Turmeric and fennel dishes for health (pressure-cooked)

Turmeric and fennel are aromatic herbs, full of flavour, and can be used together to spice any dishes, besides being health-giving.

The simple spice mixture in the recipes below makes a very good base for any dish.

a. Turmeric and fennel pasta

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Serves 1 or 2

Utensils

16 cm-wide stainless steel bowl with straight sides – fits into a small 18 cm-wide pressure cooker

Stainless steel stand for bowl

Pressure cooker filled with water to cover the stand

INGREDIENTS

Water, preferably filtered, to cover 1/3 of the bowl

One layer of brown rice fusilli pasta measured out in the bowl (any al dente brand)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

1 teaspoon sea salt or salt to taste

A small amount of peas and corn (fresh, frozen or freeze-dried)

A small amount of grated carrot to be mixed in before serving

About 12 ready-washed spinach leaves to be mixed in before serving

METHOD

Put the water in the bowl

Add salt and stir well

Next add the spices, stir

Then add the fusilli pasta

After that, add the peas and corn

Ensure that the water covers the top of the pasta. If not, just add a little more to cover the top. The pasta should spread out flat and closely in the bowl.

Place the bowl on the stand, over water, in the pressure cooker. Turn on the heat.

Once the steam hisses out loudly, time 2-3 mins of cooking. I like to use fusilli pasta but you can use penne too, which takes about 2 mins. Any smaller pasta means that the cooking time needs to be adjusted to less. (1 min for small pasta shells).

Turn off the heat, and allow the pressure to release by itself (approximately 20 minutes).

Then take out the bowl of pasta.

Stir in the grated carrot and spinach leaves.

Serve straight away so the pasta will not get bloated absorbing the sauce.

You could sprinkle your favourite seeds on top, and add a few walnuts for extra protein.


NOTE:

* Fennel and turmeric are traditionally regarded as very good cancer-fighting herbs/ spices.

*Turmeric must be combined with black pepper for full benefits. It is not easy to absorb; black pepper boosts absorption.

* Ingredients in black pepper (piperine) and turmeric (curcumin) have shown benefits for protection against cognitive impairment and improvement of memory in Alzheimer’s disease, inhibiting the growth of peptic ulcer, and also in fighting cancer.

* Fennel helps to restore the digestive system after cancer treatments, aids digestion, helps alleviate gas.




b. Turmeric and fennel potato soup

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Equal amounts of fennel and turmeric plus salt to taste will make a very good soup. You won’t believe how good and fragrant. Potato in plain soup alone already has a delicious flavour.

Utensils

16 cm-wide stainless steel bowl with straight sides – fits into a small 18 cm-wide pressure cooker

Stainless steel stand for bowl

Pressure cooker filled with water to cover the stand

INGREDIENTS

3 small potatoes (or equivalent)

Water, preferably filtered, to cover 1/3 of the bowl (increase if you like more soup)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

1 teaspoon sea salt or salt to taste

A little peas and corn

A tiny amount of small pasta shells (brown rice – any al dente brand)

Cilantro for garnish – fresh, roughly chopped (dried may be used though not as fragrant)

White pepper (optional)

METHOD

Put the water in the bowl

Add salt and stir well

Next add the spices, stir

Cut each small potato into 4-6 pieces and spread out well in the bowl

After that, add the peas and corn

The water should cover the potatoes, but add more if preferred, without the soup boiling over when cooking.

Place the bowl on the stand, over water, in the pressure cooker. Turn on the heat.

Once the steam hisses out loudly, time between 1-2 minutes of cooking.

Then turn off the heat, leave the dish in the cooker until the steam releases (approximately 20 minutes).
Serve with a garnish of chopped cilantro. (You may use parsley or any favourite garnish.)

(If you are a pepper lover, for that extra taste and flavour, you could add a sprinkling of white pepper to your soup.)


NOTE

* Cilantro is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamins A, K, C, manganese and potassium. It is known to help cleanse the body of toxic metals by aiding detoxification.


Why use a bowl on a stand sitting in water in the pressure cooker?

The advantage of cooking in a bowl is the ready-to-serve convenience.

Also, rice can be cooked traditionally in this way, absorbing only the water it needs to fluff up, whereas it would burn cooked directly in the pressure cooker – unless it is cooked in plenty of water and then strained.

Using a bowl definitely saves cleaning a heavy pot every time you cook – and it remains nice and new!

Cooking in this way saves time – and thus energy-saving in more ways than one.

An alternative to pressure cooking is steaming, which is the principle behind my preferred method using the pressure cooker, but it takes a longer time.

Baking is another alternative for the pressure-cooked recipes but it also takes a longer time.

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