Elaichi – A Multipurpose Spice Variety to Flavor Sweet and Salt

Cardamom is known as elaichi in India. It is usually added to traditional Indian desserts and other dishes for the strong flavor it imparts. It is not just the taste but also the health benefits of elaichi which makes it one of the favorite spice in India.

Types of Elaichi:

Green cardamom (Choti elaichi) – This elaichi is green in color and is the smaller one. It enhances flavors and has a pleasing aroma. It is usually used in drinks and desserts.

Black cardamom (Badi elaichi) – This elaichi is the bigger one of the two and is black in color. It is usually used when cooking spicy dishes because of its strong flavors. It is best used while cooking rice stews and curries.

Cardamom has a very strong flavor and taste, so very little needs to be added to a dish be it sweet or salty. It should be stored in pod form and should be ground just before adding to a dish as these lose the flavor very fast.

Types of Elaichi

Cardamoms are used in a range of Indian spice mixes, curries, tea masala, sweets, pickles and also for baking.

  • Lemon-cardamom cookies – These simple easy to cook cookies are made with butter, sugar, all purpose flour, lemon zest and ground cardamoms.
  • Cardamom butter chicken – To cook this mouth watering dish you need chicken breasts, cardamoms, cloves, garlic, coriander, green chillies, onions, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, fenugreek, cloves, cinnamon, tomatoes, curd and cream. 
tea masala

Benefits of Elaichi:

1. Improves digestion – Elaichi helps in stimulating and regular excretion of gastric enzymes in the stomach. It helps balance these acids and avoid gastric problems and providing relief from heart burns. Chewing an elaichi after meals helps people who suffer from flatulence and gas problems. Elaichi also helps with stomach cramps and helps relieve hiccups.

2. Anti spasmodic – Elaichi helps relieve stomach tremors and spasms. It also improves the blood circulation to our lungs and can be helpful for people suffering from sore throat, cough, bronchitis and asthma.

3. Detoxifying agent – Elaichi helps cleanse our body. It is considered to be a refinement general spice against caffeine. Elaichi also helps people quit their addictions like tobacco chewing, smoking, alcohol and even those with a sweet tooth.

4. Helps in oral problems – Elaichi helps cure tooth and gum infections. One of the most common benefits of elaichi is that it can be used as a mouth freshener. It also helps vocalists improve their voices.

5. Essential oils – Elaichi oil has anti depressant, antioxidant, antiseptic and anti ageing properties. Elaichi oil can be applied to a persons forehead to treat headaches. It can also be added to bathing water to help relieve stress, depression and fight common ailments.

6. Tonic – Elaichi helps enhance appetite. A well known benefit of elaichi includes decreasing nausea. It also helps relieve mouth ulcers. It helps with the functioning of our central nervous system and relieve weekness.

7. Source of Minerals – Elaichi contains calcium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese and magnesium. These minerals help control heart rate and blood pressure. These minerals are also important for the everyday functioning of our body.

Benefits of elaichi have been known to mankind since ancient times. In Ayurveda, elaichi is referred to as tridoshic and is used to balance the three doshas of the human body. So when you add cardamoms to your dish you are also adding a number of health benefits as well.

Do You Know Adding Clove When You Boil Vegetables Make The Recipes Unmatched?

Cloves are one of the most common type of spices that are used extensively for cooking and many other purposes. One of the most prominent uses of clove in food is to add flavor. Cloves are also used to make oil, as an antiseptic and for many other medical purposes

Cloves get their flavor due to the presence of a compound called Eugenol, the composition of which varies between 70 to 90 percent, which has an extremely strong aroma. Traditionally used for their seasoning benefits, cloves also have various other health benefits and have been traditionally used as an ingredient in preparing medicines for many diseases.

Cloves grow on an evergreen tree that is found in Asia and South America. Cloves are completely natural and are said to offer several health benefits. The tree’s flower buds, fruit and leaves are also said to produce clove oil, which is widely used in aromatherapy. It’s health benefits are said to result from its supposedly anti inflammatory, pain relieving and anti bacterial effects.

Clove

Adding cloves when you boil vegetables

When clove is added to vegetables while cooking or boiling them, it adds a pungent sweet flavor to the dish and also a number of health benefits. Its flavor goes well with other basic spices like cumin, coriander, ginger etc.

1. Toothache

Cloves help provide respite from toothache which is why you will find them mentioned as one of the main ingredients in most toothpastes.

2. Nausea and vomiting

Clove oil and cloves, when taken together are known to provide relief for vomiting and nausea.

3. Cough and breath

Cloves are known to cure cough and bad breath. Cough and bad breath are very common problems that we face everyday and these problems can be well treated by consuming cloves on a daily basis. This can be done by including cloves in your dishes and also as a refreshment at any time of the day.

4. Seasoning abilities

Cloves have various seasoning capabilities, which make it very easy to be included into any dish, dessert and beverage to provide a strong aroma and flavor to the food.

5. Sinusitis

Cloves also help over come sinusitis. This can be done by sniffing grounded clove powder through your nose. This action can be done with the use of a straw of adequate size.

6. Flatulence

Cloves can be mixed with water and used during the preparation of tea to help eradicate flatulence.

7. Cold

Common cold can be effectively treated by using cloves. The patient needs to drink a lukewarm mixture made with ten drops of honey and clove oil. This mixture should be consumed two to three times a day.

8. Aphrodisiac

Cloves can also be used as an aphrodisiac. Its fragrance can also help eliminate fatigue and exhaustion related ailments.

9. Stress

Cloves help sooth our senses and relive stress in our body. They can be mixed with basil, cardamom and mint in water to make a flavored tea. This tea when consumed with honey can help provide relief from stress. More details visit at http://india.ramdevfood.com/products/blended-masala.html.

Add cloves to a recipe while cooking the dish for that lovely flavor and loads of health benefits.

Fennel – The Best Companion to Keep Food and Mouth Fresh

Fennel is a herb that is a member of the parsley family. Fennel possesses a sweet taste similar to anise seeds, it is also used as a spice in various cuisines. Native to the south European region, this spice is used across the world today. The plant is two meters long with yellow flowers and dark green leaves. Fennel seeds are usually used as a mouth freshener but these seeds have various other nutritional values attached to them.  The bulb of the plant is also used as a vegetable in certain parts of the world.

Fennels to keep food and mouth fresh

Fennel has the natural property of being antimicrobial and so it naturally prevents bad breath. A spoon of fennel chewed after meals helps to digest food and also makes the breath fresh. Its sweet aroma adds a beautiful flavor to food and medicinal values prevent indigestion which in turn prevents bad breath.

Fennels

Benefits of Fennel:

1. Strength

Fennel has for long been a symbol of longevity and strength. Ancient Greeks used to believe that consuming fennel seeds helped increase ones courage.

2. Antioxidants

Besides being used for adding flavor to various cuisines, fennel seeds are also used for various health benefits that are derived from its antioxidant properties. These antioxidants are necessary to curb unwanted free radical reactions in our bodies. This helps prevent many diseases that can cause serious damage at a later stage. Fennel seeds contain various antioxidants like quercetin and kaemoferol that are known to help prevent degenerative reactions.

3. Dietary fibers

Fennel seeds are known to contain a good amount of dietary fiber that is important for the human body. This fiber content helps better digestion in our body, by aiding timely break-down of food molecules that help make energy reactions possible.

Fennel seeds

4. Cancer

Carcinogenic diseases should be treated at an early stage so that their effects can be kept in check or eliminated completed in the future. The antioxidant properties of fennel seeds help make this possible.

5. Neurological disease prevention

Like we mentioned before, the prevention of free radical reactions of fennel seeds has various benefits. Another effect of this is that Neurological diseases are kept at bay.

6. Cholesterol absorption

Cholesterol absorption in the arteries is blocked by the action of the fiber binding to the bile salts. The fiber content present in fennel seeds decreases re-absorption of cholesterol which in-turn helps prevent any heart related diseases.

7. Oil compounds

There are various oil compounds like chavicol, myrcene, cineole and fenchone present in fennel seeds that help in carminative, antioxidant and digestive reactions in the body.

8. Red blood cells

Fennel seeds help increase the production of red blood cells.  Fennel seeds contain copper, which helps the body produce new red blood cells.

9. Growth and development

Fennel seeds help with the growth and development of the body. They contain zinc, which helps promote regular development and growth.

10. Heart rate and blood pressure

In today’s day and age people live a very fast-paced and stressful life.  Hence it is very important for us to maintain our blood pressure and keep our heart rate balanced. Fennel seeds also contain potassium which helps in maintain our blood pressure which in-turn helps us maintain a steady heart rate. Get more details about other spices that make you healthy and fine, visit at http://international.ramdevfood.com/products/basic-spices-whole-a-powder.html.

If you have had a meal containing strong flavored food and you don’t want your friends to know what you have eaten, have a spoon of fennel.

Harvest Time of Indian Spices

Add a small amount of spice to your dish to bring out the natural flavor of the raw ingredients, vegetables, meat etc. A pinch of pepper added to salads or soups adds zest to the taste. Spices not only add flavor to a dish but also add health benefits. Different parts of the plants are used in dry, whole or powder form as spices. These are grown in various states of India, as they need different type of climate and soil.

Chilies (Botanical name: Capsicum annuum) is harvested between the months of October and March. The fruit of the plant is dried and grinded to create chilli powder. It adds hot taste and red colour to the food.

Coriander (Botanical name: Coriandrum sativum) is harvested between the months of February and March. The fruit and leaf of the plant is used in fresh whole and dried form.

Cumin seed (Botanical name: Cuminum cyminum) is harvested between the months of February and early March. The fruit is used in dried whole and powdered form.

Asafoetida (Hing) (Botanical name: Ferula asafetida): It is a perennial plant that grows to a height of about 2-4 meters. In India, it is grown in Kashmir and Punjab. The spice is a gum excreted from the rhizome and stem of the plant.

Turmeric (Botanical name: Curcuma longa) is harvested between the months of January and early March. The plant takes 7 to 8 months to mature. The Rhizome (root) is used in fresh whole or dried powdered form. It adds an appetizing yellow colour to the dish.

Black pepper (Botanical name: Piper nigrum) is harvested between the months of November and mid March. The berries from the plant are dried and used whole or in dried form.

Ajowan (Bishop’s weed) (Botanical name: Trachyspermum ammi) is harvested between the months of January and early March. The fruit is used in dried whole form.

Fenugreek (Botanical name: Trigonella foenum graecum) is harvested between the months of February and early March. The seeds are used in whole or powdered form.

Cardamom (Botanical name: Elettaria cardamom maton) is harvested between the months of September and January. The capsules are dried and used in whole or powdered form. It is used to flavour sweet as well as salty dishes.

Clove (Botanical name: Eugenia caryophyllus) is harvested between the months of December and February. The unopened flower bud is dried and used mostly in whole form.

Cinnamon (Botanical name: Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) is harvested between the months of August and November. The bark of the tree is used in whole or powdered form to add flavor. It is used to flavor sweet, and salty dishes and also in hot drinks.

Ginger (Botanical name: Zingiber officinale) is harvested between the months of December and early February. The Rhizome (root) is used in fresh whole or dried powdered form.

Garlic (Botanical name: Allium sativum) is harvested between the months of February and early April. The bulb is used in fresh whole, chopped or dried powdered form.

Mustard (Botanical name: Brassica juncea) is harvested between the months of February and early April. The seeds are used in whole form or are ground and used to make a paste or sauce.

Kokam (Botanical name: Garcinia indica) is harvested between the months of May and July. The fruit is used in whole dried form.

Caraway seed (Botanical name: Carum carvi) is harvested between the months of June and July. The fruit of the plant is used in dried whole form.

Fennel seed (Botanical name: Foeniculum) is harvested between the months of February and early March. The fruit is used in dried whole form as a mouth freshener.

Saffron (Botanical name: Crocus sativus) is harvested between the months of October and early November. The stigma of the flower is used in dried whole form.