This simple rasam uses whole cumin and pepper, both of which are spice staples in most Indian homes. But don’t let the ubiquitousness of the ingredients fool you. Ground into a podi, the spices add warmth and heft to the thin, tamarind-laced rasam. To enjoy its layered flavors, spoon the rasam over hot rice, with a dollop of ghee on top. A crunchy accompaniment would serve as a great textural counterpoint—potato chips are a favorite, as is papadum (or papad).
Excerpted with permission from 'Usha's Rasam Digest' by Usha Prabhakaran. —Food52