Method to extract coconut milk:
a) Use 2 cups of freshly grated coconut. Grind the fresh coconut gratings in as little water as smoothly as possible. Use a strainer and squeeze the mixture to extract the milk. This is first and thickest extract.
b) Add more water and grind the coconut again and extract milk the second time. Keep this more dilute second extract separately.
c) Follow the same process and extract milk the third time, this will be really dilute with hardly any coconut milk left, but this will come into use as well.
Method for rasam powder:
Dry roast, pepper and cumin seeds.
Roast the rest of the ingredients in a drop of oil.
Make a smooth powder with all the roasted ingredients.
Method for rasam:
Soak tamarind in water and leave it aside.
Pressure cook tur dal with a pinch of turmeric powder and water.
Extract the juice of tamarind.
Add the most dilute or the third extract of coconut milk to the tamarind juice.
Add salt and the rasam powder and boil until the raw smell disappears.
Add cooked dal, curry leaves and the second extract of coconut milk and boil vigorously.
Add chopped tomatoes.(Optional)
Finally, add the thickest or the first extract of coconut milk and decrease heat.
Add finely chopped coriander leaves and wait till the rasam foams.
Switch off flame before it starts boiling.
Season mustard seeds in a spoon of ghee.
Relish the coconut milk aroma as you slurp it down with hot rice.
Note: A thumb rule for tasty rasam is that it should never be boiled, as it spoils the flavours. It should be switched off, just as the foam rises to the top of the vessel, quite similar to milk. A tight lid should be used to immediately cover the rasam, to seal in the flavours.
Ingredients for rasam:
Three extracts of coconut milk from 2 cups of freshly grated coconut
Freshly ground rasam powder
1/2 cup - tur dal (red gram dal)
1 pinch - turmeric powder
1 small lime sized ball - tamarind
1&1/2 tsp - salt
Curry leaves, a few
1 big - tomato
Coriander leaves, a few
1 tsp - ghee
1/4 tsp - mustard seeds