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Spices

Ginger – the all-rounder

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is a perennial plant, about 60-120 cm high with a beautiful flower. It is related to turmeric, galanga and also cardamom. Originally it comes from Asia where it has been cultivated for about 3000 years. Nowadays it is cultivated in most tropical countries. The rhizome has a fresh, lemony, sharp taste and is used in large quantities in Chinese cuisine as well as in India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia. It has also found its way to Europe. It was already known and loved in ancient Rome. Ginger belongs in every curry and in many other spice mixtures and it gives the Ginger Ale and the Ginger Beer, non-alcoholic ginger drinks, their taste.

In which dishes can you use ginger?

It is very suitable for meat, fish, vegetables but also for sweets or tea. In the Indian Chai, ginger is an absolute must. For tea you can use the fresh or dried pieces. In summer I always have ginger water in the fridge, it is very refreshing and you can mix it well with fruit juice or cold tea.

Ginger water

For a litre of water, you need about 2 cm of fresh ginger. You just have to grate it – with or without peel – and mix it with the water. Then put it in the fridge – after about an hour it’s ready to drink.

Where can you buy ginger?

You can find fresh ginger at the wholesaler, while you can get it dried (ground or cut, for sauces, marinades or cookies), candied (instead to eat as a sweet) or pickled in vinegar (for Sushi) in specialized shops or in Asian shops.

Small rhizomes with many small “fingers” are usually more aromatic and spicier. African ginger is usually smaller and spicier than the Indian one.

 

Ginger biscuits

 

 ginger bisquits

 

Ingredients:

  • 70 g butter
  • 200 g whole sugar or white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 teaspoons ginger powder or freshly grated ginger
  • 1 lemon (grated zest only)
  • 260 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Preparation:

 

Mix butter, sugar and eggs until the mixture is foamy and homogeneous. Add ginger and lemon zest and mix well. Add flour and baking powder and mix well. Cool the dough for one hour. Roll out the dough to 3 mm and cut out the biscuits. Bake the biscuits in the preheated oven at 220┬░C for about 5 – 10 minutes.

 

Do you like soups? Next week there will be a shrimp soup!

Ingredients shrimp soup

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