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Winter Warmers – Rasam !

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Enjoyed on its own, as part of a traditional South Indian meal, or to soothe an itchy throat on a cool  night, nothing warms up winter quite like Rasam.

While there are almost as many variations of rasam as there are beloved Ammas and aunties in the world, this quick and easy preparation turns up the flavor and contains all the key ingredients including: black pepper for colds, turmeric for digestion and healing, and tamarind for soothing throats.

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4)

1 tbsp. Cumin seeds
1 1⁄2 tsp. black peppercorns
40 Fresh curry leaves
3 tbsp. tamarind extract
2 tsp. salt
2 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into thin wedges
4 tsp. canola oil
1⁄4 tsp. black mustard seeds
1⁄4 tsp. whole fenugreek seeds
3 dried red chilies, stemmed & halved

DIRECTIONS 

• Combine cumin seeds, peppercorns, and 20 of the curry leaves in a spice grinder. Grind and set aside.

• Combine salt, tamarind extract and 950 ml water into a pot over medium-high heat and stir; bring to a rolling boil. Add ground spice mix and tomatoes; reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes soften- about 5 minutes.

• While the soup base simmers, heat oil in a small  pot over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds and cook until they pop. Quickly add the remaining 20 curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, and chillies and cook until the Methi turns golden (usually about 3–5 seconds). Pour spices and oil into soup. Stir gently and serve and savor in bowls or glasses.

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