When I went Vegan, I started delving deeper into the world of natural living, and realised that there were natural, easy and gentle ways to look after ourselves without medicines or those over the counter drugs for simple ailments like flu, colds and fevers. Here, I would like to share a personal story. A few years ago I was advised to visit the A&E dept for throat pain. The issue turned out to be minor but the head of the A&E came to me and advised me to never ‘ever’ use cold tablets as ‘you don’t know what they contain’. He stated that they have many nasty ingredients and must be avoided. Since then I rely on nature for healing and try to understand my body and the subtle signs our bodies always give us.

We are now at the time of year when the change of seasons will lead to an increase in incidences of flu and cold, so let us look at some protective measures. I usually am afflicted with a bout of sneezing for a day or two which is an indicator for the onset of cold or flu. Through my experiments I have come to know of the potent power of garlic, ginger and pepper in flushing out mild fevers, cold and flu germs, as also the phlegm that causes congestion in throats and blocks the sinuses. There really is no need to ‘fight’ off germs. They can just simply be flushed out of the body. So while these ingredients have always been known to help with symptoms of flu etc, I take them prepared in a soup which seems to work like magic for me. This has helped me especially with the hidden internal cold that flows discreetly at the back of the nose and mouth and flows straight into the throat causing a painful throat! It also loosens sticky phlegm from the throat as acts like a natural expectorant. So, say goodbye to all those cough syrups and get on with natural remedies. This soup recipe will help you look after yourself in the coming cooler months and changing seasons.

• 6 – 7 large cloves of garlic chopped (or 8-10 small ones)
• One large chunk of ginger finely chopped (do chop finely)
• One large onion chopped
• 1-2 tomatoes chopped
• One green chilli (try to use a strong chilli)
• Oil – 2-3 tablespoons
• Water 1 1/2 glass
• Pepper – 1 tea spoon
• Salt – 2 tea spoon or to taste.

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the ginger chopped finely when the oil is heated. Sauté for a minute or two then add the garlic. After another minute or so add the onions. In this recipe we don’t need the ingredients to be cooked till golden brown like in a gravy dish. You just need to sauté a little bit as the cooking will happen when you put the lid on. When the onions are translucent add the tomatoes. Now cook for another minute and add the salt and water. Mix and then close the lid and let cook for one whistle. Then let the steam ease out naturally as the cooking process will continue till the steam remains. Mix and check for seasoning. At this stage you can adjust the salt and add the pepper. Do try to make this soup a little bit spicy as it tastes better with that kick of chilli and will aid in the expectorant process. Garnish with coriander. I had this with some bread and some left over potatoes. It was wonderful and helped me with decongestion. Enjoy and take care in the coming months.

Ms Aditi Pathak Is based in Singapore. Widely travelled and from a Services background, cooking is one of her many passions.

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