Indian food has some very special spices that are known for their health properties. And if you know how to use them in the best possible way, you can stay healthy, and fight off many seasonal illnesses.
Come this winter and come this flu season, you can try a couple of Indian dishes that will help you to fight against the flu. I’m NOT advising against taking the flu shot or any other precautions you may take, but these dishes are also very helpful in keeping healthy and strong especially during the coldest months of the year: December, January and February here in the U.S.
I’m recommending two dishes here (one in each blog post — please come back next week for the other one), and giving you the recipes. Let me know if you need more information. They are fairly simple to make. Of course, if you need hands-on training, you can always come to our classes. I’ll be very happy to have you in my class.
(1) Indian Spicy Chicken Soup. — Everybody knows that hot chicken soup is almost like a panacea for the winter flu, cough and cold. I’m giving you a recipe here that is purely Indian, and the spices we use make the soup tastier and perhaps, healthier, especially with the special spices. Try it.
Step 1. — Skin and cut organic chicken in small pieces (preferably not from the regular supermarket, as their chicken almost always has steroids and other chemicals).
Step 2. — In a pressure cooker, add one large teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter) warm it on medium flame.
Step 3. — Cut one red onion in small pieces. Also, wash and cut cilantro, and keep it separate.
Step 4. — In the warm ghee, add one or two bay leaves, a few small pieces of cinnamon sticks, three pods of cardamom, five cloves, and a few cut pieces of ginger. You can also add one or two cloves of garlic if you are okay with the smell of garlic.
Step 5. — In half a minute or so, the warm ghee with the spice mix will give off an aromatic scent. Wait for this aroma to develop, but do not burn the spices. This is the most important thing you need to know.
Step 6. — Add the red onion and fry it on mild heat until the onion turns brownish. Remember not to burn it.
Step 7 (Optional). — You can also cut cauliflower, carrots and celery sticks into large pieces (if you do, add one more teaspoon of ghee). And then fry them together in the same ghee and spice mixture on mild heat for a couple of minutes. The idea is to stir fry the vegetables, and not to burn them, or leave them under-cooked.
Step 8. — Add the chicken pieces in the mix, and gently stir to smear on the spices.
Step 9. — Add a half a teaspoon of turmeric power, and salt according to your taste. Add two small cups of pre-warmed water.
Step 10. — Cover up the pressure cooker with the lid, and let it steam for the next 15-20 minutes. You’ll wait for one or two whistles of the pressure cooker.
Turn off the heat, and wait until the pressure dies down. Add the cilantro pieces now, and cover it up for 5 more minutes. Serve the hot soup in wide bowls. You can have some bread too.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can also use a slow cooker and cook it for a longer period of time, adding water periodically so as not to burn or char the ingredients.