30 April 2016

Z is for Zingiber

Welcome! 
I am writing about herbs in the 2016 April AtoZ blogging challenge. Most of the herbs written in this series are those I have seen or used. Its been a roller coaster ride all through the month, reading some wonderful blogs, making new friends and ofcourse learning many new things. 

Hey this is not the reflections post, so I better get on with the topic of the day! The last letter, my final post for this year's challenge is Zingiber officinale of the Zingiberaceae family. We know it better as Adrak (in Hindi), Ginger, Ale (in marathi)! Is that a big Aha I hear!!!
:)

Truly, just recognising a particular plant gives a feeling of meeting a friend does it not? So if botanical names put you off, not to worry, go with the local names. The former have the advantage of being universally accepted so you can discuss the plant with anyone anywhere in the world being sure of what you refer to.

Getting back to Z. The edible part that is commonly used is the root. However its inflorescence is quite pretty as well but its quite rarely seen I am told. I have it planted in a pot but here are an image of ginger leaves from a friend. Mine is still an infant!!
Image courtesy Supriya Shelar
Ginger root
The root is used to flavour curries in Indian, Eastern and even Western cuisine. Adding crushed ginger to tea takes the beverage to a totally new level! Try it especially on a rainy day...Yet another winter specialty in Maharashtra is Ginger Squares also known as Alyachee wadi.. It is basically grated ginger cooked in sugar syrup and set into squares. It is a unique combination of hot and sweet. Via the 2016 April AtoZ I have discovered Ginger oil which seems to have immense medicinal effects.  

Getting back to the ginger blossoms, I have seen a variety called Champagne Ginger being used as part of flower decorations.
Champagne Ginger in a flower arrangement
 Here is an image of the blossoms of Torch Ginger. Isn't amazing?

Obviously there is more to ginger than meets the eye!

That's it from me! I hope you enjoyed this herbal journey as much I enjoyed putting it together. This is not the end of the road, as we will keep meeting in the blogsphere! 
Keep revisiting dear readers, I will be honoured. 

Thank you for your comments all through the month, they made were most encouraging.

Till we meet again, take care and happy blogging!
:)

12 comments:

Ann Bennett said...

I love the taste of ginger. We make a great dressing to go on salad with ginger.

I have wanted to grow a plant but never got busy with it. Perhaps this summer, I will get one going.

Denise said...

Thanks for all the info on herbs this month. It must have taken a lot of time to research. Enjoyed reading your posts.

Archana said...

A ginger dressing fir a salad sounds terrific! Actually I planted my ginger only at the start of this challenge! Thanks Ann.

Archana said...

Thank you Denise!

Seena said...

What a great post to end the challenge. Super impressed with your theme and effort to make it readable tor everyone!
Great to have connected with you!
Seena
#AtoZChallenge - Z is for Zzzzz

Archana said...

Thank you Seena! So happy to interact with you over the Las month. Its been an honour! :)

Li said...

My favorite is ginger beer! I also used go fight morning sickness when I was pregnant. :)

Li said...

I think I made a typo in my previous comment but I can't see the comment any more. Hopefully it makes sense!

Lissa Johnston said...

I've written a little about ginger in a post about the history of soft drinks. I like the taste and smell but usually cook with the spice rather than the fresh root, which I need to change. They are very different. I find the spice/powder to be completely devoid of any heat, which is certainly not the case with the root!

Archana said...

Ginger beer is not available here I think! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Li!

Archana said...

Yes Li, your comment is sensible!!! :)

Archana said...

I think the powder and root have different flavours that lend themselves to specific foods. I prefer using the fresh root instead if the powder. Thank you for stopping by Lissa Johnston :)