- Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water for about 15 minutes.
- Blend together pepper, cumin, and garlic,
- Heat oil in a saucepan and splutter mustard seeds. Add the chilies, asafetida, and tomatoes. Stir until the tomatoes turn slightly mushy. Strain tamarind water into the tempering.
- Extract the remaining pulp from the tamarind using more water. Discard the residual tamarind and add the extracted tamarind mixture into the boiling broth.
Note: using warm water helps extract and dissolve all the pulp completely.
- Add the ground cumin-pepper-garlic mixture.Season with salt to it and let the broth come to a rolling boil. Turn the heat to a low flame and let simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Mix rasam with rice and enjoy with some vegetable curry on the side.
Pepper was so valuable in medieval Europe that some men sold silver in exchange for the spice.