(Inchi, Inji, இஞ்சி, Allam, అల్లం, Adaraka, अदरक, Zingiber officinale)
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Last week my son had severe uncontrollable cough and none of the allopathic cough syrups were bringing any cure or relief to him. My mother then suggested me to give pieces of ginger with honey to him and that instantaneously brought relief to my son. Just 2 days ago, my husband had indigestion issues and was suffering from gastric pain and heart burn. My mother in law asked me to give the family miracle drink. The drink is made by boiling the miracle ingredient ginger pieces in water and needs to be sipped immediately. These two back to back usages of ginger made me ponder quite seriously about the same.
Ginger is a very common ingredient used in the Asian and Indian cuisine. As we all know ginger is obtained as the underground stem or root of the plant that can be used fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form or as juice. As discussed previous, ginger has an array of nutrition benefits. The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastro intestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production and suppress gastric contractions and movement of food and fluids through the gastro intestinal tract. Ginger has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and treat inflammatory conditions. This property is extremely beneficial in treatment of osteoarthritis and in reducing the risk of colon cancer. Ginger is also rich in critical minerals like potassium, magnesium and phosphorous which are not widely found otherwise. Ginger has also been found to reduce the pain and cramps during the menstrual cycle.
Using fresh ginger is an easy way to flavor food and drinks without adding unnecessary sodium. Ginger can be infused in almost any dish and many other dishes can be made using ginger as the main ingredient. The ginger chutney and infamous Andhra recipe allam chutney goes very well with idly, dosa, upma and chapatti varieties.
Ways to incorporate Ginger in our cusine
- Add grated ginger in coconut based Poriyal like cabbage, beetroot, beans, carrot and others. It enhances the overall flavor in the dish.
- Ginger is a must add ingredient in dishes like ven pongal, upma and morkuzhambu for the best taste and aroma.
- Ginger also goes very well with smoothies and juices, next time you make one; do not forget to add a teaspoon of ginger grating.
- Using fresh or dried ginger also spices up any fish recipe.
- When buying ginger always buy the ones with shiny, taut skin. The skin should be thin and not thick and fibrous.
- The ginger must give its own natural aroma when we whiff it.
- Avoid ginger that has soft spots, it’s a sign that it has been in display for long.
- Store gingers in tightly wrapped plastic bags in the freezer.
Recipes with Ginger
Mango Ginger (Curcuma Amada)