Ah, Lottie. Alas, I have been borderline poorly for too much of the weekend. From when I woke up on Friday morning until yesterday (Saturday) evening I was feeling a bit sniffly. But a few home remedies, and I’m almost better than new.
I remember a few years ago being really sniffly and ill and at the start of a really bad head cold. I’d headed to Bristol for the weekend to stay with some of my uni friends. They had this huge apartment with a long wooden table – literally a huge flat piece of wood propped up on blocks. It was one of those houses where there was always something yummy cooking and everyone always turned up for dinner and somehow you could fit loads of people around the table. Anyway, my friend Ian had made this amazing stew with extra garlic, chilli and ginger for my cold, and I’m not kidding Lottie, it blasted that cold right out of my head. I felt a million times better the next day. I totally started believing in the power of herbs and spices to assist in the blasting of colds.
This weekend I’ve had lemon and fresh ginger tea. And fresh sage and lemon tea. Both with a dollop of honey – loads of herbs have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, so are worth having when you’re not feeling so great.
My ultimate number one when I’m ill though is a spicy dahl, ramo full of spices to frighten away any sniffles, I made this yesterday and I’m gonna share the recipe with you now:
Spudge’s Dahl (for 2-3 people):
250g red split lentils
2 small onions
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cm chunk fresh ginger
1/2 fresh chilli
tsp (ish) butter
Salt and pepper to season.
1. Finely chop onions and garlic and soften in the butter on a low heat for 10 mins. Chop the ginger and chilli, also very finely (if you want more chilli, add more) – towards the end of softening the butter and onions add them too for a couple of minutes. While they’re cooking add 300ml water to the lentils and bring to the boil. Cover and cook for 15 mins. Check every so often that there is enough water, and add a little more if they are drying out on the surface (basically keep enough water in there to stop them cooking to the bottom of the pan.)
2. Once the lentils have begun to soften, add the cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, onions, garlic, chilli and ginger. Keep simmering on a low heat until the lentils have gone soft and mushy (approx another 10 mins.)
That’s it. Lottie, I don’t claim to be a chef. I’m not the best at following recipes, my philosophy on cooking is make it how you like it. Have a try, if it needs cooking longer, cook it longer. If it needs more spices, add more spices. Recipes scheschipes (useful for guidelines though. And people that are better at following rules than I am.) Dahl goes really nice with sausages (or veggie sausages) – definitely not the traditional way to have it, but good all the same.
So, herbs and spices, good for colds. Yesterday my head was exploding. Today, I’m all intact and functioning. Win win.
Sage and lemon tea by the fire. Perf.
Edited to add a message from your mummy: Yes! We swear by Melissa Bonnelame‘s voodoo tea for colds – chunk of ginger, lemon, cinnamon and honey. Drink then eat the ginger after. Off to make one now actually!