Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Milagu Jeeraga Rasam (Tomato broth simmered with roasted cummin,pepper and lentils.)

Milagu Jeeraga Rasam - Pathya Samayal.
Milagu Jeeraga Rasam - Pathya Samayal.

Milagu Jeeraga Rasam is also part of the comfort food series…On a cold day to have a dose of steaming pepper rasam along with piping hot rice and your favorite side of vegetable like vendekkai kari, Amma`s Alu Fry or “kootu” is something I can never trade anything else for!!! Whenever its the rainy season and we come down with a cold or cough, amma or Madurai amma would make piping hot rasam and we would feel fussed. It`s also “Pathya Samayal” as its given to people when are they not keeping well, to purify the body, build immunity and to recuperate. The flavor of the “rasam” is enhanced when you add a drop of ghee – what else can you call that aroma and taste – Divine!!!

This morning my husband was not keeping too well, complained of cold and sore throat and I thought this was a good day to make comfort food. Its lightly flavored with the sourness of the tomatoes and the pepper and cumin gives it that extra kick that enhances the warmth around the throat. Here it is, from my kitchen to yours…


1 1/2 cups of tamarind water extracted from a lime size tamarind .

1/4 cup of cooked toor dhal. (Optional)

1 Tomato.



Salt to taste

Curry Leaves.

Roast Dry:

Dry Roasted Ingredients.
Dry Roasted Ingredients.

1 1/2 spoons of pepper.

1 spoon of jeera (cumin)

3/4 spoon of Bengal Gram

5 curry leaves.


Mustard, Vepampoo and curry leaves.


  • In the mixer, grind the dry roasted ingredients to a powder and THEN add one tomato chopped coarsely with a little tamarind water and grind to a paste.
  • In the copper bottomed vessel, add the ground paste and the remaining tamarind water.
  • Add salt, hing. curry leaves and turmeric and allow to boil on a medium low flame.
  • When the raw smell is gone and the liquid is reduced by 1/3, dilute the cooked toor dhal with 1/2-3/4 cup of water and pour it in.
  • If you are making this for a person who has an upset stomach, you may skip the toor dhal and simply dilute it with 1/2 cup of plain water.
  • When it begings to boil, switch off the stove and add chopped corriander.
  • Season in ghee with mustard, vepampoo and curry leaves.
  • The Vepampoo or the Neem Flower is believed to aid in digestion and stimulate the liver and also prevent many kinds of cancers, so I thought it would be a good idea to add some more nutrition and build immunity in to our systems.

Sending  piping hot pots of  Pepper Jeera Rasam to “Think Spice – Think Pepper” event hosted by Divya Vikram of Dil Se and started by Sunita.


No Need of Onions!!! · Sambar / Rasam / Kuzhambu Varieties.

Milagu Kuzhambu (Pepper Gravy simmered in tamarind and spices cooked with baby brinjals)

Delicious Pepper Kuzhambu with whole brinjals.
Delicious Pepper Kuzhambu with whole brinjals.

I remember the first time I ever had it in my Mom in law`s place in Srirangam….She had made her special dishes, as we were visiting and when I had it, my senses simply shot up. It was all the more tantalising as she had used teeny tiny whole brinjals, to float and take in the flavours of the gravy. That trip I told her that I simpy had to have the recipe and she more than generously passed it on to me. Since then its been a favourite of mine, as it can be made as a spicy side for Pongal, to mix with rice, or  simply in its thicker form to take with delicious “thayir sadam”…I usually make a lot of it ahead so it is an inclusion to my husband`s plate almost everyday.

To all my friends in Enclave, here it is…to look up and try, whenever….


Black Pepper          – 1 spoon

Bengal Gram           – 1 spoon

Red Chillis                – 3

Dhania                       – 3/4 spoon

Coconut                    – 3 spoons


Tamarind                 – Ball sized soaked or eqv Tamarind Paste.

Brinjals                     –  4 – 5 small ones washed and cleaned.

Curry Leaves, Salt.



  • First saute the pepper alone in a spoon of ghee and set aside to cool in the mixer jar.
  • Fry the remaining ingredients in oil, ie,  bengal gram, dhania, red chilli and finally add the coconut in the end just for a few seconds.
  • Add a  little water and grind all this  is to smooth paste.
  • Take a container, and add the required quantity of the tamarind paste and dilute. Optionally extract the tamarind juice and keep.
  • Add the ground paste, salt, turmeric, hing, curry leaves to the tamarind juice and keep on stove.
  • Slowly add whole small brinjals along with stalk in to the vessel.
  • Keep the kuzhambu on medium low and allow to simmer enough to reduce by one third.
  • Delicious Milagu Kuzhambu is ready to be eaten with rice or as a side for Venn Pongal.

Sending this delicious home made preparation to Think Spice Think Pepper – hosted by Dil Se of Divya Vikram and started by Sunita.