Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mom's Magic Kashayam (Magical Herbal Drink)

This one is my favorite. After a hectic schedule at work I come back home with fatigue & hunger pangs. This is the time when most of us treat ourselves to tea/coffee & so do I. However, at least twice a week I stick to my mom's kashayam. Kashayam is a Tamil word. In Hindi we call it Kaadha but I like to call it a magic drink as it relieves me of all the fatigue or any stomach & digestion related problems. It should be consumed by us every week at least 2 -3 times at any time of the day. Preferably in the morning hours.


Let me tell you how to prepare it.


Ingredients:
  • Cumin Seeds (Jeera) - 2 teaspoons
  • Peppercorns (Kali Mirch) - 5 pieces
  • Bishop's Weed/Carom Seeds (Ajwain) - 1 teaspoon
  • Black Salt (Kala Namak) - As per taste (optional)
  • Water - 1 litre
  • Basil Leaves (Tulsi) - 10 to 12

Method:
Take a deep vessel/pan & roast the cumin seeds, peppercorns & Bishop's Weed on low flame else they will get burnt. Once they have browned & the aroma spreads put the water in it & increase the flame to medium. Put black salt (recommended) or regular salt. Now do not cover the pan & let it boil. When it starts boiling put the cleaned basil leaves in it. Let it continue to boil uncovered for another 3 - 4 mts. Now reduce the flame to low & do all your other chores. You need not do anything more except waiting till it reduces to half its original quantity. After it reduces to approximately 2-3 cups put it off & let it cool. You will see that the colour of the water is brownish green. Strain & separate the spices & leaves & drink it warm.


Note:
1. The usage of Salt is optional. I drink it saltless as I enjoy the taste of the spices & fresh basil leaves.
2. In case all these spices are not readily available then you can try variations but do not make this drink with peppercorns alone.
3. If the salt version is disliked by your children then try putting some jaggery in it. Just separately dissolve jaggery on low heat & mix it with the strained drink. You can even boil it for some time.
4. It is best consumed to avoid or decrease - indisgestion, eating disorders, cold & cough, fatigue, weakness.
5. Make it a regular drink at home & try variations to develop the taste of the family members.
6. It improves immunity.

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