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Mint It All!

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Mint is a very popular ingredient, used in a variety of Indian cooking. It has lot more to offer than we already know. The plant is amazing in the sense, if you re-plant a mint stem in your backyard or in a container filled with soil, you will have home-grown green fresh mint leaves within a week. All those who watch Jamie at Home, the show about a prominent chef, know what it is to have your own backyard – the smell of fresh herbs, and especially the part where he uses fresh mint in his recipes without even washing them. That says a lot about what growing and having your own mint can mean!
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Mint It All!

Besides being swept away by Jamie Oliver’s generous use of mint in falafel, pastas, and seekh kebabs, home-grown mint leaves can do you a lot more good. Mint leaves are natural room fresheners and ward off mosquitoes – they are a natural mosquito repellant, and not harmful at all! I bet not many people would have known that and even if they did, they would prefer a mint flavored mosquito spray to growing something that hardly needs any attention.

From cool lime mint coolers, dips, chutneys, acne treatment and adding fragrance to your biryanis, this little herb has manifold benefits. It also has many curative properties - right from indigestion to cough and cold. As an antioxidant, it helps replenish and rejuvenate metabolism. Mint is also an immune system booster and has researched for its anti-cancer properties that can be used in drugs. It’s immensely helpful in reducing kidney stones too.

Moroccans make use of mint in the best possible manner. Traditional Moroccon mint tea is a staple drink that is catching on fast in the international food and beverage scenario. It has been widely appreciated for its taste and the health benefits as it includes green tea and mint. Here’s how to make Moroccan mint tea:-

Ingredients

Mint Leaves - a few sprigs (preferably fresh and tender).

Sugar - according to taste (palm sugar was originally used in this drink. It, however, tastes good even with the regular sugar available in stores).

Boiling water - a kettle (3-4 cups).

Green Tea - 1 tsp (Darjeeling tea leaves can be substituted. Green tea should be of fine quality and look like gun powder when used).

Method

Pluck the tenderest and freshest of green mint leaves. Choose the best palm sugar. Heat water in a kettle and add the mint leaves and sugar, along with the best quality tea leaves. Take it off the fire and let it stay for five minutes. Voila! Enjoy your Moroccan mint tea!

Note: Mint tea made in a microwave oven also yields good results. The trick is to not boil the leaves along with water. This would make the tea bitter. Boiled water should be removed separately and tea leaves should be left to sit in the water. Filter and reheat the drink if necessary.
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