Good health in your kitchen – Home remedies with Indian spices

Spices add taste, flavor, aroma, and colour to a dish. Along with all these they also have many health benefits. As a child whenever we had cold or stomach problem, our mother/ grand mother gave us some ‘home remedy’ which cured the problem.

Every Indian house hold has a number of remedies using ingredients from the kitchen and these are passed on from one generation to the next.

Home remedies using Indian spices:

Diarrhea/Dysentery

  • Fenugreek seed powder (3 gms) taken daily with curd is very good for dysentery.
  • Soak dry amla till it becomes soft. Take equal quantity of black salt and mash them together. Make small tablets (1 cm in diameter) and have one half an hour after meals, twice a day.
  • Ginger juice taken with half tea spoon of powder asafoetida helps.

Acidity

  • Orange juice taken with roasted cumin seeds and salt helps to relieve acidity.

Emotional stress

  • Include coriander, cardamom and mint in your daily diet to relieve emotional stress.

Cold

  • Drink ginger tea – Boil ginger pieces in water for some time, then add sugar, tea leaves and milk. Drink it hot.
  • One gram cinnamon powder added to a teaspoon of honey also helps to cure cold.

Dry cough

  • To cure dry cough have a tea spoon of honey with one gram of turmeric.
  • Chew a cardamom for a long time.

High Blood pressure

  • After waking up in the morning have 1 or 2 pods of garlic with water.
  • Mix equal quantities of honey, ginger juice and powdered cumin seeds (1 table spoon of each) and have it twice in a day.

Backache

  • Ginger paste rubbed on the back helps to relieve the pain.

Migraine

  • Boil pepper powder (1 table spoon) and a pinch of turmeric in milk (1 cup). Drink this every day for some days to cure migraine.
  • Black pepper (1 gm) taken with milk or honey two to three times a day helps to reduce headache.

Cramps

  • Make a paste of mustard powder and water and apply it on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet.
  • Massage your body with mustard oil before shower. It is very good particularly during the winter season.

Injuries

  • To stop the bleeding through any cut / wound, put turmeric powder on the affected area and tie a bandage. Turmeric acts as an antiseptic.

Headaches

  • Make a paste of cinnamon and water and apply it on the forehead to relieve headache due to cold winds.
  • An apple eaten with salt (on empty stomach) is wonderful to cure headache.

High Blood Cholesterol

  • Boil two table spoons of coriander seeds in a glass of water. Strain it after it cools. Drink this twice a day.

Vomiting

  • Make a mixture of one tea spoon each of mint juice, lime juice, ginger juice and honey and drink it.
  • Roast two cardamoms on a dry pan and powder them. Have it frequently with a spoon of honey. To Know more about Indian spices, visit – http://www.ramdevfood.com/

Conclusion

Home remedies are treatments given with natural ingredients / herbs as well as spices which are easily available in your kitchen. They cure the ailment and have no side effects.

Develop a Good memory and a Sharp brain with Indian spices

In the middle of a discussion you cannot remember the name of your friend, you keep trying, you know the name but are not able to put it in words, it happens to many people. How often we wish to have a sharp memory, a sharp brain, even when we grow old.

In order to ensure your wellbeing it is important to have a healthy brain. You can improve your memory and have a sharp brain by making a few changes in your diet. Include some Indian spices in your daily diet. Antioxidants present in fruits, vegetables, tea, chocolates, and a number of spices help to slow and even reverse mental decline.

Good memory with Indian spices

Saffron (kesar)

Saffron adds a beautiful golden yellow colour and a distinctive flavor to the dish. It is known as ‘golden spice’ because of the numerous health benefits. It is an antioxidant, purifies blood and has anti inflammatory properties.

It helps to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood which facilitates brain power and the overall health of a person. It is anti-depressant and helps to cure mild depression.

Turmeric

Turmeric contains ‘curcumin’ the yellow pigment that gives it the wonderful golden colour. Curcumin has anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties and it enhances the brain health.

Turmeric is a commonly used spice in Indian cuisine. It adds an appetizing yellow colour to a dish. Clinical studies have proved that curcumin averts formation of beta amyloid plaque in the brain that causes Alzheimer’s disease.

Cinnamon

It is the bark of cinnamon tree and has very high levels of antioxidants as compared to other spices. The processing and the function of many parts of the brain is enhanced with cinnamon. Study has shown that it helps to speed up the rate at which the brain processes visuals and motor activities of recognition, attention and focus.

It has been shown in the clinical studies that cinnamon reduces triglycerides and cholesterol levels. It also regulates blood sugar levels.

Thyme

It is a herb that belongs to mint family and grows in temperate climate. It is a rich source of calcium, iron, manganese and fiber. It is also a very rich source of antioxidants which help to support a healthy heart, maintain healthy mental processes like sharp memory, reasoning etc.

Garlic

Garlic is a gift to us from nature. It helps to cure various problems related to health. It contains chemicals that prevent cancer. It lowers blood pressure and heart related problems. It helps to fight brain cancer by killing the cells that cause cancer.

Brain

needs a lot of oxygen to stay healthy and active, it is very vulnerable to oxidative stress. Antioxidants play a very important role in efficient operations of the brain. These help to keep the brain active and also enhances your memory.

Spices aid digestion and help to remove toxins from the body. This improves the flow of blood in the blood vessels including the vessels that serve blood to the brain. Black pepper helps to clear the blood vessels in the brain and allows free flow of oxygen which helps to improve your memory. To Know more about Indian spices, visit – http://www.ramdevfood.com/

Conclusion

Antioxidants help to turn around the reduced brain functioning. Spices rich in vitamin A and C improve your memory, reasoning power and keep your blood vessels in good condition. So include spices in your daily diet and have a sharp brain and a good memory.

Less known spices of Indian cuisine

Indian cuisine is known for the spices used, their aroma and flavor and also the health benefits of these spices. Some of the commonly used spices are cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom etc. There are some more spices which are equally or more exotic but they are not commonly used and are less known.

Less known spices:

Black Sesame

The flavor of black sesame seeds is stronger than white sesame seeds, adding a nutty taste to the food. Rich in calcium, iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus; they are used in Indian and South East Asian cuisine.

Recognized as the most ancient oil seed crop; they are used in salads, vegetables, sweet sesame seed balls ‘pinni’, and in ‘tilgul’ seeds which are mixed with jaggery or sugar

Black Cumin seeds

It is a wonderful spice, which is not very well known. Its nutty flavor and earthy fragrance is stronger than common cumin seeds. These black seeds are used in North Indian dishes. Its sweet lemony aroma is like that of caraway. It is used in different masala mixtures, to prepare curries, biryani, chutneys and to sprinkle on curd.

Black Cardamom

Black Cardamom, like green cardamom is from the ginger family. It is used in Garam Masalas in North India, to flavor meat dishes, curries and rice.

Nigella seeds

It is sometimes mistaken for onion seeds or black sesame seeds. Its pungent onion like smell and bitter taste adds flavor to ‘Panch Phoran’ a spice mix made with cumin, fennel, mustard, fenugreek and nigella seeds, in Bengal. The combination of these spices adds a beautiful aroma to the meat and vegetable dishes.

Nigella is commonly used on Naan bread in non vegetarian dishes and pulses. Due to their medicinal values these are used in homeopathic medicines and also in tinctures as they have extra oil content.

Galangal (Alpinia Officinarum)

It is a rhizome that looks like ginger root. There are many different varieties of Galangal. It grows in South India and the Eastern Himalayas. Its paste with garlic, chillies and shallots is used to in cooking meat curries and sea food. It is pounded to discharge more aroma and is used in coconut based soups. When eaten uncooked as salad, it has a strong pungent flavor. Also used as a powder in a number of Indian dishes.

Dill seeds and weed

Dill belongs to the Parsley family and these green feathery leaves are used in vegetables and to savor many South Indian dishes. The small, flat brown seeds are oval in shape and have a sweet and lemon like sharp flavor. Due to their anti-flatulent property, they are used in ‘Gripe Water’ which is used for stomach pain for infants. Read more in detail for spices of Indian cuisine.

Mahlab

An aromatic spice made from the seeds of the Mahleb tree, its taste is similar to a combination of cherry and almonds. The fruit of the tree is used in jams, and desserts and the pits of the fruit are cracked to get the small seeds. These are used to flavor cheese and meat dishes.

Conclusion

Spices and herbs not only add flavor, aroma and an aftertaste to food; but they are healthy to eat as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals and have many medicinal values.

Delectable Cuisine of Maharashtra using Indian spices

Maharashtra, meaning a big country, has ‘Marathi’ as its official language. Here the food is considered as ‘Anna he Poornabrahma’, meaning food is equal to ‘Brahma’ or the creator of the universe. Food is God and it is meant to be worshiped.

People of Maharashtra first offer their food to God as a thanksgiving. On special occasions and festivals, special food items are prepared to be offered to God, like Ukadiche Modak on Ganesh Chaturthi.

Cuisine of Maharashtra

The cuisine of Maharashtra can be divided into two main categories Konkani and Varadi. Both are very different from each other but a lot of sea food and coconut is used in both Konkani as well as in Varadi cuisine. Rice and a variety of vegetables, coconut and fish are the staple food of Maharashtra. Bombay duck or bombil fish is very popular which is served crisp fried.

The food varies from mild to highly spiced dishes. The main cooking medium is peanut oil, grated coconut, and peanuts are commonly used in vegetables. Kokum with its sweet and sour taste is widely used. Vegetables are often steamed and not deep fried. Jaggery and tamarind are used together in the food to give it a sweet as well as a sour taste.

Kala Masala’ or Goda masala is a mixture of spices that gives the dishes that delectable and yummy taste. Ginger and garlic are commonly used in Maharashtrian cuisine. ‘Kala Masala’ mainly consists of coriander seeds, whole red chillies and chopped dehydrated coconut along with cloves, peppercorn, bay leaves, black cardamoms, caraway seeds, turmeric, asafetida, sesame seeds, and cinnamon ground together.

‘Bhaaji’ or the vegetable dishes are cooked using goda masala. Rassa or curry is one type of bhaaji of potatoes or cauliflower cooked with tomatoes, fresh coconut and lots of water. Aamti is another type of curry made from tur dal and goda masala, tamarind, jiggery and coconut.

Non vegetarian dishes mainly consist of chicken, mutton, fish and a variety of other seafood. The popular non vegetarian dishes of Kolhapur are ‘taambda rassa’, ‘pandhra rassa’ and ‘varhadi rassa’. The coastal region of Konkan is known for fish and seafood.

Not only the main dishes Maharashtra is also famous for the variety of tasty snacks. A number of spices are used in these snacks to give them the typical taste. Some of the popular snacks are:

Bhakarwadi

It is made with flour, besan oil and water to make the dough. The spices used for the filling are sesame seeds, coriander and poppy seeds, fennel seeds, ajwain, cumin seeds, dry coconut, goda masala, corn starch, salt and sugar.

Sabudana Khichdi

This is made from sago or sabudana and potatoes, green chillies, ginger, peanuts, cumin seeds, lemon juice, coconut and coriander leaves, salt, sugar and oil.

Bhel Puri

This snack is very popular not only in Maharashtra but all over India. It is made with puffed rice, sev, boiled potatoes, cumin powder, green chillies, black pepper, tamarind, jiggery and chopped onions.

Pav Bhaji

Another popular dish from this state, it is made using a number of vegetables like capsicum, tomatoes, carrots, beans, onions etc. chopped and cooked with spices like chilli powder, turmeric, coriander, pav bhaji masala, along with ginger,  garlic, and lemon juice. Click Here to get more information on Indian spices.

Some popular sweets of this state are puran poli, gulachi poli, gulab jam, and Modak.

Conclusion

A large variety and range of food is available in Maharashtra. The cuisine has a powerful fragrance of spices, ginger and garlic. If you are planning a trip to Maharashtra, enjoy the beauty along with the delectable food variety available there.