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.
It is usually suggested to use whole cardamom pods instead of ground powder for better flavour. And we have got you covered because Tassyam has 100% natural green cardamom pods and black cardamom pods as well.
Nutmeg is high in fibre content, which is great when you are trying to cut on some calories in your diet. It helps in improving insomnia. Adding a pinch of nutmeg to a glass of warm water or milk and drinking before bedtime helps in having a good night's sleep.
It has pain-relieving benefits, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which makes it ideal to be used in controlled quantities to treat skin issues at home.
Not only that, a pinch of nutmeg powder, cardamom powder and few drops of honey in hot cup of milk can really uplift your mood when you're feeling the winter blues.
Get your hands on some good nutmeg powder here.
No tadka in an Indian household is complete without some good hing or asafoetida. Hing is a spice that can cure respiratory tract infections, stomach-related problems, skin infections and menstrual problems as well. And there's no other place like Tassyam where you will find authentic strong hing for all your needs! Being in the hing business since 1940, we have learnt the art of preparing hing from the best of the best- our forefathers.
The best way to incorporate hing into your diet is by using it while cooking vegetables, curries and dals. An additional benefit to using hing is that it relieves you of indigestion.
7. Star Anise
Star Anise is full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. It is rich in compounds like thymol, terpineol and anethole, all of which helps in curing cold and flu. Its anti-bacterical and anti-fungal properties prevent many fungal and viral infections that come with the winter season.
You can use Tassyam star anise in your soups, stews and in savoury recipes particularly made with meat.
This golden spice is known worldwide for its ayurvedic and medicinal properties and India has been using this spice in their foods for time unknown.
Apart from using it in your everyday food, Tassyam Turmeric Powder can be used in haldi doodh, turmeric tea and consumed with hot water to fight cold, cough, improve skin health, provide relief from sinus and joint pains during winters.
We hope this article helps you on how to go about using spices in your everyday diet this winter season and boost your immunity like never before.