India is the home of spices. Numerous wars have been fought, territories conquered and trading done with ancient civilizations of Rome and China only because of the aroma, taste and medicinal values of our spices. Presently, India is world's largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices and produces almost 75 of the 109 varieties listed by the International Organization for Standardization (IOS). Not only that, Asia's largest spice market, Khari Baoli is located in the capital of the country, Delhi.
Well, the various benefits of Indian spices is definitely not hidden from the world. And while our grandmothers and mothers made extensive use of spices in everyday food, beverages and pickles, the new generation sometimes lose touch with the taste and miss out on the life-altering benefits of our exotic spices. But, with approaching winters, it is time we look back to our history and tradition and see how we can make use of variety of easily available spices in our everyday lifestyle and how they can protect us from the winter chills.
When it comes to Cinnamon, people get divided into two groups- a fan club of cinnamon and a "I absolutely hate the strong taste of Cinnamon" group. Even if you fall in the latter one, you can't ignore the multi-benefits of this spice.
Cinnamon can be used in savoury dishes, desserts and beverages like tea, hot chocolate and mulled wine. It helps in blood circulation, aids in tissue regeneration and has got anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
You can add cinnamon to your curries, dal (lentils), rice or pulao, desserts like orange cake, porridges, muffins and apple pie or add a pinch of cinnamon powder to teas, hot chocolates and mulled wine.
Cinnamon infused warm water is a great remedy to cure scratchy throat and cold. Soak a cinnamon stick in warm water and drink it with a drop of honey twice or thrice in a day to get most benefit.
If you are a chai-lover, you know how a good adrak-waali chai hits you after a long tiring day or during those winter chills. It is nothing less than nirvana, to say the least.
Ginger is a strong and warming spice used either in grated or powder form in a lot of Indian recipes. It has amazing medicinal properties that really help in curing cold and flu. Make a homemade syrup using grated ginger juice and honey and you'll forget store-bought cough syrups.
Ginger is also a natural pain-killer and provides relief from migraine pains.
Cloves are a storehouse of of anti-inflammatory compounds which are beneficial in curing cough, cold, sore throat and sinus. Cloves can be used whole or ground in curries or to season meat.
Buy Tassyam Handpicked cloves to combat all winter related issues this year.
Cardamom is known as the "queen of spices" and has a powerful, smoky flavour. It comes in two varieties-black and green. While black cardamom is mostly used in savoury dishes or dal (lentils), green cardamom is extensively used in Indian sweets, desserts, biryanis and vegetable pulao.
Cardamom has diuretic and anti-oxidant properties, which makes the body urinate more and, thereby, reducing the amount of water around the heart. Its anti-inflammatory properties helps in reducing inflammation in the respiratory tract caused due to cold and cough.
Cardamom also helps in better digestion and keeps digestive problems like gas at bay caused due to consumption of leafy vegetables during winters. No wonder it is called queen of spices for so many beneficial reasons.