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From India to Italy: spices to add to our dishes

youA touch of chilli is always good, say many grandmothers, especially in southern Italy, but that spices have a beneficial effect on our health is now accepted knowledge in all latitudes. However, how to integrate them into our kitchen and which ones to choose is not always easy. There are those who in recent years have put turmeric on practically everything and those who still go into crisis with a handful of pepper. How to get out? We asked for help from the famous Indian chef Ritu Dalmia, from the famous restaurant Cittamani In Milan, on the best way to use them, in all seasons. And who knows if a little fire will not help us to better overcome what promises to be a very difficult winter.

Chief Ritu Dalmia of Cittamani

Beneficial spices to always use

According to chef Ritu Dalmia, but also according to many nutritionists, spices make it possible to eat healthier, less salty and less fatty. Here are the ones that go well with Italian cuisine and tips on how to use them to the fullest.

Fennel seeds
Used since Antiquity, they calm the inflammation caused by heat; moreover, like mint, they freshen the breath and provide enormous benefits against digestive and intestinal disorders.

It should be consumed avoiding prolonged cooking, it is refreshing, excellent adjuvant of liver functions, activates digestion and purifies the skin. Excellent to add to a good glass of lemonade.

Turmeric: all the benefits and contraindications

Not only does it cool and soothe inflammation, but after meals it fights acidity and gastric reflux.

Nourishing, it stimulates the appetite and at the same time helps metabolism and digestion. It also fights swelling in the feet and ankles.

Thanks to the capsaicin which makes it spicy, it stimulates perspiration and refreshes the body, it also has analgesic properties and relieves heartburn.

A special menu for Cittamani’s birthday

This week, from today until Saturday October 15 inclusive, it will be possible to taste a very special menu at Cittamani. To try new spices, but also to taste the drink created especially for the occasion: the cocktail panch saal (which in Hindi means “five years”), made with scotch, spices and chamomile liqueur.

Let’s move on to the dishes, we start with starters like the Tandoori Chicken Morset (chicken nuggets marinated in herbs, thyme seeds and lemon, with tomato and mustard chutney), Crab Sago Seekh (tandoori seekh crab and sago kebab, garnished with sesame seeds and served with an avocado chutney) and pakora (Savoy cabbage, spinach and arugula in a chickpea flour batter, with radish confit and mango and parsley chutney). An alternative is also possible vegetarian.

The Kastoori-Murg of Cittamani

As the main menu you can choose between Lamb chop (tandoori lamb chop with spicy potatoes and pakchoi) which, the chef explains, “It’s been on the menu since day one and five years later is still among the most requested dishes, I can say I’m convinced that the lamb chop become the icon of Cittamani’s dish”, Pork belly (pork belly with spiced mashed potatoes and pandi sauce), Kastori Murg (chicken bites with cashew butter sauce, sesame sweet potatoes and papdi), Khichdi (mixed grain khichdi, served with potato bhaja and garnishes), Tandoori Cauliflower (purple cauliflower marinated in yogurt cooked in the tandoor, with a duo of sauces).

And for dessert, Mango Shrikhand (mango and saffron yoghurt, dark chocolate and walnut crunch) and Moong Dal Halwa (lentil crumble pudding with rose petals and pistachio).

And for those who don’t succeed this week, don’t worry, next week there will be another menu on the occasion of the Diwali, the festival of lights (October 24 or 25).


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