Immune booster for Sri Lankans, globally- humble Rasam


Immune booster for Sri Lankans, globally- humble Rasam

Dr. Harold Gunatillake FRCS, MBBS, AM(Sing), FICS (US), FAICS
Health writer

Dr. Harold Gunethilake

“Rasam for the Asians and Chicken soup for the Westerners are recommended during flu epidemics

In my you tube circulated last week, I did mention that coconut that we all Sri Lankans enjoy in our daily rice and curry, and the spices that go into it, could be the answer to combat and prevent contracting the COVID19.

Coconut kernel (meat) has a fatty acid called Lauric Acid. This is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) when consumed gets converted into mono-laurin in the liver, which has anti-microbial properties. This molecule can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi.


humble Rasam

Daily consumption of coconut in the staple diet may be attenuating the corona virus in your body, giving mild symptoms
This is the exact scenario in Sri Lanka. Last month there were 40 cases who had contracted the virus, and today stands at 80 with no deaths.
This does not seem to be the beginning of a spiking curve as in the western countries and is bound to flatten very soon.
The latest news is that most families are drinking the humble Rasam, which is now treated as a superfood.

The word Rasam is derived from the word ‘rasa which means juice or extract. It is considered as a comfort food in the Jaffna peninsula. This soup-like dish is tangy in flavour and is becoming a household word in Sri Lanka.

This dish, the essence lies in the magical power of this dish composed of most of the spices added to your curries, that satisfies the taste buds and protects the human body from various health issues.

Rasam Recipe sent by Shantha



1 Cup Coriander                                                                5 Dried red Chillies

2 Tablespoons of Cumin seeds                                   1 Whole Onions (Sliced)

2 Tablespoons of pepper                                              8-10 Mexican Garlic (Crushed)

Curry leaves                                                                       Salt to taste

15 Oz Tamarind dissolved in 350ml water                1.5Litre of Water (depending on the consistency one wants)    

Optional & depends on availability: – Few Coriander, Mint, Gotukola & Murunga leaves. Do not put any other leaves as the taste can go off.


Crush the Coriander, Pepper & Cumin seeds in the Coffee grinder just to crack it. (two or three rounds)

In the 1.5L of water mix the Coriander, Cumin, Pepper mixture, with sliced onions, Curry leaves, Crushed garlic( with the skin), Red Chillies broken into pieces & salt to taste ( 1tsp should be sufficient) and boil it for about 15- 20 minutes.

Now add the Tamarind juice and stir it well and further boil for another 5 minutes.

Lower the fire and stir in whatever leaves you have and switch it off.

Over boiling and can lose the real nutritional values of the leaves and other ingredients,

Rasam can be drunk or eaten with Rice (Jaffna style).  When eaten with rice it can be a real rice puller!

The quantity of the ingredients can be adjusted according to your taste and strength you want.

Doctor’s advice: Stay indoors and enjoy a cup of hot ‘Rasam’ soup daily. Add some boiled rice into it for more energy.

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