I have to have this homemade chutney more or less every day. My all-time favourite chutney- it not only tastes nice and add flavour, but it is so good for you. Some of the key ingredients I use in this chutney are Mint, Coriander, ginger and garlic.

1) Mint, that well known mouth freshener, is an herb with remarkable medicinal properties. We see lots of mint products like chewing gum, mouth wash, tooth paste etc. Most of us are familiar with only refreshing part of it but it has much more to offer than that.

Mint leaves play a vital role in promoting digestion, reducing inflammation and soothing the stomach. According to Ayurveda (Indian science of living) Mint has a typical aroma which activates the saliva glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. Thus, it is extensively used in Indian culinary. They can also enhance appetite and cure diseases like nausea.

2) Coriander is a herb well known since ancient times in many parts of the world from Mediterranean basin to India and China. Vijnana says that coriander is used for culinary as well as medicinal purposes. In India it is know as “

” which means The Rich One. Some people prefer the fruit (coriander seeds) and others, the leaf. In India, they love both forms of coriander. Seeds are nutty, spicy, warm and can have orange like quality, whereas, leaves are described as fresh, green, tangy and even citrusy. For me coriander brings together the aromas of different spices. Grieve considers this herb to be very safe and says that as part of the food, this herb is useful controlling bad breath and is a source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. According to a research coriander has a detoxifying action for various toxins too. When I was 12 stones and wanted to shed away some weight, my family doctor advised me to drink coriander, ginger and lemon drink every morning. (Please see the recipe at the end)

3) Ginger has been used in food and for medicinal purposes since a long time. I absolutely love ginger just because it gives fantastic aroma as well as it is so good for your body. I must have my ginger tea every morning- I am not talking about ginger flavoured tea you get in super markets, but I am talking about tea made with fresh ginger (Please see my recipe for fresh ginger tea at the end). My nan, my mum and my mother in law always believed that ginger not only helps in digestion but also keep illnesses like cold, cough, sore throat away from your door step. The recent research has shown that the anti- inflammatory activity in ginger can shorten the discomfort of headaches, cold and flu. According to Ayurveda, row ginger benefits the joints as it helps to reduce joint swellings in people who suffer from arthritis. Ginger helps break down accumulation of toxins in the organs. It can help promote healthy sweating, which can assist detoxification during colds and flus.

4) Garlic is no less powerful. Not sure whether it is true- but it is said that the ancient Egyptians who gave garlic to slaves constructing the pyramids in order to increase their efficiency and stamina. According to researchers at the Garlic Research Bureau in Suffolk, England, recently reported that every small amounts of garlic will have a pronounced effect on breaking down of blood clots. Their studies also suggest that garlic may lower the risk of colon cancer by 35 percent and stomach cancer by as much as 50 percent.

Ginger and garlic not only add incredible flavour and aroma to many kinds of dishes, they are the real health boosters. While ginger and garlic are available in dried powder and supplement form, I personally feel that they are more effective in fresh form and they do rule in my kitchen.

References

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/coriander

https://www.ayurvedacollege.com/articles/students/CorianderTheWealthy

C Mahwar and A Agarwal (2009), “Ayurveda Wonder Foods- Spices”, Light of Ayurveda Journal

https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/3/955S/4687054

https://www.betternutrition.com/food-matters/medicinal-foods-garlic-ginger

Recipe

1) Coriander seeds drink for weight loss

2 cups of water

1 tbsp coriander seeds

½ inch of ginger

½ tsp fennel seeds

Method

– Put water in a pan and let it boil on medium heat

– Add all the ingredients, put the lid on and let it boil for 20 minutes

– Let the water cool until it reaches a lukewarm temperature

– Filter the mixture and your drink is ready to be consumed.

2) My recipe for Ginger tea- Get ginger into your body for good

Serves 2 people

2 cups of water

Sugar as per your choice

1 inch of crushed ginger using with mortar and pestle

2 normal tea bags

Milk as required

Method

– Take a milk pan, add 2 cups of water and put the pan on hob to boil

– Add crushed ginger and sugar (if you like). Boil the ginger water

– When you see it bubbling, add your tea bags, put the lid

– Let it boil on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes

– Let it settle for few seconds

– Pour it in your cup and add milk

2019 Lancashire Food and Drink Awards – Best Chef Winner

I am over the moon being awarded Lancashire Food and Drink award 2019 “BEST CHEF” Award.

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