Monday, March 26, 2007

Some Like It HOT

I tried out a slap-dash recipe for spicy stir-fry chicken noodles earlier last week. Guillermo liked the simple combination of oyster mushrooms, chicken fillet (cut into strips), oyster sauce and egg noodles – spiked by the addition of 3 very potent chillies. I got my much needed spice fix; my first since being back in Buenos Aires.

Later on in the week, quick re-org of the fridge yielded half a packet of curry powder so I made beef curry with rice as our Sunday lunch. The spice factor was much higher and Guillermo literally sweated through his meal; he hasty finished the pile on his plate and reached for yoghurt to calm his palate down. Anyhow, he was proud of his "achievement" and claimed that no average Argentine would be able to withstand that level of heat.

When I cooked another spicy lunch today, he felt compelled to ask if my cravings were back. I wasn't aware of it but I must say an article on the medicinal benefits of herbs and spices, archived in the UCLA Louise M. Darling Biochemical Library was probably working my sub-conscience…

Here is the extract on some commonly used spices:

Cinnamon, Cassia: antiseptic, anti-diarrhea
Coriander: anti-spasmodic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory
Cumin: anti-microbial, diuretic
Curry leaves: anti-emetic
Galangal (Thai, similar to ginger): expectorant, anti-bacterial
Ginger: for colds, anti-emetic, anti-rheumatic
Saffron: anti-rheumatic, for neuralgia
Wasabi (a type of Japanese radish): expectorant, for sinusitis
For the full article, please see here.

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