Whenever we think of spicy food, mostly we think about Indian curries and Indian food due to the plethora of spices used in every Indian dish. Thus, it is quite assumable that all Indian curry recipes would contain spices as an integral part. These spices make Indian curries distinct in their own manner. The color, flavor, aroma and what not, Indian savories have everything that becomes even more lip smacking with a pinch of spice added on to it. To make a mouth watering curry, the spices need to be added in proper proportion, because a slight change in the proportion, might as well turn the dish into something else.
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Though the rumors have taken its round, saying that the spiced Indian food is bad for your stomach and disrupts digestion, the fact is that majority of the spices used in India have health benefits, which are more or less determined by the climatic conditions of the region where the cuisine belongs to. For example, you will find that there will be an abundant usage of hot red chilies in places like Andhra which basically help in dealing with the extreme heat of that region. The recipe of these dishes is designed in such a way, that they would lose their characteristic without the hot red chilies.
Each spice of India comes with at least one benefit which makes a dish health friendly when it gets used in the recipe, not to forget its functions of kicking up the taste. One of the most common Indian spices is turmeric, which is more or less considered as a standard ingredient in almost all Indian dishes. Almost all Indian curries and ‘dals’ use turmeric as a basic ingredient. Being a strong anti-oxidant, it has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcerative properties. Thus, while adding slight flavor and a strong yellowish color to the curry it serves your health too. Turmeric while taken along with milk helps in curing any internal injury and also keeps cough and cold at bay. As per Indian tradition, if someone in the family gets injured, then he is given a teaspoon of turmeric with milk, to ease the pain and speed up recovery.
Fennel, another common spice, helps in digestion, curing respiratory disorders, rectifying menstrual disorders, and the list goes on. Some amount of amino acid found in fennel is remedy for anemia too. Water boiled with fennel, one of the most common drinks especially in any south Indian house hold, has an excellent cooling effect along with providing relaxation to your mind and body.
No Indian curry is complete without the addition of ginger garlic paste. Garlic, is internationally acclaimed for being anti bacterial, anti viral and anti fungal medicine. Considered excellent for digestion, it also helps in managing your cholesterol levels. Ginger, another spice that has topped in its medicinal values, acts as an exceptional anti inflammatory drug. It is excellent for all stomach ailments in addition to treatment of headaches, painful menstruation and arthritic pain. In hilly regions, when it gets freezing cold in the winters, people add a little of ginger to their tea, to keep their body warm.
Another major factor is that the spiced food helps in invigorating the brain cells, thus making your brain sharper and stronger. For example, some spices like turmeric helps improve the communication between brain cells and thus boosts your memory. Indian spiced food also helps in reducing weight by increasing your metabolism, which thus burns those extra calories. So just curry up, eat well and happily shed off those extra kilos while keeping your stomach full!
I am Francis Boyle, a research analyst at a video production firm in London. As a part of my job, I often have to do a lot of research about various products and services. I write blog posts related to Indian food.