When I first started this blog it was a way to document my learning experiences as I attempted to make Saudi dishes for my new husband. Later it became a journal of life in Saudi and my experiences with food for others in my shoes and now that I am a mom, I see it as a way to document food history for Saudis children. As you all already know I am the only blogger writing about Saudi cuisine and without other online sources documenting this amazing food and as young people grow up making new dishes and not learning about the past a lot of history is being forgotten and looked over. I hope that this blog can change that in some way.
I am always asking, learning and looking around for tips, recipes and remedies from the past just for this site and for that very reason. Spices are a really big deal in Saudi and as much as I loved them before I came here I have since found many new ones. Spices are not only used in cooking here, but also as medicines long before pharmacies and doctors were around this is what families turned to, many still do.
When you think of tea of course you think of some sort of drink that has been made with actual tea leaves (I know I do) well here a tea can be just hot water steeped with spices. These kinds of drinks are cures for many sicknesses and the recipe I am posting today is one of these as well. Since I started making this very tea for sore throats I have not stopped. It is magical making your throat feel better almost immediately and pretty much curing it soon after. What’s the secret ingredient you ask well everything. The spices known throughout the country (and a few other Gulf ones) to be a sore throat cure are cloves, ginger, honey, lemon, myrrh, petroleum (vicks) and sage.
Here are some remedies used through the years:
- Soak myrrh and asafetida in hot water and drink. (central and northern KSA)
- Boil cloves and ginger in hot water and drink. (UAE)
- Use ginger, cress and myrrh. (central KSA)
- Boil green ginger with lime and honey in hot water and drink. (northern KSA)
- Use orange, lemon and honey. (southern KSA)
- Use 1 teaspoon of honey in 1/2 cups hot water then gargle with it three times a day. (eastern KSA)
- Boil mint with hot water and drink. (eastern KSA)
- Put a hot onion compress around the neck and above the larynx. (eastern KSA)
- Gargle with onion juice and honey three times a day. (eastern KSA)
- Put myrrh it a cup of hot coffee or hot water, soak and drink. (southern KSA)
- Gargle with hot water and salt or myrrh soaked hot water. (southern KSA)
- Rub honey and vicks on the outside of your throat. (southern KSA)
- Rub vicks on your neck. (southern KSA)
- Boil sage in hot water and drink. (western KSA)
- Use lemon, sesame oil, tahini with dates. (eastern KSA)
1 lemon slice
Honey to taste
1. In a cup, add hot water, mint, lemon slice and cloves. Allow to steep for at least 5 minutes, remove cloves, then add honey to taste, stir and drink.
Yields: 1 cup