Nothing can quite beat the taste of home-made spice mixes, can it? Freshly ground, home-made spice powders have the power to uplift even the most humble of dishes, elevate them to a new level altogether. Nothing short of magic, I say. 🙂 Home-made Rasam Podi or rasam powder is no different.
How tough is it to make Rasam Podi at home?
Rasam is comfort food for most South Indians, the hubby and me included. It often features in different avatars on our dining table, especially in cold and rainy weather or when we are sick or just generally need a pick-me-up. Having Rasam Podi at hand makes the task of preparing rasam as easy as saying A-B-C. And, did you know that making Rasam Podi at home in itself is an easy-peasy task? Yes! Just get together all the required ingredients, and the rest can be done within a few minutes. 🙂
About our family’s home-made rasam powder recipe
Today, I share with you all my family’s home-made rasam powder recipe, super fragrant and lovely. Make a batch of it, and you are all set for a month or so. Once you try it out, I’m sure you’ll be pleased with nothing less than freshly ground, home-made Rasam Podi.
Different regions in South India have their own versions of rasam and, hence, rasam powder. This is the Tamilnadu style, in particular the Tamil Brahmin way of preparing rasam podi, the way we have always been making it.
The Rasam Podi in itself is 100% vegetarian, with no oil or garlic being used. It is a completely vegan or plant-based preparation, gluten-free as well.
Home-made Rasam Podi recipe
Now, without further ado, let me take you through our home-made rasam powder recipe.
Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):
- 1/2 cup coriander seeds
- 1/2 cup toor dal
- 1/4 cup black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup Salem Gundu dry red chillies
- 1/4 cup Bydagi dry red chillies
- 1/4 cup cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- A handful of curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon asafoetida powder
1. Wash the curry leaves well, and pat them dry with a cotton cloth. Alternatively, sun-dry them for about 20-30 minutes, so there is no trace of moisture on them. Keep aside.
2. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan. Turn the flame down to low-medium, and add in the toor dal. Dry roast for a minute.
3. Now, add all the other ingredients listed above to the pan, including the dried curry leaves. Dry roast on medium flame for 1 minute or so, or till the toor dal begins to change colour. Stir intermittently, to make sure all the ingredients get heated evenly. Ensure that the ingredients do not burn.
4. Switch off gas, and transfer the roasted ingredients immediately to a plate. Allow them to cool down fully.
5. When all the roasted ingredients have completely cooled down, transfer to a mixer jar. Add in the turmeric and asafoetida. Grind to a coarse powder. Your Rasam Podi is ready.
6. Allow the Rasam Podi to cool down fully before transferring it to a clean, dry, air-tight bottle. Use it as needed.
Tips & Tricks
1. Be watchful while dry roasting the ingredients. Don’t let the ingredients burn or over-roast them, as this might give a bitter taste to the podi.
2. We use a mix of the spicy Salem Gundu chillies and the not-so-hot Bydagi chillies. If you desire a super fiery podi, you can make it entirely using Salem Gundu dry red chillies. The use of Bydagi chillies does give the rasam a lovely reddish colour, though.
3. In the olden days, the ingredients for the Rasam Podi were sun-dried for a few hours, then ground together coarsely. In the absence of uniform sunlight these days (and a general lack of time), the above dry-roasting method is followed.
4. Some people dry roast each ingredient for the Rasam Podi separately, but there’s really no need to. The above method is what we have always been following, and it works perfectly every time.
5. Stored and used hygienically, the Rasam Podi stays well for a few months. However, it is advisable to use it in a month’s time, so that it retains its fragrance.
6. The Rasam Podi can be stored at room temperature. There is no need to refrigerate it.
7. Please wait for all the ingredients to cool down fully before grinding the podi.
8. Don’t grind the Rasam Podi too finely. Keep it slightly coarse, for best results.
9. Make sure you use a heavy-bottomed pan to dry roast the ingredients, so they don’t get burnt too quickly. Also, do the roasting on a low-medium flame only.
10. We do not add asafoetida and turmeric to the Rasam Podi, as is done in some families. We add that in while preparing the rasam.
11. Since we are already adding toor dal in the Rasam Podi, you don’t need to use more than a couple of tablespoons of boiled toor dal while making rasam for 3-4 people.
Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!
Also, do check out some of the rasam varieties we make at home: