.
6. If you don’t consume garlic, you may leave it out of the tempering. Personally, though, I feel this Arachuvitta Rasam tastes all the better with the garlic.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!
I hope you will try out this recipe, and that you will love it as much as we do!