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CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD On my way out of Cuba, from La Habana, on COPA airlines flight to Panama, I w...

dimanche 23 novembre 2014

SPICING UP YOUR HEALTH: BRING ON THE MASALA

MOGULS GOT IT RIGHT
SPICE UP YOUR LIFE A BIT
BRING ON THE ROGAN JOSH OR CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
On a recent visit to Miami, my good friend and I shared a North Indian meal, of which Rogan Josh was the star. This dish, which is of Persian Origin, brought to Indian by the Mogul emperors, has become a staple of the Western Indian Restaurants mostly owned and cooked by Bangladeshis. The Kashmiris when they cook this dish, they use a less spicy pimiento rather than the strong chillies to the south. (Think of the goan dish Beef Vindaloo)

Zaatar is a mainstay of the Israeli condiment and I was introduced to that on a visit to Haifa many years ago by my Israeli family, who sprinkled it on just about everything and I must say, a mixture of olive oil and zaatar to dip your pita in was certainly delicious.
I am partial to a good Massaman Curry and a few years ago a Laotian refugee and his family opened a Thai Restaurant near one of the Indian Reservations, and I am always grateful that I could have at least one good meal on each of my visits to the Midwestern Food Desert.
So the health aspects of these condiments, the additional heath aspects I should say, since you have to be eating good food or nutritionally cognizant, had always interested me. I can’t imagine McDo selling a Massaman Curry Hamburger and a Zaatar French Fries!
A recent article published in Nutrition Today was of interest. Some researchers, who had been trying leech out the health benefits of herbs and spices, took six men, all of them overweight between 35 and 60 and gave them a control meal and then in their second experiment gave them a similar meal but heavily doused with herbs and spices.

They reasoned that a high fat meat diet would increase Triglycerides and an increased risk for heart disease, would they find a difference if that same meal was given with a concoction of spices?
. If a high-antioxidant spice blend is incorporated into the meal, triglyceride levels may be reduced by as much as 30 percent when compared to eating an identical meal without the spice blend. The spiced meal included garlic powder, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, paprika, turmeric, ginger and black pepper.

And their small study showed that the Insulin levels do not rise as much, impressive enough and more impressive was the 13% increase in anti oxidant activity after the spicy meal.
Cinnamon from the above list has had some press, since it seems to help people with Diabetes, even though their effects on non-diabetic persons are not clear. Garlic comes with mixed reviews, and certainly others in the spicy melange above, especially turmeric, ginger have had good press, following research showing their benefits.

Rogan Josh might have paprika, cloves and turmeric and our beloved Zaatar in Israel is Oregano, I say this because I was given some organic homegrown Zaatar from Algeria that was mainly Thyme.
So for Lunch, I prepared Basmati with coconut oil, with hot sauce interspersed in it, with a good amount of Zaatar. The chicken was prepared in Thai sauce that contained coconut and paprika

It tasted delicious, and for the coming one month, with the exception of five days in the midwestern food desert, I will have plenty of antioxidant raising, spicy, herb filled meals.
SPICE MARKET IN COCHIN INDIA 
SOME NYONYA DISHES FROM MALACCA

AND NOT TO FORGET THE FOOD ON QATAR AIRWAYS 

(grilled chicken breast with tomato citrus chutney w/ za'atar spiced potatoes and steamed vegetables) main course, the above is the starter with salmon, crab surimi etc etc..

In the mean time Bon Appetite!
Sundanese Cuisine at the home of my good friend Joe in Bogor, Indonesia