Sorry for the days delay-this post is for the month of January 2020
The A-Z of spices, herbs, its flavors and health benefits – this could literally mean – a couple dozen books at least – if I tried to cover them all – I am not going to. I am going to start my journey of “spice and herbs” info with the first letter of the alphabet – “A” and will share important info on one spice/herb each month. The info will contain the health and taste benefits, and how they should be used for most effective benefits. A lot of my health and medicinal benefits that I share will be as per Äyurvedic medicinal info
Herbs and spices – without which no cuisine is complete. One needs to understand the combinations in which they should be used to extract their maximum taste, health and wellness benefits. Each of the ingredients and spices used does not necessarily mean everything has to be oh so “chili hot”. Once again – add the right combinations and amounts of herbs and spices to achieve tasty wholesome, nourishing, flavorful, healthy meals, which will set your taste buds “tingling”.
Ajwain/Ajmo/bishops weed/carom seeds – any which name you use – it is a spice that every Indian household is all too familiar with, and no “Tadka or Tempering” is complete without the addition of ajmo – no tadka or tempering is a cooking method – whereby oil, butter or ghee is heated until very hot and the whole spices are added and cooked to release their aromas and flavours. A tadka is a very small portion – approximately 30ml fat and 10ml of the spices – this oil mixture is then incorporated into lentil dishes and it is added at the end so that it can also act as a garnish
These miracle seeds can be added to vegetable curries and are a great addition to pickles because of its preserving qualities and it is used in flat breads – as a flavour enhancer and in aiding the digestion of wheat
Ajmo seeds vary in colour from slightly olive green – to brown, and the seeds have a bitter and pungent flavour – close to oregano. The leaves and seed like fruit are edible and quite pungent – the plant originated in India and is a staple in most curries and pickles. It is one of those spices that fulfils a dual role – adding flavour and is beneficial to your health. In Ayurvedic medicine it is claimed to be exceptionally good in maintaining ones digestive health, and we all know that gut health is of utmost importance for our bodies to function well.
These miracle seeds are rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, and some of their health benefits are:-
- Instant relief from acidity and indigestion – it keeps your stomach strong – the active enzymes in ajmo help improve our gut health. ( Mix 2.5ml cumin seeds, 2.5ml ajmo seeds and 2.5ml ginger powder, take this in 125ml water daily do improve heartburn)
- Relieves toothaches, headaches and earaches – ajmo contains thymol compounds and thus it is an excellent natural pain reliever, drinking ajmo water or chewing some seeds will soothe toothaches, crush some seeds and mix with natural oil or use ajmo oil – and apply to your temples to help with headaches – apply few drops of ajmo oil to the outer ear and rub a few drops behind the ear to help sooth earaches
- Prevents acne and pimples – Thymol in ajmo acts as a strong fungicide and germicide, seeds can be crushed and made into a paste and applied to skin to treat minor infections or bruises
- Respiratory health – the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds in ajmo – assist with relief from sore throats, clearing blocked noses and removing mucus and other respiratory infections – chewing some seeds boiled in water helps with all of the above. Take a dish of boiling water and about 20ml ajmo seeds and steam using this water – aids in clearing nasal passage
- Weight Loss – ajmo water or Oma water (one and the same) – is an Ayurvedic marvel miracle – especially for woman in that it assists with weight loss –the laxative nature of ajmo seeds – speeds up the digestive process – it has the ability to extract good nutrients’, thus preventing the storage of excess fat – it assists in increasing the body’s metabolism – thus aids in weight loss. All you have to do is soak about 15ml seeds overnight –next morning boil it –strain and drink the water on an empty stomach – and avoid eating anything for an hour after that. This solution will assist in treating your digestive system, ease bloating and your overall gut health and while doing all this it will also assist in burning fat around your abdomen (every females dream)
This is the first of my one post a month featuring the various, health and taste benefits of herbs and spices.