Monday, July 11, 2016

Udupi Rasam Powder

Udupi is a pilgrimage center in Karnataka, also famous for Madhwa Brahmin style cuisine. Besides the favourite South Indian breakfast staple idli, vada and dosa, they have some excellent sambar, curries, soups and fries to offer us. Udupi Rasam is one such tasty and aromatic tomato soup which goes well with steamed white rice, Idlis, Vada or even Paniaram or Guliappa.

I have tasted very good rasam at Udupi Krishna Math when I was in school, then at a small Udupi Brahmin hotel named Sharada Bhavana in Manipal, then at Mitra Samaj, Woodlands, Kediyoor and other restaurants in Udupi. Woodlands, Vishwa Bhavan, Mohini Vilas, Udupi Krishna Bhavan, Panchami, Swagath, Krishna Vilas and Janatha Deluxe in Mangaluru also served fantastic rasam.

I am a fan of Rasam Vada, a combo snack introduced in Mangaluru in the Eighties by Mohini Vilas. Mohini Vilas has since closed down and a swanky hotel called Saffron cropped up in that spot, now we depend on Janatha Deluxe where we get authentic Rasam Vada even today. However, my attempt in getting the right formula for the Udupi Rasam failed over the years, when we tried books on Udupi cuisine or recipes given by my ex-colleagues. They all lacked something in them, and the taste or looks of the rasam was not exactly like Udupi Rasam!

When it is monsoon season in Mangaluru, it pours heavily for days, and we feel like eating some spicy stuff. I was reminded of Rasam Vada last week and was about to ask Meena to prepare vadas and I thought of preparing the rasam using my own imagination. I did some mental work and assumed what all spices go into the awesome Udupi Rasam Masala Powder. 

Then when I was browsing through the net to test my luck, I bounced on this recipe following the blog Udupikitchenwhich I slightly modified to suit my taste and convenience. It is authentic and I guarantee you, the rasam will turn out better than what you get in restaurants and may come very close to what you have tasted at Udupi Krishna Math. 

It is very easy to prepare Udupi Rasam adding this masala along with commonly available ingredients. If you prepare the masala powder in bulk, you can store it in an air tight container in the fridge and use it for months. 

So what are you waiting for? Get going and surprise your family to a royal treat of rasam made following this fantastic authentic Udupi Rasam Powder!
Red Long(Byadgi) chillies - 25-30
Curry leaves - A handful(2-3 sprigs)
Mustard Seeds - 1 Tsp
Cumin Seeds - 2 Tsp
Coriander Seeds - 4 Tsp
Black Gram(Urad) Daal - 2 Tsp
Fenugreek(Methi seeds) - 1 Tsp
Black Peppercorn - 1/2 Tsp
Turmeric Root - 2" piece(Or 1 Tsp powder)
Asafotoeda - A generous pinch(Around 5 Gms)
Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp

Heat 1 Tsp oil in a frying pan and roast chillies and curry leaves, fry for 2 minutes on a medium flame until crisp. 
Transfer to a plate.
Heat remaining oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, allow them to crackle, then add coriander seeds, urad dal, turmeric root, peppercorn, asafotoeda and methi seeds and fry until the contents turn brownish.
If you are using turmeric powder, you need not roast it.
Transfer to a plate and allow to cool down completely.
Once the roast ingredients cool down, dry grind them into a powder in a mixer/mill. 
Allow to cool down and then fill in airtight jar and store in a cool, dry, dark place or a fridge.

To make one liter Rasam, you can add 3-4 Tsp of this masala powder to 1 cup cooked tuvar daal, 2 chopped tomatoes, 2 chopped green chillies, handful of grated coconut/chopped coconut kernel, handful of chopped coriander leaves, juice of 1/2 lemon, salt and 2 tsp powdered jaggery.
Adding congi water or a teaspoon of rice powder to boiling water enhances taste of the rasam.
Udupi Rasam need not be topped with seasoning. 
If you wish, you can prepare a seasoning with mustard seeds, curry leaves and a pinch of asafotoeda in 2 Tsp ghee and add to the rasam.
This powder can also be used to make Udupi sambar or the vegetable dry curry Thaallu.

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