Rasam and sambar have long been considered the perfect compliment to almost every South Indian dish. Now, celebrity chefs and nutritionists are saying that in many ways, rasam is the perfect superfood.

Celebrity nutritionist Luke Coutinho touted the wonders of both rasam and sambar in a recent post on Facebook.The South Indian tamarind-based soups have either have long been served alongside dishes like dosas, uttapam and rice. Sambar is traditionally made with lentils and other vegetables, while rasam is prepared with tomatoes. Coutinho, who co-authored the book “The Great Indian Diet” with Shilpa Shetty Kundra, noted that because rasam contained curry leaves, cumin, and turmeric among its spices, it was a great source of vitamins and immunity-building properties.

In Coutinho’s words, rasam could be considered an “elixir of health.”

“Every region of the world has a diet that suits the genetics, geography, and the land,” Coutinho said in a video posted to Facebook. “Sambar is the perfect balance of good protein, high fiber, zinc, folic acid and iron and minerals that boost your digestion and your immunity.”

But Coutinho also knows that there are many ways to prepare these two classic dishes. That’s why he turned to his Facebook fans to ask them for their favorite sambar and rasam recipes. You can check out their answers here.

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