Holy Basil is a perennial plant. This plant is from the Lamiaceae family of plants, including some other plants like mint. Other names for Holy Basil are Ocimum Tenuiflorum and Tulsi. Holy Basil is a native plant of the Indian Subcontinent. It was grown in these regions for a long time before its production spread to other parts of Southeast Asia. Along with having high importance in medical and culinary purposes, Holy Basil also has religious status. And the word Holy in the name refers to the fact.
Holy Basil is commonly used in Hinduism’s Vaishnava tradition. While its tea is used in Ayurveda. It has different varieties, such as Thai Holy Basil. This herb has a high fragrance and flavor that are also the reason behind its exceptional fame worldwide. Medically, Holly Basil is useful for supporting immunity, digestion, relieving stress, boosting cognition and brain health, providing the foundational support, etc.
What does Holy Basil Look Like?
As per the physical description of this plant, it is a small and short-lived shrub. Holy Basil has a height of around 3.3 feet. Hairy stems surround it. The stems bear the entire or simple toothed leaves. These leaves have high fragrance and often come in either purple or green colors. Therefore, its color depends on its type. Besides, Holy Basil also produces tubular flowers. The flowers come in two colors, i.e., white and purple. Moreover, the flowers are equipped with sepals of purple and green color. While the fruits on this plant also produce plenty of seeds.
Where does Holy Basil Come From?
Holy Basil came from the Indian Subcontinent. In those regions, Hinduism has been a prevailing culture. And since this plant has religious importance among the Hindu communities, it has its origin from there. In Hindu history, it is believed that the Holy Basil is the manifestation of Lakshmi, who is one of their goddesses. Historically, it is believed that their lords are worn garlands made of Holy Basil flowers and leaves. That’s why they consider it a pious plant that will protect them, purify them, and foster their meditation. Therefore, Holy Basil is grown in almost every Hindu family.
How is Holy Basil Made?
Holy Basil is made of its plant. It is an erect plant with a lot of sub-shrubs. You have to its plant to get the Holy Basil leaves. For culinary and other purposes, people mostly use the dry form of this plant. Therefore, you have to follow the process of mint and other herbs. When the plant reaches a certain stage and gets ready for harvesting, the leaves should be plucked. Then, you should wash and rinse the leaves and leave them somewhere where they can dry well. Choosing a spot under direct sunlight is recommended. Once dried, the leaves become crunchy.
What Does Holy Basil Taste Like?
Holy Basil has a very warm, sweet, astringent, and strong flavor. In addition, it gives a slight flavor of cloves, lemon, licorice, and peppermint. Besides, it also has a very refreshing aroma.
How is Holy Basil Used in Cooking?
Cooking with Holy Basil is not rocket science. You can add it to any recipe to have a better taste and aroma. However, we will recommend you not to use it while cooking the food as these are the leaves and can be destroyed easily when overcooked. Therefore, it is better to add it at the end. However, if you are using the powdered form of this herb, then you can use it while cooking.
What Types of Cuisines Use Holy Basil?
Holy Basil is used in a wide range of cuisines. You can use it with chicken and other meat, seafood, vegetables, and even curries. Some people also use it as a seasoning on fruit dishes and other cuisines. Besides, the leaves are also used in teas and other drinks.
What is a Holy Basil Substitute?
If you cannot find Holy Basil, you can use its substitutes to get the almost same flavor. For substituting this herb, you should use Fennel. Though fennel does not belong to the same family, it makes a good alternative.
Where to Buy Holy Basil?
Holy Basil is not widely available everywhere. You have to search for it. But we have made your search easier. We have picked some high-quality Products for you. The names of these products are listed below.