Through ages man have been in search of spices that has proved to be good satiating teasers for the taste buds and as well as strong in therapeutic effect keeping the body equilibrium. These spices have protected man from the ill health and have kept the various ailments at bay.
Cumin Seed in Hindi
Cumin seed in Hindi which is called jeera– the shahi jeera, has almost hundred therapeutic effects and is a spice quite often mentioned in the Ayurveda and liked by all human beings on earth. The sharp taste and the beautiful aroma of the spice have made men experiment with it. Other than in medicine and restaurants, jeera is used in pubs also to mix with mocktails bringing out good flavour of the drinks which are served to connoisseurs of customers. Jeera in English is cumin seeds which are used in a variety of delicacies world wide.
Jeera or what is cumin seeds, botanically called (cuminum cynium) is a wonder among spices. Other than being a delicate spice which is a marvellous appetizer, jeera seeds and jeera powder has the ayurvedic effect. Lovely meals are made with jeera. The liberal mix of jeera with the meal is found because it promotes digestion. Jeera rice is a favourite of all restaurants. Jeera fish is the recipe which the Bengalis and Konkanis relish in their meal. The famous jeera illish a recipe of cumin and Solomon not only satiates the taste buds but is much healthier to eat.
Jeera has essential vitamins and minerals. It has vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin c, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Other than that it has riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline and thiamin.
With the rich anti-bacterial property, jeera fights strong as an anti-bacterial agent, against bacterial attacks, worms, flatulence. Homemade remedies from jeera reduce diseases that are borne out of the water and also take care of the whole gastro-intestinal part like liver, stomach and intestine. Jeera with water makes a delicious drink – the jal jeera or jeera water which along with the delicious taste is a great reliever of gastro-trouble. Other than curing all kinds of digestive problems jeera cures all kind. In the summer months, the cola stalls in India do hefty business selling Jal jeera to thirsty customers. Grounded jeera seeds consumed with water or honey is good laxative and improves digestion. However the same can be had with tea also. Jeera powder with boiled tea enhances the digestive power and is a great weight reducer. Someone who wants to get slim quickly must try to take some jeera water or jeera tea as regular sip and decrease the toxin levels in the body that causes bloating and also increases body mass.
The high fibre content of jeera affects the digestive system and helps release enzymes becoming a natural laxative by itself. Jeera has been found in researchers to imbibe properties that help fight cancer and also can act as a healing agent during chemotherapy. However, the anti-cancer properties are more dominant in kala jeera, a black and smaller variety of the cumin seeds. Benefits of jeera water are well known in all household. Jeera seeds with crushed ginger make a good remedy for asthma and inflammation. In a cup of boiled water, two spoonsful of jeera mixed with crushed ginger relieve throat soar, asthma and cold. Because of the anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal effects jeera stands as a strong cure for all type of cold and asthmatic problem. The warming effects and anti-allergic properties make the spice a sure cure for all kinds of cold.
Presence of electrolyte contents in high quantities make the jeera spice good for heart patients and act as a good regulator of blood pressure. The jeera normalizes the circulation of the body and enables in maintaining the blood flow to normal. It also keeps normal the body temperature and maintains pressure at the minimum.
Jeera keeps the balance of vayu, pitta , kafa, that is air, bile and mucus in the body. The balance in the body is maintained by the equilibrium of these elements and jeera keeps them to the normal balancing level.
The Ayurveda prescribes jeera for a number of ailments like sour smelling, throat burning, belching, bloating, nausea, lack of lactation in pregnant mothers, burning sensation around intestine, heaviness in the body and sour vomiting. Jeera with coriander and misri ( sugar cube) forms a one-in-all cure for many diseases. In Ayurveda jeera arq and jeera churna with various other other ingredients form wonderful cures for some diseases and chronic ailments. Jeera is an instant cure for diarrhoea as well as for anaemia. Jeera powder contains large portion of iron in it and
hence taking jeera in liberal doses brings down the anaemic disorder in people. Riboflavin, vitamin B6 and niacin are good for releasing happy hormones of the brain and hence jeera can induce good sleep and keeps away insomnia and also works as vitaliser of memory. It induces sleep and helps the brain to function well by charging the memory cells.Thus jeera is a wonderful medicine for the brain as well.
The sharp and slightly hot taste of the spice along with a good aroma make it favourite of all kind of foodies whether they are veg or non-veg. Even the street foods like pani-puris, jhal muri and samosa has good doses of jeera powder or crushed jeera to make them allure the saliva of the eager customers. When we smell of the pani puris on street we are actually smelling jeera powder and the tamarind water that makes a nice concoction of water to go with the pani puri and we cannot but stop to ask the vendor to give us a plate of sal leaves to enjoy having the gol gappa.
Jeera Rice Recipe
Jeera rice recipe is something without which the restaurants cannot simply do these days. A liberal amount of roasted jeera mixed with good quality boiled basmati rise makes the wonderful meal for any occasion. The dish goes with both veg and nonveg menu and can be had dry with crisp fries or with gravies of all kinds. The delicious dish of jeera rice comes cheap to the pocket but that does not undermine its taste.
None the less Shahi jeera is used in preparing polau also and are cooked as Jeera Pulao. The vegetables cut into cubes are fried and are mixed with raisin, almonds, cashew nuts. Then a liberal amount of jeera is roasted and kept aside. Half of the roasted jeera is grounded into the fine paste. On the boiled hot basmati rice, the mixtures of vegetables, nuts and raisings are poured. Then the jeera powder is mixed and dhaken to make the dish of polao turn deliciously aromatic and tickling the tastebuds into salivation. The jeera pulao was taken by the nawabs and the maharajas in medieval India.
Jeera aloo dum is also a well -known recipe which is cheaper yet very satiating to the taste buds. Boiled potatoes are fried on the moderate amount of the shahi jeera spice. The fried potatoes are sauteed in oil or better still yoghurt with ripe red chilli, ginger paste and garlic paste. According to taste and climate, souring agent like tamarind or tomato puree may be added to make it smacking tasty. The mixture is then sautéed on moderate heat and brought down to a simmer. The recipe is good to have with roti or as the evening snack. Whichever way it is had it allures the taste bud to have more and remains unsatisfied with the taste. jeera cookies are a favourite in the bakery market.
Another wonderful recipe is the jeera illish of the Bengalis. The Solomon fish is cooked with crushed roasted cumin. First, the fish is de-scaled and cut open in the middle. Its belly is emptied and washed thoroughly. It is then chopped into pieces. In a closed lid pot, the pieces of fish are kept with ample spread of jeera paste mixed with red chillies and salt and turmeric. Yogurt paste does wonder and the best taste comes from the portion of fish that comes from the belly portion. The recipe is an alternate and a healthier version of mustard illish or sorshe illish as it is muc.h lighter and does not have the burning sensation aroused by mustard
In short cumin or jeera has been used as a wonder spice to satisfy the taste buds and as well as nurture the therapeutic and medicinal effects of the spice in the day to day life. Pub masters earn in dollars using the spice in drinks as much as does the street stalls of cola sellers. The spice with anti-flatulence effects on the taker makes tasty and deserving colas. The numerous benefits which have been listed ranging from digestion aid, helping lactation, anti-cancer effects make the spice a daily requirement in the food habit of the people all over the world. Grandmothers’ recipes like cumin ginger and misri does the wonder rounds as has been explained already. There is little to mention about the various tasty dishes that are made with jeera powder, roasted jeera seeds and jeera paste bringing in piquancy to the platter. Black cumin seeds or kala jeera is also a variety of the spice which has the medicinal and culinary efficacy of its own.