South Indian Pepper Water

This is a traditional South Indian tomato soup called 'rasam' or pepper water. It is dense with spices and can be made as hot as you wish.

Ingredients (14 qts)

**Also known as hing or asafoetida.

  1. Add the tomatoes to a large soup pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn down heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until quite thick (tomato juice consistency).
  3. While the tomatoes are reducing, fry the dried red chilies until they turn black. Add to the pot.
  4. Fry garlic until fragrant but not brown. Add to the pot.
  5. Fry the cumin seeds and mustard seeds until the begin popping. Add to the pot.
  6. If you are using dried curry leaves fry them until they darken then add to the pot. Fresh curry leaves can be added directly.
  7. Add the heeng powder and ground black pepper to the pot.
  8. Continue to cook down. This may take several hours!
  9. Pour the soup through a strainer to strain out the solids. Return to heat and bring to a boil.
  10. While bringing the soup back to a boil, add the lemon juice. This is a personal choice. Traditionally Rasam is quite sour. Add 1 cup, taste and adjust.
  11. Fill your jars leaving a 1" headspace.
  12. Process jars in a water bath for 20 minutes.