Preferably in a mortar & pestle, grind peppercorns, cumin seeds and garlic cloves into a coarse paste (doesn’t have to be completely smooth). Set aside.
Make Miriyala Charu:
Heat oil in a saucepan, add red chilies and fry till they darken in color. Add the curry leaves and ground pepper paste. Fry on low flame for 2-3 minutes or until it gives out nice garlic smell. Make sure not to burn the garlic.
Add the tamarind pulp, salt and water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover and let stand till ready to serve.
The garlic-pepper masala/ spice paste can be made in a double or triple batch.
Store leftover masala in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
The spiciness of the rasam is totally customizable. This recipe as written is not spicy. But you can make it as spicy as you like, by adding more peppercorn in the spice paste.
Adding more dry red chilies to the tempering will add more heat as well.
Store leftover miriyala charu in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat on the stove before serving.