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Herbal Remedies - Health Benefits of Garlic and Indian Dish Poondu(garlic) Rasam Recipe

Updated on August 20, 2017
radhikasree profile image

Radhika loves including herbs in her diet that have no side effects. They are good preventives too.

Garlic bulbils
Garlic bulbils | Source

Since Mesopotamian period onwards, garlic(lasun) has been recognized as nature’s wonderful herb for treating ailments. Scientific studies conducted on this herb could prove that it has high therapeutic value. Including it in your daily diet can make you healthy and strong.

I have never tasted foods made of this herb until I had been to a restaurant in Chennai, Tamil Nadu last year. I stepped into the restaurant hoping for a grand lunch as the place is already famous for South Indian meals. Being a South Indian, I prefer to have the same always, but here in Mumbai, hardly can I notice a restaurant offering meals of the South.

My sister’s family was along-with me and we started with the main course. All the curries were yummy as we expected and the next item was a cuisine of garlic. It was tomato garlic rasam or ‘poondu rasam’, as they say, which was so tangy and spicy. This liquid food was prepared so nicely that there was no much strong flavor of garlic. Later I came to know that garlic rasam could weed out cold and give a soothing effect. I learned how to prepare it from the friends near my sister’s house and tried it one day.

Garlic rasam

Tomato garlic rasam or poondu rasam
Tomato garlic rasam or poondu rasam | Source

Tomato garlic rasam recipe


  • 5 tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 to 3 tbs. Rasam powder
  • ¼ tbs turmeric powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • I inch cube tamarind
  • a pinch of Asafoetida powder
  • a bunch of coriander leaves

Tempering ingredients

  • 1 tbs Mustard seeds
  • ¼ tbs. Fenugreek seeds
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves

Making Rasam Powder

Rasam powder is now available in readymade packs. But you can make it yourself by frying and powdering 4 to 5 teaspoons of cumin seeds, 2 teaspoon coriander seeds and 2 red chilies.


1. Chop the tomatoes and boil them in a deep bottomed pan adding 4 to 5 cups of water. Add turmeric and salt. Simmer it and let it boil for about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, soak the tamarind in hot water. Take the essence and discard the pulp. Pour it into the pan and allow it to boil.

3. Press the garlic cloves with a presser and take the extract. Season the rasam with rasam powder, garlic extract and asafoetida powder. Garnish with coriander leaves.

4. The final step is tempering. Heat the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves in one teaspoonful of refined oil in a small fry pan. When the mustard crackles, transfer them direct to rasam. This imparts a traditional flavor to this light liquid food.

Garlic tomato rasam is now ready and can be served along-with rice. This home-made treat is healthy and tasty.

Pressing of fresh garlic clove releases the chemical “allicin” which has certain medicinal properties. It makes this recipe healthy and gives you a soothing effect. Aging and frying of garlic would suppress the medicinal qualities of allicin and it is not a preferred method of including garlic in your diet.

Rate this recipe please!

Cast your vote for Poondu rasam
Garlic cloves
Garlic cloves | Source

Garlic is a healing medicine

In the book of ‘Garlic: Nature's original remedy’ by Stephen Fulder Ph.D and John Blackwood, the various methods of treating diseases using garlic has been illustrated in detail. Garlic finds its use in Sumeria as an anti-inflammatory agent and as a herbal remedy for hysteria in Egypt. This natural herb is a potent source of many nutritional elements such as sulphur,allicin and ajoene that help prevent heart attack and cancer. Garlic is widely called as nature’s antibiotic as it is rich in antioxidants.

Garlic therapies for specific conditions are many. Baths, fluid extracts, oils, capsules and ointments are some of them. They are used in the treatment of

  • Acne
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Infectious diseases
  • Insect bites
  • Tooth ache
  • Allergy

Garlic is a natural gift for mankind with so many health benefits. Several garlic festivals are being held in many parts of the world displaying a variety of garlic products meant for specific conditions.

Caution: Consume this herb according to a physician’s advice. Overdose can be harmful.

Do you use garlic in your dishes?

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© 2011 Radhika Sreekanth


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    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 5 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Growing garlic is really great. You get medicine from your home itself. Thanks for the comment.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I grow garlic in my garden. Thanks for sharing about this valuable herb.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 5 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Welcome Ardie to my hub. Garlic has got lots of health benefits and is used both internally and externally. Thanks for the nice compliment.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      I eat garlic on everything so I'm glad to see it has some benefits other than stinky breath. Great hub! :)

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 6 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Yadu, for stopping by and passing a comment.

    • Yaduvanshi profile image

      Yaduvanshi 6 years ago from Bharat Vrse


      Very well researched and informative hub keep it up

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 6 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks rajan for the nice comment. I've read many of your hubs and found them to be interesting.

      Thanks for the warm welcome on Hubpages.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      radhika, this is a nice hub on the benefits of garlic. The rasam recipe too looks tempting. I tasted rasam on a couple of occasions and found it very tasty.The homemade rasam is definitely more healthy and tastier.

      Thanks for sharing this information.

      Since I write on natural, healthy foods I enjoyed your hub.

      Welcome to Hubpages.

      Voted up and useful.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 6 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks kenwrites for the lovely comment. Very much excited to hear that the recipe made you hungry again.

    • kenwrites profile image

      Ken Crawford 6 years ago from Yreka, California

      Nice hub. I've always enjoyed garlic and onions. Not so good for the breath sometimes, but great for health. This recipe sounds delicious. Might have to attempt it soon. Thanks for sharing. It made my me hungry all over again this evening. :)