Chemeen Kurumellagu Rasam (Pepper Rasam With Prawns)

Course : Curry
Serves: 4
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1 kilogram tomatoes -- chopped
100 gram shrimp -- cleaned,
1 teaspoon salt to taste
12 clove garlic
16 medium curry leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 medium curry leaves
16 large shrimp -- cleaned, shelled and deveined
4 whole green cardamom -- powdered
1 tablespoon ghee -- (clarified butter)
4 grams coriander leaves -- chopped fine

Preparation / Directions:

DRY roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and pepper-corns separately over low heat until each emits its unique aroma. When cool, pound them to obtain a coarse masala powder. Remove to a bowl, add turmeric powder and mix well. To prepare the garnishing: Clean and shell the shrimp, but retain the tails. Devein, wash and pat dry. Heat the ghee in a frying pan. Add cardamom powder and stir over low heat until red. Remove and keep aside. Put a few small pieces of live charcoal in a small bowl and place it in a large pan. Spread the shrimp around the bowl and pour the stirred green cardamom along with the ghee on the live charcoal. Cover with a lid and let it smoke for 15 minutes. Uncover, remove the shrimp and keep aside. Put the tomatoes and salt in a pan and boil for 20 minutes. Add all the masala ingredients and simmer for five minutes. When cool, put in a blender and grind to obtain a smooth puree. Remove to a pan and return to heat. Add the smoked shrimp and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for three minutes. Cook the shrimp with salt to taste until done and dry. While the rasam is simmering, prepare the tempering Heat oil in a frying pan add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add garlic slices and sauté until light golden. Add curry leaves and stir. Pour the seasoning over the rasam. Remove and adjust the seasoning Put equal quantities of the rasam in each of the four individual soup bowls, garnish with shrimp and coriander leaves. Serve hot.

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