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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Remedial Recipes

For some of us,food is more than sustenance; it is a life-long marriage of provision and,well,consumption.

July 25, 2009 12:33:24 am

For some of us,food is more than sustenance; it is a life-long marriage of provision and,well,consumption. As with any marriage,we turn to food for comfort in sickness (and in health). Since the onset of monsoons,the cold and damp conditions have facilitated flu or similar illnesses — chattering is now interspersed with coughing and sneezing in most offices. While food and drink shouldn’t replace medication,if required,it still provides ample alleviation and in minor illnesses can help the body overcome the ailment. Here are some cold and cough remedies:

A punjabi concoction,this is our favourite given that it doesn’t take away the sin of eating. Aruna Nagpaul,a Punjabi to the core,gives us her recipe,“Punjabis don’t even need an excuse to eat parathas — this traditional recipe requires one to make a plain salted paratha and crumble it. Heat a pan and soak it up in two tablespoons of hot ghee and two tablespoons of sugar. Topping it up with hot milk is optional. Choori helps ease throat congestion and tastes great while you’re at it.”

Ginger and Cinnamon extract
Chief Sudhir Nair,Sous Chef at the ITC Grand Central,offers this Ayurvedic antidote. “Mash 200 grams ginger in a mortar and pestle and blend it with as little water as possible. Squeeze out the juice through a muslin cloth and then mix with 10 grams cinnamon powder to make a paste. Add to hot water and stir well before consuming,” he says. Chef Nair also mentions that mucus-inducing ingredients such as cabbage,cauliflower,rice,tomatoes and avocado should be avoided.

Hot Toddy
As with the origins of its name,the recipe for hot toddy isn’t clear. The drink is,however,generally made by using a hot liquid (water,tea or coffee),a spirit (usually brandy or whisky),a sweetener (preferably,honey) and spices (usually cinnamon or cloves). One can also add citrus (lemon or orange). The alcohol itself does calm you down but excessive intake can cause dehydration,which is counter-productive.

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Since this is a Gujarati recipe,it might be called Ukado as well. Aruna Manek,a Gujarati herself,explains how to get it right,“Take equal parts dry ginger,cardamom,cinnamon,cloves and pepper (all powdered) and boil with water till the mixture is concentrated. Once this is done,add milk and boil again and serve. You can optionally add sugar,green tea,lemongrass or mint.”

Translated into egg-sake,this Japanese home remedy for the common cold isn’t likely to be served in any Japanese restaurant,but is simple to make. Take a whole or a 3/4th cup of sake,an egg and a tablespoon of either honey or sugar. This can be either boiled with water or heated over a low flame. If you choose the latter,whisk regularly and ensure it doesn’t heat up enough to make a scrambled egg. “This simple recipe is pretty much the Japanese equivalent of chicken soup or hot toddy,” says Pervez Asli,an employee of Toyota (coincidentally).

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