Chill with condiments
Herbs and spices are key ingredient in summer foods not only during winter. The body needs to be kept at cool temperatures during the summer months....
Herbs and spices are key ingredient in summer foods not only during winter. The body needs to be kept at cool temperatures during the summer months. Rich spicy food just cannot be digested during the summer. India is rich in cooling spices to keeps us cool in the summer months. I make it a point to add these seasonal condiments and I recommend that you do so to and reap its benefits.
Mint: One of the ultimate summer herbs is more than just a remedy for bad breath as it promotes cooling and gives you an overall cleansing feeling. Including the mint leaf in your diet can be done in many ways as it is a truly versatile leaf. This excellent heat busting leaf is a great addition to your lemonades, fresh fruit salads, curd, herbal infusions, tea, rotis and rice. In summer I love to have water flavoured with mint leaves as it refreshes me instantly.
Roasted cumin seeds & powder: A must spice addition in the summer season, roasted cumin seeds, or jeera as the common tongue calls it, when had in small amounts can be cooling for the body. This spice also remedies gas and bloating and helps aid in detoxification. Your buttermilk and lemon water should have a dash of roasted cumin seeds powder for that ultimate summer cooling drink. Sauté your vegetables and dals with cumin seeds.
Natural salts: Go all out when including organic rock salt or organic sea salt in your meals. When you sweat in the heat, your salt levels go down thus it needs to be replenished constantly. Choose rock and sea salts over the common table salts as they have 84 natural elements that table salt does not. Their properties include cooling the body, regulating blood pressure by stabilising irregular heartbeats and since they are anti-acidic they prevent the brain cells from turning acidic. Sprinkle this across your fruits, salads, meals, drinks where ever you can.
Coriander: Also known as cilantro, this is one of my favourite herbs and I need to have it daily. It truly is one of the healthiest herbs and not just used as a garnish for decoration. Its properties are neutral neither cooling nor warming so it can be throughout the year. Today research has discovered that coriander is a very powerful antioxidant which boosts immunity and keeps arteries squeaky clean.
No wonder ancient Indian culinary wisdoms states to add it in everything. It is one of the easiest herbs to use. It pairs well with vegetables dals, salads and chaats. One can make chutneys and refreshing drinks like jaljeera where the most important ingredient is coriander. It gives a lovely flavour to your food and makes its appetising in the summer months.
Fennel Seeds: You often find this seed in your seed mix which you tend to eat after a meal and rightfully so! Fennel seeds have the added benefits to cooling of being great stimulators of the intestinal juices thus promoting proper digestion and reducing acid reflux. These cooling seeds also remove any foul odour from your breath when had after meals thus promoting good oral hygiene. So chew on a spoonful after a meal or sprinkle salads. An extremely popular drink in summer is made from these fennel seeds its fresh and cooling preventing summer boils and heat rashes.