Spice Up Your Life! 24
(This column brings you information on various spices, fruits and vegetables, along with recipes and home remedies. Readers are cautioned to use remedies with discretion)
The light brown seeds of the coriander plant are different in taste to the leaves of the plant with a fresh, citrus flavour. They are used whole or ground in pickles, chutneys, spice mixtures like garam masala, curries and many other dishes. Coriander seeds have great medicinal value and are used in home remedies as well.
- The antimicrobial compound dodecanal found in coriander seeds (it is found in the leaves too) has been shown to be an excellent remedy for salmonella induced food poisoning.
- The antispasmodic quality of coriander seeds allows them to relax the muscles of the intestines and stomach, thus helping people with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive complaints.
- Coriander seeds have been found to be effective in lowering blood sugar and should be consumed with caution by diabetic patient taking medication for the same.
- People suffering from high blood pressure and cholesterol would do well to include coriander seeds in their diet because it balances blood pressure and gets rid of LDL (low-density lipoproteins), which is bad cholesterol.
- Not only can coriander seeds regulate your menstrual cycle, they can also relieve you of bloating and menstrual cramping to a large extent.
- Drinking water that has had coriander seeds soaked in it can alleviate urinary tract infection symptoms.
- A facemask made with coriander seeds can reduce acne while a coriander seed poultice can ease skin diseases.
- The antioxidant content of coriander seeds allows a reduction of the eye inflammation caused by conjunctivitis and other eye problems. The eyes can be washed with a decoction of coriander seeds.
Recipes of the Goa Anglican Centre
These are the recipes of dishes cooked at the Goa Anglican Centre, a UK registered charity which hosts clergy and volunteers from time to time in Goa.
Feijoado (serves 4-5)
Ingredients: 250 gm of kidney beans, black-eyed beans, or butter beans, 250 gm of boneless pork (cubed), 250 gm of sausages, 1 large tomato, 2 medium onions, 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, ½ tsp of Kashmiri chili powder, ¼ tsp of turmeric, ¼ tsp pepper, ¼ tsp clove powder, ¼ tsp cinnamon powder, ¼ tsp cumin powder, 3-4 tbsp of coconut vinegar, 2 green chilies, salt to taste.
Method: Soak the beans overnight and pressure cook them in the morning.
Sauté finely chopped onions and tomato in oil till brown. Add the casing of the sausage and fry for some time. Remove casing and add ginger-garlic paste, Kashmiri chili powder, turmeric, pepper, clove powder, cinnamon powder, cumin powder, green chilies slit in the middle. Fry this mixture for 3-4 minutes on a low flame and add sausages, pork, and kidney beans. Cook this mixture on a low flame with 1 ½ cup of water for 25-30 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.
Tamarind Pork (serves 4-5)
Ingredients: 500 gm of boneless pork, 3 medium onions, 2 green chilies, 2 tsp of Kashmiri chili powder, small ball of tamarind (2 inch diameter), 3 tbsp of vinegar, salt to taste.
Method: Cube the pork and combine with coarsely chopped onions, green chilies (slit in the centre), chili powder, vinegar and salt. Soak the ball in water for 5 minutes. Strain the water and add the water to the mixture. Cook on high flame for 4 minutes and then cook on low flame for about 30 minutes.
Anaemia: Cumin seeds can be used as a remedy for anaemia because 100 gm of jeera contains about 11.7 milligrams of iron. Including it in your cooking of rice, chapattis and curries will help act as a supplement for you iron deficiency.
Blood pressure: Drinking water boiled with cumin in the morning on an empty stomach will reduce high blood pressure because of the high presence of potassium in cumin seeds.