November 20, 2005

Pudina Leaves aka Mint Leaves (weekend herb)

Another weekend came and it is about to say good bye. Three herbs were available at My Dhaba today competing against eachother during the last 2 days in seducing me to be chosen for Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging. It was pretty tough for me to select only one and discard others. I could not resist myself and here I am with the ayurvedic pudina leaves aka mint leaves (Mentha arvensis). See the beauty of the leaves in the picture below and can you feel the lovely fragrance? :-). Hope you like it.

Mint is the important source of peppermint oil and menthol. Mint leaves are often used with green peas, lethils, and other dishes which are difficult to digest. Mint with its unforgettable aroma and invigorating qualities has always been a part of Indian beverages in hot weather. Ancient greeks added it to bath water to refresh and strengthen the body. Peppermint tea equalizes circulation and also stimulates the digestive tract, allays nausea and vomiting. Mint leaves may be stored dried retaining its full flavor.

Please find below some of My Dhaba's favorite dishes using pudina leaves. Do you know of any other favorite dish other than listed below where mint leaves are used? Which one is your hot favorite out of all these? :-)

1. Mint rice/pulao.
2. Lenthil rice.
3. Vegetable pulao.
4. Mughlai pulao.
5. Mutton biriyani.
6. Chicken biriyani.
7. Prawns biriyani.
7. Mint-gobi paratha.
8. Meat balls.
9. Lamb chops.
10. Mint chutney with coconut.
11. Mint chutney without coconut.
12. Coriander and mint leaves thuvial.
13. Mint-spinach curry.
14. Chana masala.
15. Rajma curry.
16. Vegetable salad.
17. Mint raita.
18. Vegetable samosa.
19. Meat samosa.
20. Maize vada.
21. Pani puri.

We will be adding all these recipe details at My Dhaba in the coming days. For now, here is our favorite spicy mint tea. Whenever you have any kind of sagging spirit, try to lift it up with a cup of piping hot spicy mint tea. Trust me, it works. It tastes great and is quite refreshing.

Spicy mint tea recipe

Water – 3/4 cup
Tea powder – 1 teaspoon (to make it really strong, we need 1-1/2 teaspoon)
Mint leaves – 6-8, fresh, finely chopped or crushed
Cinnamon stick – 1/4 inch size (optional), whole
Ginger - 1/4-inch size, crushed
Sugar – 2 teaspoons, or enough to make the tea sweet, to taste
Milk – 1/2 cup (optional; we like it without milk, tastes better)

Method: Heat water to roaring boiling. Add the tea powder, lemon grass, ginger, and keep it covered and let it brew for 5 minutes or longer. Do not boil it again. Strain and pour into cups; add sugar and milk as needed. Enjoy a piping cut of hot cup of spicy mint tea. It is just wonderful either hot or cold. Enjoy! Stay warm.

1. It gives a bit pungent or earthy rather than tart taste. So, use the quantity of mint leaves and tea powder as per your taste. It would be my delight to know the feedback from you about your first encounter with the spicy mint tea.
2. Alternatively, you may use the julienned/chopped and dried mint leaves instead of fresh leaves, which can be made at home, which tastes equally good.
3. Also, if you like it cold, just double the strength of tea powder while brewing. After brewing it for 5 minutes or longer, add few ice cubes and cold water, as needed, to make the iced spicy mint tea.
4. Try washing your face with mint tea, it makes a great toner and smells good too.
5. Use a cool peppermint infusion as a light, naturally refreshing rinse after brushing.
6. Mint leaves calm the digestive system, plus it helps heartburn, stomach ache and nausea.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love all the things one can do with mint!


Blogger Swamy VKN said...

I too Paz - it is really one of the wonder herbs that we have.

Blogger Peter Zwart said...

I have allways been told that mint tea somehow improves the bloodflow in the brains, and therefor increases mental capabilities.

Not sure if this is true though.


Blogger Swamy VKN said...

Paz - that is a great info, another feather added to mint's cap :-)


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