My final, considered judgment is that the hardy bulb [garlic] blesses and ennobles everything it touches, with the possible exception of ice cream and pie – Angelo Pellegrini, “The Unprejudiced Palate” (1948).
Derived from the word “garleac” an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning “spear leek,” garlic is known by various monikers, including the “noblest onion” and “stinking rose.”
A bulb known for its innumerable benefits and almost miraculous healing properties, garlic has been used as a medicine since time immemorial in countries like China, Egypt, Greece and Rome, apart from India. In India, this bulb finds reference in the ancient text, “Charaka Samhita,” which recommends its use for the cure of heart disease and arthritis – 2,000 years ago.
A perennial herb belonging to the lily family, garlic is a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is considered to be a natural antibiotic, given the positive effects it has on all parts of the body. The high sulfur content in garlic gives the bulb its antibiotic properties; it is also an effective detoxifying agent.
Replete with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, garlic is known to help deal with many kinds of cancer. It is a blood purifier and used to cure cardiovascular diseases, and treat infections, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Rich in minerals like manganese, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and antioxidants like allicin, garlic helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It works wonders on the skin and hair, and is used to strengthen bones.
Arguably one of the best-known benefits of garlic is its ability to boost the immune system. It is therefore used in various home remedies to combat flu, cough and cold.
Well, it is little wonder that it is often said that, a clove or two of garlic a day is sure to keep the doctor away!
Suits Multiple Cuisines
Garlic is a bulb that finds its ways in various cuisines and dishes across the globe. Used for seasoning and flavoring, it is an integral component of Italian and Mexican cuisine. It is used widely in Indian food including curries, chutneys, rasam and sambhar. An easy way to consume it daily is to make an aromatic dry chutney powder, which you can consume with rice, rotis, upma, idlis/dosas or even a vada pav.
- ¼ cup peeled garlic cloves
- ¼ cup grated dry coconut
- 6-8 Byadgi red chillies (adjust per your taste)
- 2 tbsp black gram (urad dal)
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp deskinned peanuts
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
- Salt to taste
- Dry fry the garlic cloves on low flame till most of the moisture disappears.
- Dry roast sesame seeds, peanuts and black gram separately till aromatic and allow to cool
- Roast the red chillies, dry coconut and asafoetida together
- Transfer the roasted ingredients to a blender. Add salt and grind to a fine powder
- Store in an airtight container.
Check out more of SEEMA’s journey with chutney powders with this Fried Gram Chutney Powder recipe.