Since am a sourashtrian from south of Tamilnadu, our recipes and cooking methods will be little different from other people of South Tamilnadu. Such one recipe is "Rasam Powder". We use to make rasam with this powder only.Though making of this powder needs little experience and patience, it is easy to prepare. Once you stuck up with the taste of the rasam made with this powder, you never mind the time taking process behind it. An one day tiresome job, will help you to prepare tasty rasam daily for years. Let me come to the recipe straight, without building my story.
Black Peppercorns - 2 cups ( I used my measuring cup)
Dry Red - 250 gms
Cumin Seeds - 25 gms
Asafoetida - 50 gms
First of all, divide the peppercorns into four equal amount of batches and red chillies into three equal portions. Heat a wide fry pan and fry the first batch of peppercorns in medium flame until the pepper becomes crispy and a good smell comes out of it. You should keep stirring the pepper without leaving your hands, otherwise the pepper at the bottom will get burnt and it spoils the taste of the rasam too. (Be Patient!) Ensure that the pepper has no moisture after it is fried. Keep it aside in a large plate or bowl and let it cool down. Repeat the same process for the other three batches of pepper too.
Now fry the cumin seeds in a simmer flame, for few minutes, without leaving your hands. Keep an eye always while frying cumin because it gets burnt soon. Once the cumin seeds starts to pop, switch off the flame immediately. Mix this cumin seeds along with the fried pepper and let it to cool.
Next comes the spicy red chillies. The most important thing here we have to note is, not to remove the stem part, before frying the chillies. Else,it leads to a tragedy part in the kitchen, which makes us to cough and sneeze, when u prepare for large portions of rasam powder. Start frying the red chilly in batches. Keep stirring the chillies while frying. Stop stirring when u see black spots here and there uniformly in all chillies. Mix this als along with fried peppercorns and cool down.
Mix all the peppercorns, chilly and cumin seeds well with the help of your hands or a ladle. Now let it dry for a whole day under sunshade during a super super hot day (Remove the plate before the sun sets or else, the chillies will become moist again.). This process will increase the life shelf of the rasapodi and also makes the pepper, chilly and cumin crispier. Once it is well dried,
it is time to powder it. Now remove the stem part of the chillies and discard it.
Just before grinding this mixture, fry asafoetida in a pan just for few seconds and let it cool down for few minutes and mix it with the other ingredients. Before you start grinding, mix all the ingredients once again well. Take a mixer jar and add a small batch of this mixture and grind it coarsely and keep it aside in a wide bowl. Grinding Coarsely is more important , because the real taste of rasam is behind this secret only. Repeat the process with all the other batches of mixture.
Mix well all the coarsely powdered mixture well thrice. Ensure that pepper, chilly, cumin and asafoetida has mixed uniformly. If possible, if you have large size pet jars, put this powder into it and toss it well, so the all the powders will mix uniformly. That's it our Rasam Powder is ready to use! Store it in air tight containers and it remains good for years!!!