The seeds were first used in India in the 4th century BC, and they were used as a flavoring agent as well as for their health benefits. The seeds were also used to make perfumes and incense, and they were believed to have medicinal properties.
One of the most unique and fascinating aspects of Indian cuisine is the use of spices and herbs, not only to add flavor and aroma to dishes but also for their medicinal properties. Among the many spices and herbs used in Indian cuisine, there are a few that have a cooling effect on the body.
Let’s take a look at the power of coriander seeds, one of the most popular cooling spices and herbs in India, and explore how to incorporate them into our daily diet. We'll also touch on the other popular cooling spices and herbs in India, as well as their health benefits!
Introduction to Cooling Spices and Herbs in India
In Ayurveda, summer is considered the pitta season. Heat rash, burning sensations, irritability, intense thirst, headaches, and digestive problems are all symptoms of an overheated body and mind.
Ancient Ayurvedic texts mention several herbs and spices that can help cool the body, including coriander, cumin, fennel, and cardamom. While the temperature in India may be high, the flavors of these cooling spices and herbs can help us beat the heat.
The Power of Coriander Seeds and Their Cooling Effects
Coriander seeds, which are also known as dhania or cilantro in India, are one of the most popular cooling spices and herbs in that country. These seeds come from the Coriandrum sativum plant, which has been used for centuries in Indian cooking. Coriander seeds have a mild, sweet, and nutty flavor, and they are often used to season curries, soups, and other dishes.
Studies have shown that coriander seeds can help reduce body temperature, as well as reduce inflammation and improve digestion. The cooling effect of coriander seeds has also been known to help reduce stress, improve mood, and even help with insomnia.
History and Origin of Coriander Seeds
Coriander, also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is believed to have originated in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all used coriander in their cooking, and it has also been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
The seeds were first used in India in the 4th century BC, and they were used as a flavoring agent as well as for their health benefits. The seeds were also used to make perfumes and incense, and they were believed to have medicinal properties. Ancient Indian texts, like the Rig Veda, also talk about coriander seeds and how the plant can be used for its cooling effects.
Other popular cooling spices and herbs in India
In addition to coriander seeds, there are several other popular cooling spices and herbs in India that can help us beat the heat.
• Coriander seeds are commonly used in Indian cuisine to make chutneys, curries, and spice blends. The seeds can be roasted and ground to make a powder, which can be added to dishes for added flavor and a cooling effect. Coriander powder is also used as a natural cure for stomach problems like cramps and gas.
• Another popular cooling spice in Indian cuisine is cumin seeds, also known as jeera. Cumin has a warm and earthy flavor and is commonly used in curries, stews, and spice blends. Like coriander, cumin seeds are known to help reduce inflammation and improve digestion, and they can also be used to make a cooling drink called jeera water.
• Turmeric, which is also known as haldi, is another popular spice in Indian cuisine, known for its bright yellow color and unique flavor. It is commonly used in curries, stews, and spice blends and is also known to have a cooling effect on the body, making it a great addition to spicy dishes.
• Mint (also called pudina) is a popular herb in India and is known for its fresh and cooling flavor. It is commonly used in chutneys, salads, and drinks.
• Cardamom, also known as elaichi, is another popular cooling spice in India that is known to help reduce body temperature as well as reduce inflammation and improve digestion. Cardamom is also used in Indian cooking to add flavor to dishes and is often used to make chai.
• Lastly, fennel seeds, also known as saunf, are another popular spice in India, known for their licorice-like flavor and cooling effect on the body. Fennel seeds are commonly used in Indian cuisine to make spice blends and have a variety of health benefits, including aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, and promoting healthy skin.
How to Incorporate Coriander Seeds and Other Herbs and Spices into Your Diet
Coriander seeds can be easily incorporated into your diet in several ways. The seeds can be used to make a cooling drink called panakam, which is made by boiling the seeds in water and then adding honey and other spices. The panakam can be enjoyed hot or cold and is a great way to cool down during the hot summer months.
There are several ways to incorporate cooling herbs and spices, such as coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, mint, fennel seeds, and cardamom, into your diet:
1. Make a spice blend: Mix equal parts of the above-mentioned herbs and spices, and store them in an airtight container. Use it to season vegetables, meat, or fish dishes
2. Add to soups and stews: Add a tablespoon of the spice blend to soups and stews for added flavor and nutrition.
3. Make a tea: Mix equal parts of fennel seeds, mint, and cardamom, and steep it in hot water to make a soothing tea.
4. Add to yogurt: Mix a teaspoon of the spice blend with yoghurt and use it as a dip or spread.
5. Add to smoothies: Add a teaspoon of turmeric or mint to smoothies for added flavor and nutrition.
6. You can also soak the herbs and spices in water overnight and then strain the water in the morning to drink it. Additionally, you can add black salt or lemon to the water to enhance its effects.
It is also important to note that it is always best to use fresh herbs and spices, as they have more flavor and nutritional value than dried herbs and spices.
So, the next time you're looking for a way to cool down, why not try incorporating some of India's most refreshing spices and herbs into your diet?