February 27, 2015

India - the Land of Spices

Indian cuisine is colorful and flavorful and its Spices are synonymous with India. Since ancient times India has been known across the globe as a land rich in spices. Remember those history lessons, the silk route that was used for ancient trade? All that trouble just because the world wanted a taste of these very spices that continue to bless our motherland today. Having bottles of turmeric (haldi), asefoetida (heeng), cumin seeds (jeera) is a common sight in Indian Kitchen. You’ve definitely had these experiences in your houses, where your mother or grandmother has pulled out turmeric from the kitchen cabinet instead of a Crocin or an antiseptic. Those aren’t just random Indian beliefs or superstitions, these spices that are found all over the country not only add taste to your food but they possess immense health benefits. To start with, here is the list of easy-to-find spices. May these and other spices become a friend to your health — and the pride of your kitchen!
Turmeric for example, has been shown to have massive medicinal potential. It doesn’t just give your food yellow color, but is a great antiseptic and can be applied to cuts, burns and bruises. Besides that, it also purifies the blood and helps control diabetes. Turmeric can also substitute that expensive sunscreen or beauty cream on your dressing table. Its antiseptic properties help prevent pimples too. Probably the only component in the ancient woman’s beauty kit!
Black pepper or Kali Mirch have their most ancient roots in India.Known to be one of the most traded spices in the world and it is often paired with salt in most of the European dishes. Black pepper aids in congestion, digestion,an upset stomach.
Heeng or asefoetida has a strong taste with its pungent flavor. Add a pinch of heeng to your dal and see yourself the change in taste and aroma. Heeng is not just another flavoring agent, it has wonderful health benefits. Helps in digestion, treating respiratory disorders like cough, asthma and bronchitis. Asafoetida is useful in treating health problems concerning women such as unusually painful and excessive menstruation.
Clove or Laung, The little bud is used not only in Indian cuisines, but in Middle Eastern and African as well. In cosmetic industry, clove is found in soaps, toothpastes, and perfumes. Clove oil can also help with pain and stomach issues like diarrhea, nausea, gas and upset stomach.
 Jeera or Cumin seeds, is very popular in most Indian kitchens. Roasted jeera powder can add an amazing flavor to any dish.Cumin seeds gives the boost to your immune system and helps fight flu .Boil cumin seeds, basil leaves, ginger and honey in a cup of water to get a relief. It also helps control indigestion, stomach pain, diarrhea, morning sickness and nausea.
  Another spice that’s quite useful is cinnamon or Dalchini, especially if you have a sweet tooth. It’s ironical that cinnamon, although used to add flavor to desserts, helps control the blood sugar levels. This spicy – sweet spice lowers the blood sugar levels and keeps diabetes in check. Besides that, it has shown to prevent cancer, food poisoning and stomach ulcers.
Ginger is an Indian favorite, and has been for hundreds of years now. Our ancestors have often used ginger to ease nausea of all types, and the scientists of today have proven that ginger reduces the chances of nausea and its impact as well. Besides nausea, ginger has shown to prevent arthritis, asthma, cancer, heart attack and other stuff that you want to stay away from.
Cardamom, fondly known as Elaichi is often found in Indian gravies and desserts like kheer. But it isn’t just to give the strong flavor to your favorite food, cardamom has shown to cure people of acidity and generate appetite. It is also a more than able mouth freshener and has been shown to cure bad breath, so don’t panic if there’s no mint at home and you have guests coming over, just get some elaichi from the kitchen!
The list of these friendly spices is never ending, and each one has some super healing power that you probably aren’t aware of. So ask your grandmothers or mothers and start using these spices , because you’re missing out on some remedies that could probably make life much easier.

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