Over thousands of years curry has been a staple flavour-enhancer in many countries around the world. Curry is a complex blend of spices that can be mixed and blended to suit all tastes or enhance an array of dishes – from vegetables to goat! Sometimes it may even serve as a handy tool to ‘mask’ a rather miffy meal? Curry makes it all good – including your health, it may seem! Those foods that pack a punch in flavour could improve our chances of living longer.
Consuming curry-flavoured dishes on a daily basis – or at least twice a week – could lower the chance of an early death. So it seems that adding a little spice to your life would be worth the hot sweats, numb tongue and adrenalin charges brought on by a choice chicken tikka masala!
Of course a quality curry is a special blend of spices and ingredients, which may include cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, paprika, cardamom or star anise (perhaps even a little apricot jam if you have any South African heritage in you.) But the most commonly used hot-as-hell spice remains the chilli. Whether fresh or dried, big or small, red or green, with or without the seeds, any cook worthy of his salt will know when a dish requires a bit of this magic ingredient to take the flavour up a notch.
Medical professionals continue with this interesting research, but seem to agree that the spice, capsaicin, contains a bioactive ingredient which has long had anti-obesity, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, amongst others.
Of course, this is fantastic news for us here at Tolbos, where the winters bring with them such chilly nights. Hence, we added a dose of good medicine in the Patensie Valley with a Currie Evening last week. By the time guests left after a long evening of chatting, ‘chilli’ing and chowing at the buffet, bellies were bulging, cheeks were rosy and grins were wide. Definitely a bill of clean health and some feel-good for all who attended!
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