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Fight flu with basil

Eating nutritious food and building immunity against the swine flu pandemic is on top of everyone`s mind today. Basil or `tulsi` has traditionally been used as a medicine to ward off cold.
A tender plant, the tulsi grows as a perennial in warm, tropical climates. The leaves of basil have numerous oil glands with aromatic, volatile oil. The herb is well-known for its medicinal virtues.

Recipes in which you can use basil:

Tomato, Basil and Spinach Soup

Ingredients:

1 cup - tomato puree
2 cups - fresh spinach, torn
2 tbsp - butter
1 - large yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp - minced garlic
1 1/2 cups - milk
1 tbsp - white sugar
1/4 cup - chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp - freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp - grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp - salt

Method:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in milk and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in tomato puree and sugar.
  5. Mix well, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
  7. Add spinach, basil, salt and pepper and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Basil-Cucumber Combo

Ingredients:

2 - medium cucumbers, diced
25 to 30 - fresh basil leaves, washed
3 to 4 pinches - dried oregano/mint powdered
1/2 - lemon juice, extracted
2 to 3 pinches - fresh ground white pepper
400 ml - chilled water
1/4 tsp - salt

Method:

  1. Put all ingredients in mixer, except water.
  2. Run till mixture is smooth and lumpless.
  3. Add water, whisk till smooth again, and frothy.
  4. Pour into individual glasses, garnish if desired.

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