Ever heard of mountain snow garlic?

SNOW mountain garlic or garlic grown in the mountains of the Himalaya is highly prized for its medicinal values. It’s also called dry Kashmiri lehsun or Jammu lahsun or one kuli or ek pothi lahsun…..mountaineers used to swallow a couple of these garlic pods to maintain peripheral circulation, increase oxygenation capacity, improve energy levels and in general keep body detoxified in severe cold weather. Which means most of us in these times of novel coronavirus can do with ek pothi lahsun! This lovely looking garlic pods come encrusted with shell and have to be unshelled to reveal their pearly translucence…good blood thinner, immunity builder, potent supplement. This is Allium Sativum herb, reduces cholesterol, cures cold and cough, heart disease, high blood pressure, joint and muscular pains…also lunch cancer, diabetes, everything! A cure-all. Get some today, hard to find. Try googling on Amazon but stocks can be pretty dated, do check out.

By Tara Narayan

LATELY I’ve been discovering some more things from abroad which I wish were available here in Goa! My visiting sister Mala from the US of A has been introducing me to such things as Nature’s Way “sambucus elderberry zinc lozenges” (USDA organic) with “vitamin C, gluten free, get taste…for centuries the dark berries of European black elder (Sambucus nigra L) have been traditionally used as a winter remedy for immune support.” Call these lozenges flavonoid bioactives if you like, I like them and I’ve taken to boiling water and dropping a few of the lozenges into it to simmer a fine tea to sip!
Thus, all good fruit lozenges may be converted into tea…and ah, yes, the other lozenges or cough drops to look for from abroad are the Ricola range, the original natural herb cough drops (also cough suppressant)…ingredients featuring peppermint, elder, wild thyme, sage, linden flowers, lemon balm, mallow, thyme, hyssop, horehound. Ricola is made in Switzerland. Where may one get these fresh stocks of these excellent cough drops in Goa? Why can’t we get such desirable cough drops from our Ayurveda repertoire of cough drops! Soothing also, effective also.
(Sigh) All this and much more. Sisters from abroad who come bearing gifts may spoil one forever!

WHICH reminds me I’ve been eating out anew and was quite shocked by the extremely desirable crisp whole wheat flour tandoori roti served at Nanutel’s restaurant ‘Utsav’ down south Goa, and it goes well with tandoori pomfret fish done just so! At a recent lunch out despite the coronavirus scare I found myself at Nanutel’s tranquil restaurant now overlooking a pool onn water at one side. I kept ordering “one more” tandoori roti just to take delight in its wholesome crispness, for once I preferred tandoori roti to even the very decent phulka they serve here if you ask for them. The mint chutney is nice, thick and aromatic, the plate of onions finely sliced, they offer you lemon wedges to squeeze on whatever…and finally all shared absolutely perfect crème caramel and trifle sundae encrusted with caju. An overload of calories but yes, when in Margao I’ll go back to Utsav every time for tandoori roti and tandoori pomfret done to perfection! Also thanks to the restuarant–in-vharge Mahendra for the piece de resistance Goan non-sweet limbuche lonche… the sweet limbuche lonche is also deliciousness itself but this one too was superb.
It is not often one gets served with real desirable Goan limbuchye lonche; no matter where you go you will find this horrid over-salted mess of a Punjabi standard mango-chili-lemon-carrot pickle which comes at wholesale in huge tins. It is stored all year around and is to be seen most ubiquitously in restaurants small and big, even Goan restaurants! This commercial Punjabi salty-slimy vegetable pickle is truly yuk and I always return it, no thank-you, give me honest Goan limbuchye lonche if you have got it or forget I ever ordered it. I don’t see why one must eat Punjabi pickle commercially prepared for bulk selling in Goa!

WHILE I’m on the subject of eating out at the Stone Wood Nature Resort out in Gokarna I found the brunch breakfast had a most delicious veggie stir-fry of carrot, French beans, cauliflower, tossed in peppery dry masala…simple but so ideal for stuffing between two slices of local sweetish bread and tucking in, truly a delectably combo sandwich which I fixed myself making a note to do it when back home in Panaji. Just steam-cook veggies and stir-fry in a bit olive oil…toss in black pepper, paprika, oregano mix (the Domino Pizza people’s oregano mix is the best!), sea salt and lemon juice if you like. Serve any which way you like for breakfast, lunch, tea-time sandwiches or early dinner. But the veggies must not be soggy soft, must retain their color and bite just so. Otherwise it can be a failed limp recipe, okay.
These early evenings I’m happy doing myself a Saffola pepper and curry leaf masala oatmeal, thick soupy style… fine chopped greens like arugula lettuce stirred in finally, before savoring my oatmeal. No oil, no ghee, no butter. If you’re doing plain steel-cut oatmeal jazz it up with grated ginger, pinch sea salt and Domino’s oregano mix – it’s a treat of a flavoring, the other pizza fellows are too lazy and offer only miniscule portions of dry oregano and red pepper particles!

IN these times of novel corona virus here’re my offerings: Take precautions but also keep your boosting your immune system gently (no overkills, please): Put half teaspoon of pure local organic turmeric powder in a mug, top with warm water, stir, sip up. Bring mug of water to a boil, grate in ginger, when aroma is released, strain and sip as it cools. Not hot, hot, hot please. Similarly you may bring water to a boil, add pinch jeera/coriander/ajwain/saunf seeds as you like it, boil a minute, strain and sip…other things: eat two wonderful Kashmiri garlic pods daily.
And amongst all the solicitious advice making the rounds on social media, this one I share here courtesy Dr Khin Maung U of Shenzhen Hospital, Wuhan: “Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough without runny nose. This is the simplest way to identify…the Wuhan virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed in a temperature of 26-27 degrees. So drink plenty of hot water. Can tell relatives and friends to drink hot water for prevention…eat more ginger and exercise more, you will not be infected with the virus. If you have a high fever, cover yourself with a quilt. Drink ginger soup to increase body’s heat energy. It can prevent infection. No vaccination required. Eat more ginger, garlic, hot chili, and pepper. Eat less sweet and sour and bitter. Don’t drink too much ice-water. Don’t go to cold weather areas. When the sun is in the virus endemic area, the virus will completely disappear. Everyone can share and help one by one.” Sage, sane, balanced advice I’d say, so friends stay hot doing domestic chores and be happy!

Note: I also have this advice from a Patrick of Earth Keepers Goa… “to prevent and fight coronavirus eat 60g raw onion every day. Sulphuric acid in the onions is an immunity booster. Take a zinc supplement daily. Up to 12 years of age – 10mg; after 12 years, 30mg. No contraindications and can be taken in different installments daily if single supplement tablets are less than 30mg in strength. Stay hydrated (the more fluids, the better) and salt water gargles twice daily is the way to go.” To all this I would like to add, how about doing good old Ayurvedic jalneti daily morning and night to clear the nasal passageways and breathe better?

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