Tulsi is found in almost every Indian household’s verandah, balcony, garden, or courtyard. It is a fragrant herb with a distinctive pungent flavor that many people enjoy. There are various types and they have different flavors. Though, Tulsi is a plant that is very different from the basil in the average Western supermarket but is also referred to as Basil and plays a role in Indian traditional medicine.
Benefits of basil
- It assists in fighting cancer as it increases antioxidant activity
- It delays age-related memory loss.
- It aids in boosting mental health. Stress can trigger the production of free radicals in the body. It alleviates stress, anxiety, and depression.
- It enhances the ability to think and reason.
Here are a few ways in which you can incorporate basil in your diet:
- Basil in fruit salad: Tried with salad yet? Tossing your favourite sweet luscious fruits like strawberries, and blueberries with lemon juice and finely chopped basil leaves is a great way to have basil. Try with one or two chopped leaves and add more for stronger basil flavor.
- Basil Pesto: Pesto is another fantastic way to use a lot of basil at once and is an effective method of consuming large amounts of this beneficial herb. Blend basil leaves, garlic, and salt. Pulse until a thick paste is formed. You can add a bit of water, nuts of your choice, and coriander leaves if you wish to.
- Basil vinegar: Flavored vinegar is practically so easy and useful to create. Just fill a fancy bottle with them and they make excellent housewarming gifts, too. Put two cups of white wine vinegar into a large mason jar; add 8-9 fresh basil leaves, two cloves of garlic, and sliced peel from an orange. Keep the jar in a dark, cool place for two weeks to allow flavors to develop. To use, strain vinegar through a sieve and store in a clean mason jar. Use for salad dressings, marinades, or to drizzle lightly on sautéed vegetables, chicken, and fish.
- Basil mojito: Try this classic mojito at your next house party. Combine 8 to 10 basil leaves and few lemon drops in a glass. Use a muddler to crush the basil and lime to release the basil oils and lime juice. Add lime wedges and one teaspoon honey, and muddle again to release more lime juice. Avoid straining the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Put some soda in the same glass. Stir and taste. Garnish with one more lime wedge.
- Basil smoothie: Indulge yourself in this creamy, green, non-dairy smoothie with the aroma of sweet basil. In a blender, add 3 frozen peeled-and-cubed kiwis, 1 frozen banana, the juice from few grapes, a handful of fresh basil leaves, and a few ice cubes. Blend until smooth, pour into a tall glass, and garnish with a mint leaf.
Over to you
Basil is rich in antioxidants and is a wonderful Indian herb that flourishes in summer months. Besides being medicinal, basil offers many health benefits and should be included in the diet in various forms.