A meal no matter how ordinary, can be made extraordinary by adding fresh, green herbs. Pluck them off the plant in your kitchen or buy them at the grocery store, herbs in any form – fresh, preserved or dry, have magical elements to transform simple dishes into flavoursome, delectable delights.
High on aroma and full of flavour, herbs are truly a chef’s delight in preparing meals to please all kinds of palates. Head chef, Shivananda Kain of La Brezza and Enoteca Bar, Jaypee Greens Golf Resort and Spa says, “The success of cooking a good meal depends on the flavouring and seasoning, and mixing the right herb with the right food is what makes a chef great.” Today, he helps us familiarize with six different kinds of herbs used across Indian and international cuisines.
15339054 1. Basil
Basil, a popular herb with a mild and sweet flavour that has a name which means ‘king’ in Greek language. And it is rightly called so because many culinary experts consider it a royal herb. Used primarily for its aroma, basil is used a lot in Indian as well as international cuisines. While freshly plucked basil adds much needed fragrance to the dish, dried basil leaves mostly contribute to the taste.
Types of Basil
Sweet Basil: One of the most common varieties of basil that is used in tomato based dishes and Italian cuisine.
Lemon Basil: Found mostly in Asia and north-eastern Africa and is used predominantly in Thai cuisine.
Thai Basil: Identified with its purple stem and flowery green leaves, Thai basil has a mint-like flavour.
Holy Basil: Also known as tulsi, Holy basil is grown in most Indian homes and has many medicinal qualities.
Health benefits of Basil
- Helps control blood pressure
- Ensures oxygen carrying capacity in blood
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