Pepper water (Similar to Rasam) invariably forms part of the afternoon meal on some days of the week in Anglo-Indian Homes in the South of India. It is usually had with plain white rice and accompanied by either a meat, poultry, or a seafood dish that is generally a dry fry. Pepper water should always be of a watery consistency. Many people like to drink a cup of pepper water after a meal since it aids in digestion. Anglo-Indian Pepper Water in the South of India is slightly different from the Tamil Rasam and our Pepper Water morphed from it. The Anglos in the North and East of India use a different method to prepare Pepper Water. This version is the recipe that was prepared by my mother and grandmother in Kolar Gold Fields.
Serves 6 Preparation Time 20 minutesINGREDIENTS FOR THE PEPPER WATER
2 large tomatoes chopped
1 teaspoon pepper powder
1 teaspoon chillie powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
Salt to taste
½ cup tamarind juice extracted from a small ball of tamarind or 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
Cook all the above with 4 or 5 cups of water in a vessel on high heat till it boils. Reduce the heat and cook on low heat for about 5 or 6 minutes.
Temper or Season the Pepper Water as follows with the under mentioned ingredients which should be used whenever a dish is to be seasoned/ tempered.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SEASONING / TEMPERING THE PEPPER WATER
I small onion sliced
2 red chilies broken into bits
1 teaspoon chopped garlic crushed roughly
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
A few curry leaves
2 teaspoons oil
Heat the oil in a sutiable vessel and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add the curry leaves, onion, crushed garlic and red chilies and sauté for a few minutes. Pour the cooked pepper water into this and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Serve hot with rice and any meat side dish.
Note: The pepper water can be prepared by using fresh red chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns ground in a mixer or blender instead of the powders.