Guava is in season now and we have been eating them quite a lot. The other day my house help was complaining how her kids love guava and she doesn't let them eat because it makes them cough. I told her Guavas are not responsible for coughing but she wont listen.
In fact many of us believe that Guavas cause cold and cough and do not eat them after sunset. Guavas being linked with cold and cough is absolutely a myth. In fact guavas are one of the most nourishing fruits of the season. With rich Calcium, Magnesium and Vit C, these are one of the best food to boost immunity. Guavas are known for the rich pectin content too that helps in cleansing the gut and regulating the cholesterol too.
But why Guavas are linked with coughing? I have no idea honestly speaking but then most fruits are considered as 'cold' in Indian context. Even Bananas and Oranges are considered 'cold' so the logic could be absolutely nonexistent in this case.
I have grown up around Guava trees and the areas where cart loads of fresh Guavas would appear every morning in season and people would quarter them, sprinkle a mix of spiced salt over them and eat them till they felt stuffed. No one I know ever caught cold by eating Guavas.
The fact that many people don't know about Guavas is that they can be cooked too. Guava subzi (curry) is well known in north India but very few people know that fire roasted ripe guava is an ancient remedy to treat cough. Once a fully ripe guava is grilled over gas flame or in an oven, the fruit can be halved and the flesh can be scooped out to eat it warm. It is known to treat the most persistent cough.
As a short cut method, I have often asked people to microwave a ripe Guava till it gets warm and eat it to treat cough and it has helped. Personally I don't appreciate the taste of fire roasted guava much but eat it as a medicine. Now thankfully I found a better way to treat a cough or a throat irritation caused by pollutants (dust or particulate matter).
It so happened that I was feeling really irritated by the way my throat was itching and paining slightly and I knew it was because of a long walk I did the previous evening. Delhi pollution levels have been alarming this season and evening walks can be potentially dangerous. But what to do?
Normally I make a herb tea infusion of lemongrass and ginger with some added black pepper or Tulsi (Holy Basil) leaves and keep sipping on it till I find relief. This time when I was proceeding to make this infusion for myself I got reminded of a couple of very ripe Guavas that had become too soft to be any good. The result was phenomenal in taste and of course the after effect of this soothing soup.
(serves 2, large servings)
2 large ripe soft Guavas (200-250 gm), quartered or cut in chunks
1 liter water
one stalk and leaves of lemongrass crushed and tied up together
2 inch piece of tender ginger root
2 inflorescence of tulsi (Holy basil) or use 2 springs of leaves
2 pinches of salt or to taste
2 tsp sugar ( I used jaggery)
Pressure cook everything together till the whistle blows. Or cook in open pan till Guavas turn mushy.
Blend using a stick blender and sieve through a soup colander. Adjust seasoning.
Serve hot or warm.
This Guava soup is quite aromatic and tasty. You can adjust the balance of flavours according to taste but there is no need to add any butter or cream to this soup.
I liked it so much that I keep looking for more serving even when I get a large serving for myself each time. The cup in the picture above is a 700 ml breakfast cup that I use for some of my soups and smoothies. Good things are needed in large doses I believe.
The itchy throat was not even remembered till I saw the pictures of this soup and was reminded to post the recipe here. Natural remedies are the best.
Make this Guava soup sometime soon and let me know if you like it.