The comfort of sipping hot pepper rasam on a cold day! There are very few blissful moments in this world and I am sure hot pepper rasam on a cold day definitely qualifies to be one. I was never a fan of black peppercorns. Even as a kid, I used to fish out pepper from my food and secretly thrown it off. If only I had known the health benefits! Like many things in life, I learnt my lessons late but hey, I did learn them 🙂
Few days back, I was down with viral fever, sore throat and incessant cough. The very thought of food made me cringe (yes, even for a foodie like me!) As such I couldn’t taste anything at all and on top of it, the antibiotics had killed my palate. And that’s when my Amma suggested me to make pepper rasam. This might seem a bit of exaggeration, but trust me – the hot rice and milagu rasam was the yummiest I had eaten that entire week. It was such a relief to my stuffed nose and sore throat too. For the rest of the day, I had my hot rasam next to me – it was comfort in a bowl.
As with many other common house-hold recipes, there are multiple versions of making milagu rasam. This one that I am sharing is from my sister’s kitchen – the one she learnt from her mother-in-law. It is not the usual way I would prepare my rasam but then I have tasted it and it is absolutely delicious every single time. Such a fail-proof recipe. It could be a very simple but I don’t want to lose it in the daily grind and preserve it here 🙂
To make Milagu Rasam | Hot Pepper Rasam
What I used –
For the Fresh Rasam Paste –
- Black Peppercorns, 1 tsp
- Jeera/Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
- Ripe Tomato, 1 (chopped)
- Garlic Pods, 4-5 (with skin)
- Curry Leaves, a few
For the Pepper/Milagu Rasam
- Water, 2-3 cups
- Tamarind Paste, ½ tsp
- Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp
- Oil, 1 tsp
- Mustard Seeds, ½ tsp
- Cumin Seeds/Jeera, ½ tsp
- Asafoetida, a generous pinch’
- Dried Red Chillies, 1 or 2
- Curry Leaves, a few
- Fresh Coriander Leaves, a few (with stalks)
- Salt, as needed
Prep Work –
1. In a blender jar, add all ingredients under “For the rasam paste” and make a fine paste of it by adding little water. Set aside.
How I made –
1. In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Add roughly torn dried red chilli. As mustard and cumin seeds begin to splutter, add asafoetida and curry leaves. For a few seconds, add the prepared rasam paste. Stir quickly and cook on low flame until the paste is cooked well and the raw smell is completely gone.
2. Add the water and mix well. Add tamarind paste, turmeric powder and salt as needed. Mix well. Let the rasam boil on a low/medium flame for 12-15 mins. Taste and check for salt and spices. Add roughly torn (don’t chop) coriander leaves along with stalks. Boil for 5 more minutes and then remove from heat.
3. Serve hot with rice or as a hot spicy pepper soup.
- Increase the quantity of black peppercorns if you want a spicier rasam.
- Add more or less water depending on the spiciness required for the rasam.
- Rasam gets it taste from slow boiling. Make sure the rasam boils slowly for atleast 12 -15 mins, until it is frothy.
- Fresh coriander stalks are packed with flavor and turn the rasam quite tasty. Also, never chop the coriander leaves but instead tear them with your hands. Enhances the flavor.
- I used store bought tamarind paste. If you have fresh tamarind pulp, heat 1 gooseberry sized ball with just enough water. Once cooled down, extract the juice and add it to the rasam.