MIRACULOUS SPICES OF KONGU CUISINE

Spices throw a miraculous light on the culinary arts.



Yes.. true.

Spices can do wonders in the taste, flavor and appeal of a meal. They also can act much more than just to enhance the aroma.



They strengthen the immune system, slow down the aging process, fighting against the diseases, disorders and malfunctions of the parts of the body.



They strengthen the nervous system.



They protect the foods and various drinks and pickles against the infection and deterioration of the quality of the food.



They are awakening the appetite and stimulating the secretion of digestive fluids and thereby aiding the proper digestion.



They are the most strong stimulant.



Some of the spices neutralise the secretion of excess stomach acid and cures the acidity.



Some of the spices treat the gastric problem and bloating.



Some of the spices eliminate the waste products from the body.



They are natural antibiotics, diuretics, antioxidants and best soothers.



They increase appetite.

We are using the spices in cooking and serving unknowingly about the properties of these exotic spices. We follow these steps from generation to generation without learning about the supernatural effects of spices on our regular meals. Awareness about the uses of spices should be important to every mother and educate their importance in our meals to our children.



In this page, we are going to learn about the incredible qualities of every spice of kitchen cabinets.

Cumin seeds :


Cumin seeds play an important role in every dish we prepare. Let us know its characteristics. 


Cumin seeds are oblong in shape, longitudinally ridged and have a peppery punch makes them as an integral spice in the cuisines of all over the countries of the world. 


The scientific name of cumin seeds is Cuminum Cyminum and belongs to the family Apiaceae.


Nutritional information:


Cumin seeds are an excellent source of iron, a very best source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and Vitamin B1. It contains dietary fibres.


It is identified as jeeragam/seergam in Tamil. 


Health benefits:


Its ability to aid in digestion, improve immunity and help in the treatment of piles, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma common cold, lactation, anaemia boils, cancer and bronchitis. It treats diabetes as well. 



It defends against all infections and toxins. It also boosts the immune system as well.


It is carminative, antimicrobial, stimulating, diuretic, antifungal and laxative.

Adding this cumin seeds in our diet also helps in healing up of all infections of the digestive system and speed up the digestion as well.

Traditionally it has been used in natural remedies and Siddha medicinal treatments. Its active properties of the cumin seeds may improve the gut mobility and help in digestion by stimulating the secretion of

gastrointestinal enzymes.


It is powdered and mixed with ghee and consumption of this mixture cures hiccups. It is used for the menstruation of females.


To enhance its aroma. roast it lightly and use in the cuisine.


I dry roast the cumin seeds and pepper and make them into a coarse powder. I Use this powder to make dal rasam, any rasams like tomato rasam, lemon rasam and uppu paruppu. Adding half spoon of this powder, lemon juice, water, salt, a half pinch of asafoetida, mint leaves with few ice cubes make n excellent juice in the summer season. We are having this juice regularly in mid-noon of hot summer. It acts as an energy booster.









 

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CORIANDER SEEDS                  


Coriander seeds are playing a vital role of Indian Cuisine. We use it regularly in our cooking as an important spice. Coriander is known all over the world for its healthy and nutritional qualities. It is a great source of potassium, iron, vitamins A, K, C, folic acid, calcium, copper, zinc and magnesium.


Its botanical name is Coriandrum Sativum. It is known in Tamil, Kothumalli vithai, Dhania in Hindi, Dhaniyalu in Telugu, Kothambalari in Malayalam Dhoney in Bengal, Dhanae in Marathi.

Family: Apiaceae. 

Aromatic and spicy seeds have been used in almost all over the world from very ancient times in cooking and traditional Siddha medicines. It is originated from South-Eastern Europe and grown all over the European countries, China, India and other countries. 

Coriander seeds should release a pleasant aroma when it is rubbed in our palms. This is the trick you can use during the purchase from the grocery stores.
After purchase, we should dry them in sunlight, clean them and store in an airtight container. Then they can be milled using hand mill or mixer into coriander powder whenever needed. Then only it retains its unique aroma in cuisine.

We can use it for the culinary purpose either raw or roasted and ground it as a fine powder.

The special aromatic nature of coriander seeds derives from their volatile oils and fatty acid.
It contains essential linoleic acid omega 6 oleic acid and palmitic acid. These are responsible for digestive, carminative and antiflatulent, antioxidant properties. Coriander seeds are containing dietary fibers as well as other spices.

Moreover,  the seeds contain B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.

Health Benefits:






Coriander seeds are used in the treatment of skin inflammation, indigestion, diarrhoea, ulcers, smallpox menstrual problems, anaemia, blood sugar disorders, high cholesterol control.
Consuming coriander seeds help to reduce the blood pressure in hypertension patients.

Coriander seeds occupy the stellar rank in all healing spices. It's disinfectant, detoxifying, antiseptic, antifungal and antioxidant properties are very much appreciated by the scientists of the world. It is anti-allergic as well. 

It controls blood sugar. Due to the stimulating effect of coriander on the endocrine glands, the secretion of insulin is increased from the pancreas which subsequently increases the insulin level in the blood. This controls the proper absorption of sugar and the result is the fantastic drops in the sugar level in the blood.

In Tamilnadu, coriander seeds are dry roasted and ground into a coarse or fine powder. Then used in various curries, masalas, veg and nonveg meals and gravies, sambar, rasams, chutneys and so many dishes. Sukku malli coffee is very familiar in our regions. The roasted coriander seeds, dry ginger, pepper are blended and boiled with palm sugar. This coffee is consumed during the cold season and rainy season.









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Black peppercorns:

PEPPER:

Pepper is often referred to as the Queen of all spices. It is being used in traditional medicines and culinary field since very ancient period. Black pepper is a very hot and pungent spice, packed with an array of excellent properties that improve our health. Manganese, Potassium, iron, dietary fiber, vitamin c and vitamin k are the ingredients of small black pepper. It has an active component, Piperine which gives its characteristic taste. Above all, it contains antibiotic, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which make it an amazing medicinal spice. 

The health benefits of the usage of pepper are incredible. 


It improves digestion. It stimulates the taste buds and increases the secretions which aid in regulating the digestion. By this activity, black pepper relieves various digestive problems such as colic, bloating, indigestion, constipation and flatulence. It treats intestinal diseases caused by bacteria. 


It stimulates the appetite. It facilitates to lose obesity. The outer layer of the pepper contains poly nutrients that break down of the fat cells. It suppresses the accumulation of fat in the body.


Being a diuretic and diaphoretic spice, Black pepper promotes the urination and perspiration to flush out toxins from the body.


Being a carminative spice, it relieves the gastric problems.


It cures congestion and loosens phlegm. It treats amazingly on the cough and cold. It is the wonderful healer of sinuses by consuming black pepper in regular food consumption. 


Hence, Sprinkle pepper powder to calm down the cold, cough, detox your skin. Surprisingly it gives relief and helps in preventing breast cancer according to the University of Michigan cancer research studies.


Scientifically it is known as Piper Nigrum. It is perennial vine and climber which requires support to grow. It has similar growth of betal leaf plant. There are white pepper, black pepper and tailed pepper berries in the market. All three varieties have amazing medicinal properties. 

Home remedies of pepper:

If we suffer from poor appetite, Consuming the pepper powder one teaspoonful with honey or jaggery powder and ghee will improve appetite.


If we consume  one teaspoon of peppercorns with one betel leaf,

we will know how fast the reaction with indigestion and feel comfort stomach.

To fight cold and cough, we can drink the hot milk with one spoon of pepper powder and turmeric and palm sugar.

We use this pepper powder to spice up omelettes, soup, south Indian rasam, various curry and sambar powder and masal powders.

Another important usage is its treatment of dandruff. Add a teaspoonful of crushed pepper in hot sesame oil and keep aside to get warm. Apply on the scalp and massage well. Leave it for half an hour and take head -bath by using Shikai powder.

A little aromatic kitchen spice does wonders by making us the very smart living being natural. 


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Fenugreek seeds:




Fenugreek seeds are tiny seeds tasting bitter but used by every Indian household either in seed form or green form in their culinary part. But what you might not know is its astonishing benefits to our health. It is a rich reservoir of medicinal properties of curing the digestive problems and improving the milk production of lactating mothers. Traditionally speaking, the kongu people add these wonderful seeds in the preparation of Idlies, Dosais, Uthappam and paniyarams. They prepare special venthaya pulikuzhambu by using the fenugreek seeds as the main ingredient. When it is roasted dry, it is giving a nice aroma.

In the scientific world, it belongs to the family Fabaceae and its botanical name is Trigonella foenum-graceum. Fenugreek seeds are rich in minerals, vitamins and poly nutrients. It is a mucilaginous form when soaked. it is due to its rich dietary fiber soluble. 

Fenugreek seeds are the best treatment for diabetes.

They control blood sugar levels. 

Fenugreek seeds resolve hair problems and it is boiled in coconut oil and allowed overnight treats dandruff, hair thinning and hair fall. When it is soaked with shikkai or soapnut pods overnight and grind them into a paste and wash your hair, fenugreek seeds leaves a shiny and healthy hair.

Ladies are more prone to iron deficiency during their pregnancy period, lactating period and adolescence (during puberty). They must be fed with these fenugreek seeds and fenugreek greens cooked with potato or tomato to get the required amount of iron. 




In Kongu mothers' kitchen, the fenugreek seeds are the important ingredients for making venthaya idli, venthaya dosai, venthaya paniyarams


LONG PEPPER:

Long pepper is the best herbal option throughout the year. It is an exclusively amazing herb to take during the Spring season. Even though the spring comes with beautiful aspects, it is also the season with contagious diseases like cold, cough, fever and allergic problems. According to Siddha and Ayurveda, the spring season is the Kapha dosha period. Adding long pepper in our diet routine will ward away the
diseases of this season.

Long pepper is termed as a Tridoshic herb because it is suitable for all body types. Only the condition is that the small dosage is enough to cure since it is a very potent spice.

Health information:

It purifies the blood.
Increases digestion.
Reduces gas
It detoxifies.
Treats cough, asthma and hiccups
Treats respiratory infections and disorders and it is good for lungs.
Treats skin disorders.
Antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antimicrobial and carminative.
treats impotence.
good for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
useful for weight loss.
induces sleep.
It is good for our nervous system and it treats disorders like anxiety, fear, worries.
It treats menstrual problems.
It is more potent than pepper.

It is an essential element in the formula of trikadugu in Siddha and Ayurveda treatments.  

We can take this thippili or long pepper through Rasam meal or consume this rasam as a soup during the monsoon, cold seasons and prevent the cold and cough earlier. 

Refer Long pepper /Thippili rasam in kongutraditionalrecipes home page.

The long pepper is available in online stores Ebay.in ebay.in., Amazan 
You can buy through any grocery stores and Siddha medical stores.



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Health benefits of Turmeric:

We, the proud Indians have started known for a long time about the medicinal and health properties of turmeric and consuming as a wonderful spice. 

Turmeric, the precious spice does contain curcuminoids that are the main active ingredient to fight against inflammatory effects of the body. It is also a very strong antioxidant.

Curcumin present in Turmeric is believed by the scientists that it targets multiple steps in the inflammatory route, at the molecular stage without the side effects.

Curcumin in Turmeric is a potent antioxidant that boosts the antioxidant enzymes present in our body. It punches against the free radicals and block them directly and stimulate the mechanism.
curcumin boosts neurotrophic factor linked to the proper brain function and lowers the risk of neuro diseases.

One of the important function of turmeric is the improving of the function of the endothelium which is the lining of blood vessels, thereby it supports the health of heart preventing the blood clotting and regulating the blood pressure.

It is good for blood sugar balance and the proper function of kidneys.


It is a powerful disinfectant so we should add certain volumes of turmeric in each of the recipes, we cook.

It is believed by the scientific studies that the curcumin in a higher dose with an absorption enhancer, pepper can help in treating cancer of the digestive system and the research is being pursued by the scientists regarding this matter.

Arthritis responds very well with curcumin and it fights against the inflammation and more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs. 


Another interesting factor of turmeric is the possibility of improving memory smarter.

The Siddha experts recommend that the absorption of curcumin is enhanced by 2000% by piperine present in the pepper. Add pepper with turmeric in each cooking is essential to get the benefits of turmeric.

The amount of the intake of turmeric that we need to obtain the health benefits of turmeric is not quite a lot. The intake may be around one to two grams every day is being practised in our Indian cooking.

The uses of turmeric are countless. 

We get the potential effects by using the small dosage in every dish, we prepare and consume.

Do refer the preparation of manjal Pal Turmeric milk in the page of kongu traditional recipes. Our elders recommend this golden milk to drink at night to treat the cold, phlegm and sore throat.

Don't miss to learn the addition of turmeric in each and every recipe we post.











Next, we are going to learn about one of the miraculous spices that are available in our kitchen.

NUTMEG:

This is an aromatic spice that enhances the taste of dessert, sweets and drinks. 
Its origin is Indonesia. Nutmeg is the seed of the fruit of a spectacular tree known as Myristica fragrans. It is now growing in Malasia the Caribbean and Southern India. It gives two exotic spices namely, nutmeg and mace. 
Nutmeg is grouped under the category 'APHRODISIACS'. wHILE COOKING THIS SPICE IS BEING ADDED IN VERY LITTLE QUANTITIES OR A PINCH OF GROUND POWDER OR GRATED.




Nutmeg is very famous in India for its amazing medicinal properties.

It treats insomnia, muscular pain and regulates digestion. It has a calming effect while it consumed in very small quantities. NUTMEG IS AN APHRODISIAC, stimulating the nerves in the brain. It is used as brain tonic by Greek and Romans It treats depression and anxiety. It treats bad odour of teeth.





Cardamom is an ever-loving spice to Indian taste buds because of its unique aroma. It is used in preparing teas, Curries, Gravies, Briyani, Pulaos and special sweets. Despite being a multi-purpose spice in the culinary world, it is great for having spectacular health benefits.

Cardamom is one of the natural remedies for the treatment of blood pressure. It lowers blood pressure due to its diuretic properties. Hence we prized it as a heart-friendly spice.

It has antioxidant components that fight cancer and thereby stop the growth of tumours.
It protects cells of the body from damage and cures the inflammation.
It cures stomach ulcers.
Cardamom has a sweet flavour so that is used for bad breath.
The essential oil present in it is effective against the bacteria and fungus infections, food poisoning and protects stomach health.
It lowers blood sugar levels.
It protects the liver. 

Do add Cardamom in your daily diet routine to reap its wonderful benefits.

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KOKUM RINDS/KODAM PULI










KOKUM RINDS OR KODAMPULI:


Kokum Rind is less known spice. Like Tamarind,  kokum skins are also sun-dried and made available in stores. It is of great culinary use because of its magical benefits to our health.

The rinds are not usually chopped or soaked but are added a whole rind to the dish. Since they are very strong taste. we should add a few at a time. It takes little more time to infuse into the dish. It turns strong in the dish after one hour.
They are preserved by adding salt and sold. Hence checking before use is needed.

Kokum rinds are well known in Gujarat and Maharashtra because of its coolant properties, the natives add this spice in sherbet and curries to beat the sweltering heat during the summer season.

It is high in sourness with no trace of sweetness.

It is high in vitamin C, low in fat and calories but high in fiber.

It is used in traditional medical treatment because of its following health benefits.

Anthelmintic
Cardiotonic
Fights dysentery
Reduces tumours
1alleviates pain
Astringent
Its juice aids digestion and wards off heat stroke
Its butter treats burns and various wounds.
Reduces biliousness
Substitute for tomato or tamarind makes sambar and puzhikuzhambu, thuvaiyal
into zestier side dish.

Koum rinds 





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