Posts tagged ‘tomato’

August 23, 2012

Curry Night

by lrmetcalfe

To many of us, a curry on a Friday night is a weekend indulgence and is not to be considered a healthy habit. However, if you make your own curry from scratch using an array of spices and cut down on the ghee and oil, a curry can pack a strong nutritious punch!

 A great curry base starts with onions and garlic fried in a little oil.

Onions contain the sugars fructo-oligosaccharides or FOS. These compounds are only partially digested by humans, however the undigested portion feeds the intestinal microflora or ‘friendly bacteria’ present in the human gut. The microflora keep the intestines functioning healthily, whilst simultaneously reducing the population of harmful disease-causing bacteria.

Garlic is renowned for its medicinal properties. A great remedy for colds and flu it is antibiotic and anti-viral, garlic has also has been found to loosen catarrh. It regulates blood pressure and lowers cholesterol.

 Next to add a kick of heat- chilli pepper and ginger…

Chilli peppers encourage blood flow and improve circulation. Chilli pepper or capsicum has become an increasingly popular weight loss remedy due to its effects on the body’s metabolism.  Diet-induced thermogenesis is the amount of extra energy used by the body to process food for use and storage. Chilli pepper is believed to increase this.

Ginger root has an anti-inflammatory effect, a useful remedy for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. It aids digestion by encouraging gastric secretion; it has carminative and anti-spasmodic properties, a popular remedy for stomach complaints and nausea.

Once the chilli, ginger, onions and garlic have started to brown, add the spices…

Cumin- A traditional Indian remedy for indigestion.

Coriander- Useful remedy for flatulence and colic.

Turmeric- Powerful anti-inflammatory, useful for arthritis and inflammatory skin disorders such as eczema. Inhibits the growth of H.pylori, the bacteria commonly responsible for peptic ulcers.

Black Pepper- Contains piperine which encourages the absorption of nutrients.

Cloves- Popular topical remedy for toothache, acts as a mild anaesthetic, also has a powerful antiseptic effect.

Cinnamon- Can help to normalise blood sugar levels.

Cardamom- Useful remedy for flatulence and colic, soothes the digestive system.

Once you can smell the aromas from the spices add tinned tomatoes.

Tomatoes contain vitamins C & A, both important for a healthy immune system. Tomatoes are also the biggest dietary source of the powerful antioxidant lycopene, the component which makes the tomato red.  Don’t worry about using tinned tomatoes over fresh, as unusually lycopene has even greater bioavailability after cooking and processing.

Research continues into the anti-cancer properties of tomatoes.

Now you have a great curry sauce to add your favourite protein to- chicken, lamb, king prawns, lentils, paneer and white fish are all tasty choices. Just make sure to buy lean meat or cut off any fat.

Serve with brown rice and a little natural yoghurt and you will be hard pushed to find a tastier, more nutritious meal for your Friday night treat.