Wednesday 17 September 2014

Garlic Rasam (பூண்டு ரசம்)

Garlic (பூண்டு) is used extensively in Indian cuisine and is rich in vitamin B6 & C, iron and calcium. Studies have shown that garlic is effective in reducing blood cholesterol, atherosclerosis (thickening of blood vessels) and blood pressure. To some extent, it also reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack. It is believed that garlic may prevent certain types of cancers. Garlic has anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties. In Ayurveda, garlic is used to treat digestive problems, cough, and skin problems. Garlic rasam (பூண்டு ரசம்) is generally made on the day after a feast to ease digestion. 

Ingredients: (Serves four) 
Tamarind – the size of a large gooseberry
Jaggery – ½ teaspoon (optional)
Garlic – 8-10 pods, peeled
Tomato – one, cut into small cubes
Salt – to taste
Ghee – 1 teaspoon
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – a few 

For the masala powder:
Red chillies – 2-3 no (adjust to taste)
Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Pepper corns – ½ teaspoon

Garlic Rasam (பூண்டு ரசம்)
Method: Soak tamarind in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Later, squeeze the tamarind and extract the juice.
Roast red chilles, pepper corns, coriander and cumin seeds in a kadai till they turn darker. Transfer to a bowl and allow it to cool. Later powder the roasted ingredients finely using the mortar and pestle.

Heat oil in the kadai, add garlic pods and fry till they turn golden brown in color. Add tomato pieces, cover and cook on a low flame with little water. Add masala powder, salt and jaggery to the tamarind juice, mix well. Once tomatoes are done, add the tamarind juice mixture and bring it to boil. Now add one tumbler (200ml) of water to the boiling mixture. Reduce the flame, allow it to simmer till the rasam froths and then, remove from fire. Heat ghee in the tadka pan/spice pan (தாளிக்கிற கரண்டி), add mustard seeds and when they starts to sputter, switch off the fire. Add the seasoning to the rasam. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve hot with rice and poriyal/kootu/ appalam. 

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