This post is in response to this week’s The Daily Post ‘Yellow’
Come winter, seasonal changes affect one’s health and immunity, and the flu and cold bug makes its presence. An ancient, Indian traditional way to fight this is with the use of Turmeric, a yellow powder made from the rhizome of the Ginger plant family. It is locally known as Haldi or Manjal.
The plant’s botanical name Curcuma longa, is found abundantly in India and Asia. The deep colour of the powdered, dried rhizome, not only adds colour and flavour to food, but has immense health benefits. There is hardly an Indian curry or vegetable, cooked without a liberal addition of Turmeric. Yoga abhyaas or study strongly advises using ‘one spoonful of turmeric in cooking everyday’..as it is known for its anti inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Chinese, Malay and Indians have long been using Turmeric for its medicinal properties. It is used to treat flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, toothache and colic. Every Indian and Malay bride will recall their ‘Haldi’ ceremony prior to the wedding, where the bride is anointed with a paste of Turmeric and sandalwood – a traditional way of rejuvenating, cleansing and perfuming the body.
As a young girl, I remember my mother applying Turmeric powder on our bruises and cuts. And come winter, she would boil milk with ginger and turmeric.Ah…can you smell that strong aroma of turmeric as it fills the kitchen?
Recipe for Turmeric Milk:
1 cup milk
1 tbsp. turmeric powder
1 tbsp. ginger powder
1 spoon honey
In a small vessel pour the milk, add turmeric and ginger powder and simmer /boil for few minutes. Remove any scum formed. Pour the milk into cup /glass, add honey as desired.
Sip away to health and beauty!
If the cough or cold persists:
Boil 2 cups of water in a large container, add 2 tbsps. of turmeric to it. Inhale this steam, covering your face and neck with a towel/cloth. Let it reach your open mouth and warm the area. Be careful of the hot water and steam!
Here is a light snack, perfect on a rainy day or winter with a cup of Chai. Or invite friends over and offer in individual bowls, peppered with finely chopped onions and garnished with coriander. Crunch…
Puffed Rice Flakes Chivda (Savoury)
2 cups thin white Poha /Rice flakes
2 cups murmura /puffed rice
1 ladle cooking oil
1 -2 tbsp. Turmeric powder (yellow)
1 tbs. mustard seeds
1 tbs. saunf / fennel seeds (optional)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts (without skin)
1/4 cup roasted Bengal gram
1/4 cup raisins + cashews
2 sprigs of Curry leaves
pinch of Hing /Asafoetida
Salt, chilli powder, Aamchur /dry mango powder and powdered sugar adjusted to taste.
Remember! many of the above ingredients could be optional ( except salt, chilli, oil mustard and turmeric).They add colour, texture and enhance flavour. Experiment as per availability.
Method: Lightly toss and roast the Rice flakes till crisp. Set aside. Lightly roast the puffed rice. Keep aside in plate.
In a large pan, heat up oil add lightly fry peanuts, cashews, raisins and remove aside to cool. Add mustard to oil till it splutters. Quickly add Turmeric, fennel seeds, curry leaves. Lower flame to minimal.
Add the fried nut mixture. Gradually add the puffed rice and rice flakes, alternatively. Keep tossing entire mixture lightly, till evenly coated in seasoning.
Put pan away from flame onto kitchen top. Add salt, powdered sugar, Aamchur powder, chilli powder as desired. Cool mixture evenly.
Store in airtight jar upto 4-10 days for freshness. Or serve immediately in paper cones (like in street food) or bowls. Garnish with finely chopped onions and coriander and a slice of lime. Enjoy!
No Indian recipe is spared from the traditional use of Turmeric. So, buy a packet, check its freshness, store in a bottle away from sunlight. Use some everyday, while cooking or gargling.
Live life healthier with just a spoonful of yellow Turmeric!
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