Spices are not only recognised for their healing properties, but according to Indian cookery writer and TV Chef Anjum Anand, they can also aid the quest for beautiful skin.
Anjum has created the ultimate age-defying curry to keep skin youthful, hair shiny and eyes bright.
Packed with powerful beauty-boosting ingredients including pomegranates to enhance collagen production which plumps up the skin, ginger to stimulate blood circulation and reduce inflammation (great for reducing acne and fading age spots), fresh coriander, known for its detoxifying properties and chillies rich in antioxidants and flavonoids to help reduce wrinkles. Even the centerpiece of the dish, protein-rich chicken, contains both sulphur and zinc for strong nails and hair.
Serve the curry with Anjum's raita, packed with Chia seeds, a superfood containing age-defying antioxidants, and cumin which has high levels of Vitamin E.
It's also really delicious in case you were wondering!
Anjum Anand's beautifying superfood curry recipe
1kg chicken joints, skinned and pierced randomly with a fork
2-4 Indian or finger green chillies, whole or slit
Large handful of coriander leaves and stalks,
Chopped seeds from 1 fresh pomegranate, to garnish
30g garlic cloves, peeled
30g fresh ginger, peeled
1½ tsp salt
1½ tbsp ground coriander
1½ tbsp dried pomegranate powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1½ tsp garam masala
Using a blender, make a paste of all the ingredients for the marinade with 150ml water. Place in a non-metallic bowl with the chicken, cover and marinate in a cool place for as long as possible (overnight is best). Bring back to room temperature before cooking.
Add the well-marinated chicken and the marinade to a large non-stick pan with the green chillies and 150ml water. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook over a low heat for 20-25 minutes. Give it the occasional stir and make sure there is always some water in the pan.
Uncover and turn the heat up. Reduce the excess water in the pan by cooking over a high heat while tossing the chicken in the reducing gravy. When completely reduced, add a good splash of water from a boiled kettle for a little gravy.
Check for seasoning and tartness, you can add more dried pomegranate powder if it needs it. Stir in the fresh coriander and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.
Age-defying Spinach and Chia Seed Raita
75g baby spinach
¾ roasted ground cumin*
2 tsp chia seeds
Wilt the baby spinach in a saucepan. Drain and squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Stir into the yogurt, season and add the roasted ground cumin and chia seeds. Serve chilled.
* How to roast spices
Only roast whole spices. Place the spices in a moderately hot, dry frying pan and toast over a gently heat.
Shake the pan often so the spices brown evenly. (Do not use non-stick pans as the coating may smoke and this is thought to be toxic.) As the spices roast, they colour and become aromatic.
Take them off the heat once they turn a few shades darker. Remove them from the pan or they will continue to brown and they might burn. Roasted spices can be ground in a mortar and pestle, or a spice or coffee grinder kept for the purpose.
You can watch Indian Food Made Easy with Anjum Anand on BBC2 every Saturday at midday.