Friday, March 4, 2011

Milagu Rasam (Pepper Rasam or Mulligatawny Soup)

The fiery Milagu Rasam which gets its heat from black peppercorns is best had when you have a bad cold and your head is heavy. Which is how hubby was feeling  a couple of weekends back.

Milagu Rasam is the preparation from which the anglicized Mulligatawny Soup evolved (Milagu Thani = Pepper Water)
I have written about the different rasams (soups or appetizers) before in this post and the place that rasam holds in Tamil cuisine - this particular one is made unique by the freshly pounded pepper and garlic. If lemon rasam is subtle and tomato rasam is comforting, pepper rasam packs a punch.

We had it with rice/ rotis, dal, papad and kadgi sukke (green jackfruit stir fry).A simple but satisfying meal for a Sunday afternoon - we are really enjoying the last days of winter(which should have actually ended by now!) and its such a pleasure to sit out in the sun and have a meal.

Milagu Rasam (Pepper Rasam or Mulligatawny Soup)

Tur (arhar) dal - 1/2 cup, (pigeon pea lentils)
Pressure cooked with 3 cups water, water strained and reserved to use in rasam along with 1 tbsp of cooked dal. Rest of the lentils can be used to make a simple dal
Tamarind Extract - 1/4 cup (or 1 tsp tamarind paste)

Pound together coarsely:
3-4 garlic flakes
cumin seeds (jeera) - 1 tsp
peppercorns - 2 tsp

1 cup water
Tomato - 1 medium cut into 4 pieces
salt to taste

Tempering - mustard seeds 1 tsp, urad dal - 1 tsp, hing - a pinch, curry leaves
Coriander leaves to garnish

Rasam powder - 1 tsp - recipe below (or use any good store bought rasam powder, Sakthi works for me)

1. Mix the reserved lentil water (should be about 2 cups) with the tamarind extract, pounded spices, rasam powder, tomatoes, water and salt.
2. Bring to boil and simmer for about 8-10 minutes till the raw smell goes away.
3. Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds and when they splutter the urad dal, hing and curry leaves and take off flame. Pour over the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.
4. Drink hot like a soup or serve with rice.

Rasam Powder

Tur dal(arhar dal) – 1/3 cup
Dried red chillies – ½ cup
Coriander seeds – 1 cup
Cumin seeds - ¼ cup
Black peppercorn – 1tsp
Fenugreek seeds (methi) – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Washed and dried curry leaves – ¼ cup
Oil – 1tsp
1. Roast all the ingredients separately, till they change colour and are evenly roasted.
2. Cool completely and then grind to a smooth powder. Store in a tightly lidded container.


Arch said...

This is totally my kinda rasam :) feels so good when you have a cold !

Pelicano said...

Wow- I had no clue about the etymology of "mulligatawny"- nice to know that! I love rasam, and your lovely pic of the full thali is making me want everything on it- right now!

Priya said...

Such a comforting rasam..yumm!

Anita said...

OMG! Pel didn't know that!!!! :)

I love love pepper rasam and am so happy to have your recipe now!

Jay said...

u have fab recipe collection..mouthwatering n tempting rasam recipe..
Tasty appetite

Vaishali said...

What a classic dish, Miri. You've really made my mouth water. That whole plate looks divine.

Cardamom said...

that looks great...! love the color too.

the spice who loved me