I’m sick. Proper sniffly, fevery, sweaty, flu-y ill. I’ve been trying to pretend it’s not happening but last night, I was in bed by 7.15 and with a not unimpressive four blankets over me and I was still cold. I’m feeling very sorry for myself and like most people I revert back to wanting my mum when I’m sick. And yes, I’m aware I’m in my last year of my 30s.
So whilst I was shivering under four blankets and unable to sleep last night, I gots to thinking about this drink my mum used to make for me when I was ill as a child – like a Sri Lankan version of honey, lemon and ginger but spicy and hot and so very comforting.
In my fevered haze, I was convinced I’d worked out the recipe but at 3am, it was a little rude to phone her and ask. To be honest, she should have been aware I was ill and been at my side to mop my fevered brow, right? So maybe she deserved a 3am call but I don’t think she would have been that impressed!
So this elixir that I’ve made this morning is called koodineer (I have probably spelled that completely wrong so good luck googling) and is a very simple roasted spice mix, steeped in hot water and with sugar added to taste. It’s best made fresh each time rather than trying to make a potful and reheating so the ingredients below are for a cup full. It is perfect on these wintery days too, not just when you’re sick. Honestly, nothing is going to make me feel better today than this.
Mum’s spicy Sri Lankan flu fixing elixir
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds (I don’t have any so I’m going to risk it with the powdered variety which I’ll add at the end)
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- Half a stick of cinnamon
- About a centimetre of fresh ginger, sliced into small matchsticks
- 200ml water
- Sugar/honey to taste
Take all the dry ingredients into a small frying pan and put over a low heat until they start to release their aromas. Move the still warm spices into a small saucepan and top with water – bring this to a gentle simmer and then remove from the heat. Strain into your favourite mug, add sugar or honey to taste, get under a blanket, Netflix on and enjoy your flu fixer.
*I should probably put a disclaimer in here that it won’t actually cure your flu. Sorry about that.
*Also this may not be a Sri Lankan recipe but my mum’s Sri Lankan and she’s the only one who has ever made it for me, so in my mind it’s Sri Lankan. Don’t argue, OK? I’m ill and liable to cry.