GINGER: SPICE WITH MEDICINAL PROPERTIES
Ginger is a widely used spice in various culinary dishes such as soups, salads, and spice mixtures. It is derived from the rhizome of the ginger plant and can be used in many forms such as fresh, dried, crystallized, tender, and powdered. Young ginger rhizomes have a mild taste and are often pickled, cooked or used to make ginger tea, candy, or wine. Mature ginger rhizomes, on the other hand, are fibrous and are commonly used in Indian and Asian cuisine as a seasoning for seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes. Fresh and dried ginger have slightly different flavors.
Crushed, chopped, and julienne ginger are used in various recipes such as teas, gravies, curries, stews, bread, garnishing soups, and tempering dals. Ginger juice and paste are useful for making dressings, sauces, dips, marinades, starters, and appetizers. Sliced, grated, and roundels of ginger are ideal for flavoring pulao, biryani’s, gravies, soups, and stocks. Tender ginger can be used to make pickles and can be flavored with vinegar. Ginger and lemon can be used to make lime and ginger syrups, while minced ginger is best for making tandoori dishes.
Ginger is not only a flavorful ingredient in culinary dishes but also a powerful natural remedy with numerous health benefits. Gingerols and shogaols, the bioactive compounds in ginger, have potent anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain and swelling in the body. These compounds also have antioxidant properties that help protect against oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is known for its ability to aid digestion. It can help alleviate symptoms of nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, and constipation. Ginger has also been shown to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which can improve the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from food.
Furthermore, ginger has been found to have positive effects on heart health. It can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve blood circulation. These benefits can help reduce the risk of heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
Ginger can also be beneficial for the immune system. It has been shown to have antimicrobial properties that can help fight off infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Additionally, ginger has been found to have anti-cancer properties that may help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Overall, ginger is a versatile and powerful ingredient that can add flavor and nutrition to a variety of dishes. Its health benefits make it a valuable addition to any diet, and it is easy to incorporate into meals and drinks in its various forms, from fresh ginger root to ginger powder and even ginger supplements.
Visit, Amma’s South Indian Restaurant, and have a health drink of hot masala tea. It has ginger as one of its main ingredients!