Column: Arti Gaur


Season Your Food 

 Arti Gaur          

As soon as the winter winds sets in its time to start seasoning your food with black pepper. Black pepper is an important spice with powerful healing properties and used in treatment of ailments of stomach and throat, considered to have anti-aging properties, good digestive and a detoxifier too. One of the best home remedies for cold and flu is drinking tea made of pepper corns and ginger. You can also grind equal parts of dates, raisins, black pepper, and long pepper and mix them together and make a paste. Then take one tsp of this paste and mix in one tsp of honey. Take it 2 or 3 times a day to avoid cold and cough during winter. 

Here is a simple recipe to include this spice in your meals and enjoy your winter. 

Pepper Flavoured Rice
Ingredients: 3 cups of cooked white rice (each grain should be separate), 1 1/2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter), 1 tsp cumin seeds, 3/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1 1/2 tbsp black pepper corns, 1 1/2 tbsp seasame seeds, 10-12 curry leaves (fresh leaves only), salt to taste.
Dry roast the black pepper corns, sesame seeds and curry leaves in a pan for a few minutes on medium heat tossing them around till you find a nice aroma emanating the kitchen. Once the sesame seeds change color you can turn off the heat and make a coarse powder.
Heat ghee in a pan and add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Add the cumin seeds and let them brown. Add the cooked rice and combine it with the tempering. Now add the grounded spices and salt and combine the rice with it such that the spices coat the rice well. The full flavor of the pepper is obtained only with freshly ground pepper corns which enhance the taste of the rice giving it a sharper, livelier flavor than the pre-ground pepper powder and also by adding it towards the end of the cooking process which further enhances its taste.
Serve hot with any gravy curry.  

—The writer is an ayurved expert from Dhyan Foundation.
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December 2010

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