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Saturday, November 6, 2010

WHAT IS AMBA HALDI? WHITE TURMERIC OR MANGO GINGER: HOW TO MAKE AMBA HALDI PICKLE

AMBA HALDI (CURCUMA AROMATICA), WHITE TURMERIC OR MANGO GINGER
Amba Haldi is native to the eastern Himalayan region and is cultivated in India for its use in medicine. It is apparently a seasonal plant and is only available during the monsoon season unless it is cultivated. It contains curcumin, vitamin A, protein, fatty acids, minerals and carbohydrates and has anti-inflammatory properties as well as strong antibiotic ones. It is used for the skin primarily in India and Pakistan, and to help get rid of throat infections and nasal and trachiobronchial congestion. It is supposed to smell like mango and is a close relative of the ginger root. In fact it is difficult to tell ginger root and amba haldi apart, but amba haldi is a less colourful root. Apparently it looks similar to the ginger plant above ground.
   It is used to relieve hiccups in an infusion and the most common recipe for it is a pickle.
If you manage to get hold of the fresh root you can boil it then dry it and grind it to a powder to use for skin problems. This paste is very good for the skin: - 10 drops of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of powdered amba haldi, 1 tablespoon of chickpea flour and a little milk. Use it as a face mask once a week, your skin will be free of pimples and blackheads and have a healthy glow to it. It is used as a base for some perfumes too.
   Curcuma is a blood revitalizing agent as it removes lipids (fatty substances) from the blood and regulates platelets which prevent dangerous blood clots. In Chinese medicine it is used to treat some cancers, but there is little evidence that it is effective in such treatments.


AMBA HALDI PICKLE
INGREDIENTS
½ kg amba haldi, peeled, washed then sliced (not too thinly) 
1 large or 2 medium sized tamarind fruit (imli) stones removed
6 green chillies split down the middle
2 tbsps chilli powder
salt to taste
½ tsp finely ground fenugreek (methi) seeds
2 tsps black mustard seeds
¼ cup oil

Method
Soak the tamarind in a fair amount of water, for at least ½ hour the pound it to a pulp.
Heat the oil in a pan and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds, amba haldi and chillies. Fry for 5mins or until the aroma is released.
Add the pulped tamarind, chilli powder and salt.
Let the mixture boil and simmer over a low heat. If you have one its best to use a splatter guard.
When the oil rises to the surface stir in the fenugreek powder and mix it well.
Cook for a further 2-3 mins then remove it from the heat and let it cool completely.
Store it in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
This has Taste and is a Treat.



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