Our Teachers' Winter Remedies

We asked our teachers about the foods and drinks that keep them warm when it's cold. They wanted to share their home winter remedies they learnt from their grandparents, just for you:

1. Harsh's Ginger & Lemon Tea (Indian)

"I have this every day to keep me warm and fight off those coughs and colds. My grandparents always said it helps boost the immune system, and it tastes nice"

(1) Boil 4 cups water

(2) Add crushed ginger (2 inch), cinnamon (1 inch), cardamoms (5), cloves(5 to 6), whole black pepper (1tsp)

(3) Then add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp gor (jaggery)

(4) Boil for 4 to 5 min

(5) Sieve the liquid and add 1 tsp lemon juice

2. Lilian's Bochleh - Bean & Barley Soup with Pulled Turkey (Bukharian)

"This was always enjoyed on Saturday lunch as it was normally cooked overnight in the oven – during the Sabbath. My dad always called it musical food as it made him rather windy after eating all the pulses!

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)

500g pack 10 bean mix (selection of pulses including haricot beans, black-eyed beans, lentils, kidney beans)

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 large turkey necks or 1 turkey thigh

1 heaped tbsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

Salt & black pepper


  1. Cover the bean mix with cold water and leave to soak overnight

  2. Once soaked, drain and wash the beans. Place in a heavy-based saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, continue to boil for at least 10 minutes then simmer for 30 minutes or until the beans are soft. Drain and set aside.

  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the turkey necks or thighs. Saute until browned, adding a little hot turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper and pour over 2 litres boiled water. Bring to the boil and add the cooked beans and pulses

  4. Simmer for at least 2 hours or until the turkey meat falls off the bone. Serve immediately

3. Aicha's Halib skhun bi skinjbir wa lbzar (Moroccan)

"It's simple. We boil a cup of milk with 1 tsp of ginger, 1/4 tsp black pepper, drink it before bed, and wait for the miracles to happen! And if you drink alcohol, add a drop of brandy to the milk. Halib means milk, Skinjbir is ginger and lbzar is pepper."

4. Karim Imbakbaka (Libyan)

"This is a traditional spicy plate, saucy short pasta dish, eaten by every family in Libya. It's so spicy, it gives you warmth and fills you up fast. It's a very quick plate to make so families often make it when they're in a hurry. It's eaten in the traditional Arabic way, families sat on the floor, on a low table, eaten together. All you need is short pasta, onion, garlic, fresh red chilli, tomato paste, boiled water, parsley, dill, salt, pepper. You let the sauce boil, then when it's cooked you put the pasta raw in the sauce itself. Then add carrots, chickpeas, and chicken/lamb or beef if you wish."

5. Mina's Bajra Raab (Indian)

"Raab is extremely good for people who have colds or coughs. It’s also good for those who have lost their appetite. It’s often given to nursing mothers as Bajra has lots of minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

2 tablespoons bajra (millett) flour (could replace with plain wheat flour if you need to)

1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

4 glasses water

4 tablespoons jaggery (gor)

1/4 teaspoon dried ginger (Sundh) ( or fresh ginger)

1 teaspoon Ajmo (Thyme/Carom Seeds)


1. Boil the water in a saucepan and add the jaggery, ginger to the water. Let it simmer.

2. Warm the ghee in a separate saucepan

3. Add the ajmo (carom seeds) to the ghee and stir until you get a spicy aroma.

4. Add the bajra to this and cook until it starts to cook and little bubbles form (similar to making a roux). You will also get lovely nutty fragrance.

5. Carefully, add the water with the jaggery etc. to the saucepan with the bajra mixture. The hot water when added to the cooked bajra, will start bubbling and foaming a thick paste. Stir this mixture with a long wooden spoon.

6. Let this mixture (now called Raab) cook for 5 minutes.

7. If you prefer the raab to be fairly runny like soup, add more hot water if required.

8. Pour the raab into a mug as it is ready to drink.

9. Enjoy!

Let us know if you make any of these home remedies on Instagram @joindiaspo

You can see our upcoming classes here. We'll be following up with a part 2 of winter remedies soon!

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