According to Wikipedia, curry is a generic term used in Western culture that refers to a wide variety of dishes whose origins are from India and other East Asian countries. In traditional cuisines, the precise spice blend of a curry can be determined by everything from regional preferences to family customs. The spices in curries can be both whole and ground.
Wikipedia also states that curry powder, a commercially prepared mixture of spices, is a Western concoction, dating back to the 18th century. During my Ayurvedic training in the 1990′s we were taught to prepare our own curries for the health and taste benefits. Spices that are purchased pre-ground lose their nutrients (and flavor) quickly, while freshly ground spices retain their nutritional benefit. This is what makes homemade curry blends so special.
While I enjoy preparing a variety of curries, I think this one goes best with almonds. This quick and easy snack is great for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, or some protein on the run. The following outlines the benefits of the various spices in the curry below:
Tumeric: Derived from an orange root that looks similar to ginger root, tumeric is a potent, yet safe anti-inflammatory. It can be used in the treatment of IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, and can also be used in the prevention of cancer. Tumeric is also thought to lower cholesterol, and provide protection to the cardiovascular system, and also aids in liver function.
Coriander: This spice is useful in controlling of blood sugar, as well as cholesterol. Further, coriander contains an antibacterial compound that may prove to be a wonderfully natural means of fighting salmonella and other bacteria.
Cumin: Useful in the production of iron, as well as effective in boosting immune function, cumin is also known to be of great benefit to the digestive system. This spice may also protect against certain types of cancer.
- Place olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat
- Add almonds to skillet
- Stir in salt, tumeric, pepper, cumin and coriander
- Continue toasting the almonds in the skillet until they are fragrant, about 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow the nuts to cool in the pan
Here are some healthy snack recipes: