I can chop it up. Grate it down. Slice it thin. There are myriads of ways I can use fresh ginger in a recipe which is why I adore it. But I treasure it for its medicinal value. A single, stray cough and my cup of adrak tea is at the ready.
Adrak: Digging Up The Roots
If you dig up the history of this spice, you’ll find that no one knows how old it is or from where it originated. We do know that Indians and the Chinese were the first to cultivate it and the finest form of the culinary rhizome come from Kochi.
The tales attached to it are equally shrouded in mystery. Some say the ancient spice trade routes opened up for this treasure. Others say that the English preferred to shake some ginger in their drinks during the 1800s, which is how the famous ginger ale came to being.
All I need to know is that the rich, woody, and warm aroma of the spice perks up tons of dishes and its slight fiery, hot bite gives a beautiful zest.
Why Use Ginger: The Benefits of the Spice
Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-indigestion are just three of the labels this spice proudly owns. Ayurveda has given it many more. High in gingerol, a mug of adrak tea can warm up chilled bones on the soggiest winter night.
When you’re feeling tired and uneasy after a heavy meal, a bit of ginger can settle the digestive tract in a New York minute. How? One of the most revered roots in Ayurveda, the warming spice kindles and stimulates the digestive fire.
While fresh ginger root is a panacea to fever, the dried version can clear up congestion in a jiffy. Both forms strengthen immunity in the long run.
Ginger: A Quick How-To
Nothing awakens the taste buds like grated ginger. Yes, the rhizome has enormous health benefits, but it’s the sharp taste of adrak that has me reaching for it again and again. I particularly like to add it to my creamy smoothies. The contrast of the sweetness and zing somehow creates a perfectly balanced deliciousness.
For a quick, power-punched start to the day, try the Pear Blueberry Ginger Smoothie.
Don’t want something so invigorating? Then go for the beetroot ginger version. It’s exactly what you need for detoxing.
A quick relish that brings all the wonders of ginger is the Beetroot Apple Ginger Chutney.
For the lover of all things green, a salad dressing brimming with ginger is the way to go.
A homemade “better than takeout” meal that fills the belly and the soul and has ginger-goodness in it? A Spicy Tofu Stir Fry might be on the menu!
Tasha’s Inside Tip
Quick Indian style pickled ginger packs quite a punch! Toss some thin strips of fresh ginger with salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then add lots of lemon juice. Enough to soak the strips. Transfer to an airtight jar and store in the refrigerator. Let it sit for an hour and now your pickle is ready to eat!