Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rasam Powder / Saarina Pudi / Menasina Pudi

This is something that is staple in every Southern Indian household. Each family has its own recipe and differ in taste. This is my mother's recipe. Many women that I know of who live in U.S are privileged to get this powder from home every time they visit home or through someone. Not me though. It has been few years since I used this powder made by my mother since she is not able to move around and do anything let alone make this powder for me. But, I can smell the same powder every time I open the box of this powder to make rasam or any other dish that uses this powder. And this recipe is something I will never ever change even if the other person's recipe gives a better Saaru or rasam than mine. Some of my friends who have tasted my rasam ask me for the recipe long time back but I kept on postponing this post.
One Year Back - Maple Sesame Dressing
Two Years Back - Vegan Mango Cake
Three Years Back - Butternut squash Pasta, Eggless Blueberry Coffee cake, Chewy Granola Bars
Coriander seeds - 4 cups
Fenugreek seeds - 1 cup
Cumin Seeds - 1 cup
Black mustard seeds - 1/3 cup
Black Pepper corns - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves - About 1 cup (you can use more if you want without affecting the end product)
Turmeric - 2 TBSP or few dried roots
Asafoetida/Hing - 1 TBSP (See Notes)
Red chillies - 14 cups loosely packed (See Notes)
Oil - 1 tsp

Method 1:
Dry roast coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, black pepper corns separately one by one. Combine them after they are roasted. When they are still hot, add turmeric to it if using the powdered form. If using the dried roots, you can roast it with any of the spice. Dry roast curry leaves and add it to the mixture. Take the oil in the pan and at very low heat, roast the red chillies. This is the slowest process of the entire recipe. Take care not to burn and blacken them. When the red chillies are roasted, add them to the mixture. When all of them have cooled down a bit, take them in blender jar in batches and grind them to fine powder. Sieve through the fine mesh sieve and grind the coarse ones again to get a fine powder. Add hing and mix well and store in an air tight container.

Method 2:
Take a very large rimmed baking sheet. Spread all the ingredients mentioned except oil, turmeric and hing. Spread so that the contents are in single layer. Place in the oven that is preheated to 200 F. Keep it for an hour and a half stirring every 30 minutes. Remove and make sure all the ingredients are toasted. If not, keep for 30 more minutes. Let it cool and then grind into powder adding turmeric and hing.

To Use:
For every cup of dal (uncooked measure), use about 2 - 3 tsp of this powder depending on how strong you like your rasam. Amount of tamarind needed also depends on how much you have used. That recipe in a different post will follow soon.
Measurement of red chillies:
My mother would roast everything (spices) and place it in a shallow dish. Use that as a measure to measure the red chillies. 1 measure of spices together - 2 measures of red chillies. If you use half byadagi (kind of red chillies that are not as hot but give a very nice color), you might want to increase this to 2 1/2 times.

The hardest part of this process is slow roasting of red chillies and grinding them into fine powder. Other spices don't take as much time to become fine powder. So, my sister came up with this proportion and it works with less work. Dry roast all the spices and grind them into fine powder. Mix well and measure the combined powder. Measure equal amount of red chilli powder (by volume) and add it to the spice powder mixture. You will have to boil the rasam for 5 minutes more if using this shortcut.


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  1. Cant survive without this homemade rasam powder, beautiful clicks.

  2. Aromatic and flavourful rasam powder..

  3. very basic and helpful recipe!!! thanks for sharing!!! love the new look of your blog!!!
    Ongoing Event - Breakfast
    Ongoing Event - Tried and Tasted - Raks Kitchen


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