Curry: what is this spice, useful properties and contraindications
This spice is quite popular around the world and is used in many national cuisines. Curry is often used as one of the main ingredients in Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and even South African dishes. Today it is an internationally recognized spice, so now even some countries, like England, consider it their national spice.
- What is curry
- What is the difference between curry and turmeric
- Composition and Calories
- Useful properties of curry
- General benefits
- For Women
- For Men
- When Pregnant
- For kids
- How to Use Curry to Slim Down
- Curry spice in medicine
- Curry in cosmetics
- Cooking/Cooking Applications
- Harms and Contraindications
- How to choose and store
- How to make herbs at home
- Where to add
- What can be substituted in the recipe
- Interesting Facts
What is curry?
Curry is a seasoning made from a mixture of spices (turmeric, coriander, ground pepper, etc.). It is known that the mixing of different spices is very popular in Pakistan and India, so it is assumed that the curry spice has eastern origin. Researchers claim that the name of the spice comes from the Tamil word "kari", which means hot sauce.
Immediately after curry came to Europe, it was used as a sauce component for vegetables and meat. There are seventeenth-century recipe books in Portuguese that describe various recipes for curry spices. Therefore, despite its oriental origins, the spice is also considered partly a western invention, as the first recipe using curry was published in England in 1747.
How curry differs from turmeric
The spices are actually quite similar to each other, as both are yellow-orange powders. Still, they do have some differences. If you put the spices next to each other, you can notice that turmeric has a bright color, unlike curry, which has a less pronounced color and shades darker. This can be explained by the fact that turmeric is a spice that does not contain any additives. Curry is a mixture that can contain various spices.
The main curry spice is turmeric. It has a more pungent, slightly bitter flavor. And curry has a balanced pleasant smell with almost no bitter or spicy notes.
Traditionally turmeric is used to give a brighter color to a dish. Its yellow hue is an excellent addition to various soups and sauces. This spice can also be used as an additive to fruit cocktails and juices, as it contains many useful substances that have a beneficial effect on health.
The spice is excellent as an ingredient for classic Anglo-Indian dishes. This spice is commonly used during cooking meat, fish, and vegetables. It also goes well with rice as it gives it a brighter color and looks harmonious in meat salads, stews and soups.
Composition and calories
In 100 grams of the product contains 340 kcal, 12.7 g of protein, 13.8 g of fat and 25 g of carbohydrates. Curry has a huge amount of valuable vitamins for the body. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, C, E, K and minerals: sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron.
Useful properties of curry
- Alzheimer's disease prevention. Due to the many beneficial substances present in allspice and turmeric, curry is considered to be an excellent tool to support brain health. Regular consumption of curry spice prevents the development of pathologies that affect the brain, such as dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Curcumin, the natural dye found in curry powder, is being seriously studied by scientists to fight Alzheimer's disease. It should be noted that in India, where the spice is used ubiquitously in various dishes, the incidence of Alzheimer's disease is four times lower than in other countries. According to the most recent studies, turmeric, which is part of curry spice, helps restore and support brain function. In fact, it helps prevent the spread of amyloid plaques that trigger Alzheimer's disease.
- Cancer prevention. Curry is a great preventative against cancer. Because of its antioxidant properties, it helps prevent skin, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. Recent research has also shown that it may reduce the growth, development and spread of cancer. That is, consuming curry spice during a period of illness can reduce metastasis and help destroy cancer cells.
- Arthritis remedy. Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints, and curry is a natural anti-inflammatory. Not surprisingly, many over-the-counter remedies used to treat arthritis contain curcumin. This dye is very healthy and is recommended for people with joint inflammation. Regular consumption of the spice reduces inflammation and joint pain. Another advantage of it is that it has no side effects.
- Immunity Boosting. A mixture of pepper and turmeric is a great immunity booster. They are high in antioxidants and vitamins A, C and B6, which stimulate and give energy to the body's cells to fight disease. Regular consumption of spices helps fight many disease-causing bacteria and strengthens the immune system. Curry also prevents colds and alleviates their symptoms.
- Fat burning. Curry contains various thermogenic ingredients, so it helps burn fat effectively. Consumption of spices helps speed up the metabolism and makes the body burn fat faster, so people who are trying to lose weight are advised to regularly consume curry spice.
- Digestive Support. Curry is a spice that helps support digestive processes. The beneficial substances present in anise, cardamom and pepper are necessary for normal digestion, as well as for the prevention of constipation and abdominal pain. An interesting fact is that curry spice can also help get rid of bad breath and colic, as well as helping to calm the bowels and help prevent food poisoning.
- Relieving asthma symptoms. The nutrients in the ingredients of curry spice help ease breathing and help clear the airways.
- Reducing cholesterol levels. Curry is an excellent preventative against the development of cardiovascular disease, as it helps to prevent the formation of plaques in the arteries.
- Presence of antioxidant properties. Curcuma, found in curry, is a natural antioxidant that helps fight free radical damage to the body. Consumption of curry spice neutralizes the effects of free radicals.
- Helping to control sugar levels. According to Colorado State University, turmeric is one of the main spices in curry powder that can lower the risk of diabetes. A lab study has shown that curcumin helps prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Detoxification of the body. Curry spice containing coriander can help the process of eliminating toxins from the body.
- Metabolism acceleration. Regular consumption of curry spice helps accelerate metabolism and transport nutrients more efficiently throughout the body.
- Support for Bone Health. Curry contains ingredients that are essential for maintaining bone health. The substances in this powder help maintain bone density. Calcium, which is present in the seasoning, makes up a significant portion of an adult's daily requirement for this mineral. Phosphorus and magnesium are also helpful in maintaining bone and muscle health, and slowing down the degenerative process.
- Cognitive disease prevention. The spice contains spices that are good for mental health. Curcuma is one of the most effective agents in preventing mental disorders. Curcumin reduces the effects of free radicals on the nervous system.
This spice is very useful for women, especially those who want to maintain their youth. Curcuma in curry has been recognized by the medical community for its anti-inflammatory properties. In India, turmeric has long been used to treat burns and cuts, as well as to rejuvenate the body. Curry helps maintain healthy and youthful hair, skin, and nails.
Regular use of the spice helps to improve the health of the male body, especially when it comes to potency. Useful components of the spice help to improve blood circulation in the pelvic area, which contributes to an increased sex drive. Laboratory studies on animals have shown that daily consumption of curry spice helps maintain normal testosterone levels.
In India, it is believed that if a pregnant woman consumes curry powder regularly, the baby will be born with beautiful and smooth skin. Another interesting fact is that in the last 2 weeks before birth, expectant mothers drink as much milk with turmeric as possible, as it is believed to improve the health of the mother and baby. Such a "cocktail" is a natural analgesic and can partially alleviate pain. But it is worth noting that it is not recommended to blindly follow Indian traditions, as one of the main properties of turmeric is a diuretic effect, and this significantly affects the kidneys, which are already actively working during pregnancy. Therefore, some experts advise to limit the use of curry or avoid this spice altogether.
During this period, you should avoid the use of spices, especially it is not recommended to eat turmeric. Black pepper should not be used during the first 3 months. After this time, you can gradually introduce spices into the diet, but it is necessary to monitor the child's condition.
It is not recommended that spices be added to a child's diet until at least the eighth month of age, since some can cause allergies. They can be added after the child is one year old. Curry spice should also be introduced into a child's diet only after one year of age.
How to use curry for weight loss
Spices are an indispensable component in the diet of people seeking to lose excess weight. In order to feel the effect of the spice on yourself, you need to consume it regularly, at least 2-3 times a week. Even if you just add it to your diet, you can lose a few pounds without any effort.
Curry spice is caloric - there are 340 kcal per 100 g of product. But since it is used in small quantities, you don't have to worry much about the calories. The seasoning is great with meat, rice, pasta, and vegetables. It is an excellent substitute for salt in the period of weight loss, as it does not retain water in the body.
You should not expect rapid weight loss after including this spice in your menu. Spices can indeed speed up the weight loss process and improve the metabolism. But the effect of the Indian spice mixture can be felt only if you adhere to the basic principles of proper nutrition. In addition, it is also recommended to engage in physical activity.
Curry spice in medicine
The spice has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and reduces joint pain. It is also good for the skin because it helps fight cell aging by protecting cells from free radical damage. The thermogenic properties of curry powder can raise body temperature, thereby preventing the growth of fatty tissue. Finally, it has diuretic properties, fighting the retention of fluids in the body.
In folk medicine, curry leaves are usually used, which are not often included in the spice. The leaves are helpful in treating angina and pneumonia. The leaves of the Murraya tree are used to prepare a therapeutic decoction. Decoction is made from 4-5 curry leaves, which should be poured with boiling water (1 cup). It is necessary to rinse the throat several times a day, until a full recovery.
Curry in cosmetology
Indian powder is used in the field of cosmetology. The spice is used on an industrial scale, but it is also possible to make various nourishing masks at home.
Mask for combination skin
- Put the sour milk (0.5 tbsp.) and curry (1 tsp.) in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Apply the mask to the skin of the face.
- Wait about 10 minutes, then rinse the mask off your face.
- Apply cream.
For oily skin
- Curry (1 tsp.) and honey (1 tsp.) mix until smooth.
- The resulting composition to apply to the skin.
- Wait 20 minutes, then wash your face.
- Rub the skin with a daily lotion.
In Asian countries, curry is used in the preparation of almost every dish. It can be used with rice and vegetables and goes well with fish and meat dishes. In Asia, for example, it is used in making dhal (soup), basmani rice, baked cakes, broths, desserts and drinks.
Harms and contraindications
Excessive consumption of spices can lead to unwanted effects, especially in people suffering from cancer or heart problems.
- Bleeding. Curcumin has the ability to thin the blood, so it can increase bleeding in certain situations.
- Suppression of chemotherapy drugs. Patients undergoing chemotherapy should also be wary of consuming too much curry. Consult your doctor before consuming the spice if you are undergoing treatment.
- Kidney stones. Excessive consumption of spices increases oxalate levels in the urine, which increases the risk of kidney stones.
- If you have heart disease. Curry can negatively affect people who suffer from attacks or heart disease, especially those who regularly take medications.
- Gluten allergies. Some sauces and spice mixtures contain gluten. It can cause an allergic reaction in case of intolerance.
- Gastrointestinal disorders. People who suffer from gastrointestinal diseases are recommended to limit the consumption of curry spice.
How to choose and store
The first thing you should pay attention to is the composition. You should choose the spice that will be the most acceptable option. Quality curry spices have a bright color, a rich flavor, and they must be dry. If the spice is tarnished, you should not buy it.
Spices should be stored in a tightly sealed container, in a place protected from direct sunlight. In the case that the composition contains cumin, it can be stored for no more than one year, otherwise the spice will acquire bitterness.
How to make spice at home
The main ingredient in the seasoning is turmeric, so it must necessarily be in the mix, in an amount not less than 1/4 of the total volume. Coriander is also an important component. As a rule, its amount is half that of turmeric. Fenugreek (up to 10%) is a mandatory ingredient, and it is recommended to add hot cayenne pepper (up to 6%).
In addition, you can add ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, cloves, basil, mint, fennel, garlic, and a variety of peppers to the mix. The spices should be grinded into a powder. It is desirable to grind them together, so that they exchange flavors. A mortar can be used for this purpose.
Where to use it
Curry can be used in soups and is excellent with meat (chicken, pork, veal, lamb and beef). Spice curry is an ingredient in many salads and goes well with fish dishes.
What can be substituted in the recipe
Curry, if necessary, can be replaced by the popular Georgian spice chmeli suneli or the spices that are part of it (turmeric, coriander or pepper).
- Curry spices did not spread around the world until the 1800s and 1900s after the advent of automatic machines that could mass-produce this product.
- Curry became especially popular in the 1960s and '70s due to the demand for Indian cuisine.
- Store-bought seasoning often loses its properties after 6-7 months of storage.
- Curry powder is high in fiber, vitamin E and K, iron and manganese.
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