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Spicy tomato rasam


2 large ripe healthy tomatoes
4 cups water or top water of boiled dal (stock)
2 whole red chillies
1 stalk curry leaves
1 tiny sprig mint leaves
1 tiny sprig coriander leaves
1-2 flakes garlic grated
2-3 pinches clove-cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp. sambar masala
8-10 peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 pinches asafoetida
1 marble sized ball of jaggery or 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 small strip tamarind
1 tbsp. ghee or oil
salt to taste


Put whole tomatoes in boiling water, simmer for 3 minutes, keep aside for 5 minutes. Heat 1/4 tsp. oil in a small pan, add pepper corns and 1 tsp. cumin seeds. Roast till aromatic, grind in a mortar or under a stone till powdered. Keep aside. Remove tomatoes from water, peel away the broken skin. Grate or mash till fine. To the thick pulp, add roasted whole chillies, all leaves, all masalas, salt, tamarind, jaggery and mash well either with hand or with a hand blender. The ingredients should have blended well into the pulp. Take in a deep pan, add stock or water. Heat ghee in a small pan, add mustard and remaining cumin seeds, asafoetida and allow to splutter. Add garlic and stir, add carefully to the rasam. Bring to a boil, check spices and salt and adjust. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Keep aside covered for 10 minutes before serving.

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