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Spicy hot toddy to help heal colds and flu

The blend of spices used in this soup will have you feeling better in no time.

THERE are many things about my Indian heritage that I’m proud of, and that includes the creation of spice mixes turned into beverages, concocted by my South-Indian forefathers to help chase away colds and flu.

Also read: 3 soul-satisfying soups to warm up winter

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were battling to get over the flu. Despite being on an antibiotic and taking all the prescribed medications, we just could not shake off the nasty bug.

And then it dawned on me that we should go back to our roots and get our hands on some rasum.

Growing up, whenever we were sick, my mom would always make us rasum – an Indian hot toddy consisting of a number of ingredients which, thankfully, you can now get pre-mixed at a spice shop just about anywhere.

I called out to my neighbour, an elderly woman, whom I respectfully and affectionately refer to as ‘aunty’ because I knew she would have the recipe archived in her mind.

She was only too happy to contribute towards healing me and my sick hubby and gladly sent over a pot of hot, steamy and delicious rasum for us to slowly sip on.

Now, I could have made this myself, but I always feel that you heal quicker if it’s made with love by someone else and then given to you to consume.

So, what is rasum? Well, it’s pronounced ‘rus-sim’. Some refer to it as raso and even king soup. The star ingredient is tamarind, but the flavours of the peppercorns, cumin, onion, dried chillies, garlic, dhania and other spices make it the ultimate flu remedy in an Indian home. All of these are said to have healing properties and to reduce mucous build-up and fevers, which must be true because, after having a few mugs of this, we started to feel better.

If you’d like to try your hand at making this delicious soup, this home chef provides a simple recipe and a great explanation of the history of rasum.

Happy healing!

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