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India is a land of spices, and they are known not only for their unique flavour and aroma but also for their therapeutic properties.
With the arrival of the hot Indian summer, the use of cooling spices is essential. Cooling spices not only add flavour and aroma to the dishes but also help in keeping the body cool and refreshed during the hot and humid weather.
From fennel and coriander to cardamom and cumin, we will explore the different spices that are used in Indian cooking and their benefits for the body.
Whether you are looking to prepare a refreshing drink, a cooling salad, or a light and healthy meal, these cooling spices will help you create dishes that are perfect for the summer season. So let’s dive in and discover the wonderful world of cooling spices in Indian cuisine.
Coriander is one of the most cooling spices. It helps your body get rid of excess heat and toxins while soothing the digestive system and fighting inflammation. This happens because coriander has diaphoretic properties, which lead to perspiration and reduce the inner body temperature. Both the coriander seeds and fresh coriander leaves are a part of many Indian dishes.
Cumin is very common in Indian households and has a warm and earthy flavour and is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Despite its warm flavour, it has cooling properties that can help to regulate body temperature. It not only has detoxifying properties but can also deal with bloating and gas problems. Cumin helps to make you feel lighter and refreshes your body at the time of hot summer days. You can drink a glass of cumin water every morning or may even add cumin to your cooked meals.
Fenugreek or Methi seeds are traditionally known for their anti-diabetes properties. But they are also great for summer. They act as a coolant lowering your body temperature and helping with rashes, diarrhoea, etc brought on by heat. The best way to consume them is to soak them in water overnight and drink the water in the morning.
Cardamom can help regulate your body temperature. Its cooling properties also help with digestion, fight nausea and heartburn, which further helps the body to relax and cool down. Cardamom water is said to have a detoxifying effect on your body and is good for stomach problems including acidity and bloating. According to Ayurveda, cardamom is considered to be ‘tridoshic,’ as it balances all the three energies or doshas in our body. Like fennel, it can also help refresh your breath.
One of the main reasons why fennel is considered a cooling spice is because it contains anethole, a compound that has been shown to help regulate body temperature. This can help to cool the body down and reduce inflammation. Fennel also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to support overall health and well-being. There are many ways to use fennel in your summer cooking. You can use the seeds to make a refreshing and cooling tea or add them to salads and vegetable dishes for a sweet and aromatic flavour.
Mulethi, also known as licorice root, is a popular spice in Ayurvedic medicine that has been used for centuries. It has a sweet and woody flavour and is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. While it is often used as a sweetener, mulethi is also known for its cooling properties, making it a great spice to use during the hot summer months. However, it’s important to note that mulethi may have side effects and interactions with certain medications, so it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your diet.
Ginger Powder/ Saunth
Ginger powder is a great spice to incorporate into your summer cooking. While it is often associated with warming the body, it can also have cooling properties when consumed in moderation. Ginger powder can help to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and add a spicy and refreshing flavour to your summer dishes. by adding it to cold beverages such as lemonade or iced tea. It can also be used in salad dressings and marinades for grilled meats and vegetables. One of our favourite saunth recipes is the saunth ladoos. Check it out!