Weekend Cooking: A Recipe for Flu and Virals


This is viral fever season in Bangalore, and promptly as expected Snubnose and Piglet have been taking turns falling sick, getting better, cross-infecting each other, and falling sick again. So tired of this seemingly endless cycle 🙁 .

During this time, the one homegrown remedy that we rely on is the good ole rasam. Easy to prepare and soothing for sore throats, rasam and rice becomes the staple dish in our house.

Pepper rasam boiling on our stove

Pepper rasam boiling on our stove

What is rasam?

Rasam is a south-indian staple. It’s a kind of hot peppery soup that is eaten with rice. If you choose, you can just drink it up as a hot drink too. There are many varieties of rasam and each one has its own therapeutic value, but pepper rasam that I made huge batches of last week is particularly good for bad throat, cough, and cold.

I posted the above photo on my Instagram feed, and since there was a request for a recipe, here it comes. Simple and spicy.

Weekend Cooking: A Recipe for Flu and Virals
Recipe Type: Indian vegetarian
Cuisine: South
Author: Nishita
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3
  • Tomato – 1
  • Garlic – 2 to 3 pods (depending on how garlicky you want it)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 8-10 leaves
  • Black pepper corns – 3-4 tsps (again depending on how peppery you want it)
  • Cumin seeds – 2-3 tsps
  • Oil/ghee – 2 tsps
  • (Optional) Rasam powder (for extra spice)
  • (Optional) Already cooked toor dal (for extra thickness)
  1. Cut and mash a tomato and soak in a two to three cups of water.
  2. Dry roast black pepper corns and cumin seeds on a shallow pan. Remove from flame once you get the aroma of the spices. Grind and keep aside.
  3. Chop the garlic and keep aside.
  4. In a vessel, add the ghee. When hot, add garlic, asafoetida, curry leaves, the ground peppercorn and cumin mixture and wait till the spices splutter.
  5. Add the chopped tomato with the water, salt, and turmeric powder.
  6. (Optional)For extra thickness, add half a cup of previously pressure-cooked toor dal.
  7. Note: You should increase the quantity of the spices you fry accordingly if you are adding dal to the rasam. Just an extra spoon of peppercorn, cumin, an extra pinch of asafoetida, and an extra pod of garlic should do.

  8. (Optional)For more spice and aroma, add a tsp of rasam powder (MTR is a good brand)
  9. Let boil for five minutes

Apologies for the slightly loosey-goosey recipe posted on here. I use a lot of approximations when I cook Indian food so I don’t often post Indian recipes on the blog, but this one is pretty simple to make. Rasam is really hard to mess up!

What do you cook at home for achy, flu-ey days?

Weekend cooking is a meme hosted by Beth Fish Reads. It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.wkendcooking

If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

  • Leslie

    I’m glad you explained in detail about the soup. I’d probably have to do some searching for a few of those ingredients. When I’m sick I go for old fashioned chicken broth and add rice to it.

  • BethFishReads

    Oh thanks for sharing this. I may give it a try this winter. I have a garlic-tomato soup that seems to work wonders.

  • I generally stick with honey and lemon 🙂

  • Shweta

    Rasam is one of my go to recipes for sore throat and fever. I tend to increase the quantity of peppercorns and garlic to suit my taste buds. Also red chilly garlic chutney.

    • Nishita

      red chilly garlic chutney, yes. Yummy 🙂

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