3 whole dry kashmiri red chillies , broken into pieces
5 to 6 black peppercorns (kalimirch)
1 tsp toovar (arhar) dal
1/2 tsp chana dal (split bengal gram)
a pinch of cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tbsp toovar (arhar) dal
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tamarind (imli) pulp
a pinch of turmeric powder (haldi)
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
salt to taste
2 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp mustard seeds (rai /sarson)
6 to 7 curry leaves (kadipatta)
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)
For the rasam powder, combine the coriander seeds, dry red chillies, peppercorns, 1 tsp toovar dal, chana dal and cumin seeds in a small broad non-stick pan and dry roast on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep aside to cool completely.
Once cooled, blend in a mixer to a smooth powder. Keep the rasam powder aside.
Combine 1½ tbsp of toovar dal and 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.
Blend the dal mixture using a hand blender till smooth.
Add the rasam powder, mix well and keep aside.
Combine the tomatoes, tamarind pulp, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt and 3 cups of water, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Add the prepared dal-rasam powder mixture, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside.
For the tempering, heat the ghee in a small non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves
When the seeds crackle, add the tempering to the prepared rasam, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 1 minute.
Add the coriander and mix well.
Divide the rasam into 6 equal portions and keep aside.
How to proceed:
Just before serving, place 4 idlis in a serving bowl, pour a portion of hot rasam over it.