With a short note highlighting the role of rasam I decided to kickoff the series with an innovative rasam. Bell pepper is one of the most flavorsome veggies, rich in antioxidants and finds its way onto many dishes from healthy salad to rich pizza. Certainly it needs to find its way into rasam too. Many rasams are based on the core paruppu/tomato rasam with other ingredients finding their way into it. I decided to smoke the pepper to give it added flavor and it certainly made it divine!
Green pepper 1 (big)
Tomato 2 (medium-sized)
Curry leaves from 3 sprigs
Arahar dal 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
Tamarind lemon-sized ball or 1 tbsp pulp
Rasam powder 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Pepper powder ½ tsp
Cumin powder ½ tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Water 4 cups
- Add turmeric powder to the washed dal and pressure cook till it is soft and mushy.
- Brush the bell pepper with a few drops of oil and grill it on a low flame till it stops crackiling and the skin turns black in color. Drop the pepper into a ziploc bag and leave in the freezer for 10 minutes. This helps in peeling/brushing off the skin easily.
- If using tamarind extract the pulp into a vessel after soaking the scales for 10 minutes in hot water or add the tamarind into the vessel and add a cup of water,
- To the extract add rasam powder, salt and boil it on low flame for 5 minutes or longer till the raw smell is gone.
- Meanwhile. blanch the tomatoes and remove the skin. Transfer the tomato, curry leaves, and peeled pepper to a blender and blitz to get a smooth pulp.
- Add the mashed dal to the boiled rasam base and add the remaining three cups of water. As soon as the rasam starts boiling add the blended pulp and switch off the flame when the first bubbles are seen. DO NOT boil it too long.
- Heat the ghee in a small wok and add the mustard seeds to temper. As soon as it starts spluttering add the pepper powder and cumin powder and switch off the flame. Pour the tempered seasoning to the rasam, garnish with coriander leaves, and enjoy one of the most divine rasams!
No asafotida was added as the rasam is flavorful with bell pepper