Laung or clove - the warm, sweet and bitter tasting spice. It is harvested throughout the year and is mostly grown in the South Indian belt of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Amongst these, Kerala is peculiarly and particularly gifted with the awesome combination of warm, humid climate, rich soil and the right amount of rainfall which makes the Kerala spices so sought after and high in demand. Cloves have a woody texture to it and can be used in both forms- ground or whole. The whole cloves retain their potency for a longer period of time as compared to the ground cloves and should be stored in an airtight container.
Along With enhancing the culinary dishes with its distinct taste, this spice has loads of other benefits. To mention a few:
- It is used for preserving dishes and pairs up well with apples, pears, and red wine.
- For flavouring, it is added to biryani, soups and non vegetarian dishes especially mutton.
- In desserts, it adds to the flavour of cakes, compliments the flavours with vanilla and citrus peels too.
- It is used in so many hot beverages, like clove herbal tea and hot apple drinks.
- In winters, paan lovers have it with their betel leaves for additional warmth and fresh after taste.
- It is used as a mosquito and ant repellant.
- Grandma’s favourite medicine when it comes to any dental problems. It helps soothe toothaches.
(That’s the reason it is used in toothpastes and mouth rinses.)
- Eugenol in cloves acts as an excellent antioxidant, which increases our body’s ability to fight chronic diseases.
- If you are feeling slightly under the weather, boil water with cloves and you will be better.
- It can be kept in almirahs as a prevention against cloth moths.
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