ARIYALUR: At a time when the entire world is looking up to the US for a “medical miracle” to contain Covid, those in New York, New Jersey, and Princeton are betting on a South Indian staple to beat the virus — the humble rasam. Behind the “viral trend”, obviously, is a chef from Tamil Nadu.
It was on a mundane day, in the middle of the lockdown in US, that this idea struck 35-year-old Arun Rajadurai. Most of the ingredients that go into making rasam — turmeric, ginger, and garlic — are immunity-boosters. It could help those testing positive for Covid.
Arun used to provide food to Covid patients in three hospitals. He thought of adding it as a complimentary dish. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and the demand grew. Rasam, the “immunity boosting soup”, became indispensable from the menu of the hotel for which Arun worked, Anjappar Princeton. It was a bestseller.
Such was its popularity that it was introduced in the restaurant’s New York, New Jersey and Canada branches. Around 500-600 cups of rasam are being sold daily, he says. “I was experimenting at home when I made this. We never thought it would be such a hit.” Hailing from Meensurutti near Jayankondam in Ariyalur, Arun moved to New Jersey five years ago. He studied catering at IHM Tiruchy. He was also awarded as the Best South East Asian Chef in 2018.