Spices are in the heart of Indian cuisine and combined within a dish they offer a unique blend of tastes and smells, enchanting the senses, and bring out the flavours of the ingredients. But spices can do much more than enhancing the taste of your meal. According to Ayurveda (the ancient Indian Medicine) spices contain many antioxidants and compounds that have a favourable effect on the body. Indian cuisine is generally associated with hot spices that increase your body temperature and heat you up, however, there are also spices that can help you cool down in the summer months. These need to be organic and freshly picked to have the best possible effect. So when the outside temperatures increase and you start looking for ways to stay cool and fresh why not try some of the following spices:
Mint is one of the best spices to consume in the hot summer months as it makes you feel cool and gives you a fresh sensation. The reason for the refreshing taste of mint is the chemical menthol. It plays a trick on your brain convincing it that your receptors are exposed to cold and leaving you with a refreshing feeling that does not wear off immediately. Mint is a great addition to any summer drink, fresh salad or a new recipe, so why not try it?
Fennel seeds are another great spice that can keep you cool. Coming from the fennel herb, this spice is characterised with a warm, sweet aroma and a strong aniseed flavour. It is popular in both Indian and Chinese cuisine, and is great for flavouring fish, meat, vegetables, chutneys and breads. It is also believed to improve digestion and could be used to keep the breath fresh. Chewing a teaspoon of the spice before and after a meal improves the oral hygiene and leaves a lasting fresh sensation.
Cilantro is another great spice commonly used in many cultures including India, Thailand, Mexico and Greece. It leaves you with a fresh, cool sensation but also has many favourable effects on the human body. Coriander is the seed of the Cilantro plant and is used to flavour meat, vegetables and curry. The Cilantro, the cilantro leaves and the coriander have very strong anti-oxidative properties, can help improve the quality of sleep and lower the blood-sugar which makes them suitable for people with diabetes. These are just a few of the benefits cilantro and coriander can offer, so why not try them in a meal and take advantage of their great taste and qualities?
Widely used in Indian and Scandinavian cooking Cardamom is another spice with numerous health benefits. It belongs to the ginger family and has a warm, spicy and sweet flavour. It has a cooling effect and could be used in tea, smoothies, yogurt and even chocolate.
Saffron is commonly used in curries, paella and rubs, but also goes well in teas and beverages. In addition to its great taste and cooling effect, the saffron also works as an antidepressant, so consuming this spice can improve your mood.
A versatile spice like dill is a perfect addition to dressings, fish dishes, pickles and many more. This sweet, soft spice can be used in both dried and fresh forms to keep you cool during the summer. It could be described as a combination of anise, celery and fennel, with distinguishing warm taste and bitter undertones giving it an exotic and potent character. It is perfect for many recipes on its own or combined with lemon juice.
With its great taste cumin seeds and ground cumin are a favourite spice in Indian cuisine, but the health benefits it offers are also impressive. With its cooling effect and antioxidants, it is a perfect summer spice that will keep you cool and aid your detoxification. It is an addition to grain dishes, vegetable and soups.
Want to try these spices? Come to KoolBa and we will offer you a wide range of dishes with numerous health benefits that will keep you cool during the summer. Not sure what to choose? Ask our professional staff and they will explain what spices are used in our dishes and help you find the best one for your taste.