Hawaij is an anti-inflammatory spice because it contains turmeric, which gives it its dark yellow colour. Turmeric's anti-inflammatory property comes from curcumin, which is an antioxidant. Curcumin is known to help people with arthritis feel less pain and swelling in their joints.
The spice trade, which brought spices from the Far East to the Middle East, Africa, and other places, is where Hawaij comes from. Yemen was one of the stops along the way that was very important. Most of the spices in the blend come from India and the Spice Islands. This shows where the blend came from.
Outside of Yemen, hawaij is mostly used by immigrants in Israel, where it is very common. It's getting more and more popular there, and it's not just used in traditional Yemeni dishes anymore.
Types of hawaij:
There are two kinds of hawaij, one for coffee and one for savoury dishes. The flavours of the two are very different. In the savoury version, cumin, black pepper, and cardamom are used. Cloves, saffron, and coriander can also be used. When you add spices like cumin and coriander, the taste can be similar to curry powder, but not as strong as when you use fenugreek.
In the sweet version, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg are used, and in some blends, nutmeg is also added. Some people say it tastes like chai, while others say it tastes like Turkish coffee. Like most traditional spice mixes, hawaij is made by different people in different ways. No one can agree on how much of each spice goes into the blend.
Culinary use of Hawaij:
Hawaij can be used in almost anything, but the best thing to put it in is soup. Yemenite food is known for its earthy, flavorful, and comforting soups, and the secret is this mix of spices. Just add to your regular chicken soup, and you'll love what happens.
Hawaij has a lot of turmeric and black pepper, which make it a great pain reliever. Putting a little hawaij in your soup will make your whole body feel better.
You can also just rub hawaij on meat, chicken, fish, or vegetables, and anything that goes into a slow cooker will taste better with a little hawaij.
Health benefits of hawaij:
Each of the spices used in hawaij is good for you in its own way. The result is a blend that tastes great and has a lot of different kinds of nutrients. The nutrients in hawaij that make it good for your health are:
- Minerals: Coriander seed and turmeric are both very good sources of iron, and cumin is also a very good source of iron. Calcium, magnesium, and zinc are some of the other minerals that the spices in Hawaii give you.
- Vitamins: The seeds of cumin, cloves, and coriander all have different B vitamins. Vitamins K and C are also in cloves, and cumin has a small amount of vitamin A.
- Fibre: All of the spices in a typical hawaij blend are good sources of fibre.
- Constipation: The fibre in hawaij spices can make it easier for food to move through the digestive tract, which can help keep you from getting sick.
- Diabetes: Fibre in your diet can help your body break down sugar more slowly, which is important for keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
- Osteoporosis: Hawaii has minerals like calcium and magnesium that are good for bone density and help prevent osteoporosis.