Zesty Ginger

We're going ginger today!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Zesty Ginger

Well, not in a Mick Hucknall way, more like taking a closer look at the wonderfully aromatic root that adds a distinctive warmth and zinginess to everything you cook and drink.

Ginger is one of the key three ingredients that go into most Indian dishes (the others being onion and garlic). When used as a flavouring for sweet dishes, ginger is mainly used in powder form but crystals can also used (this is where it's been cooked in sugar until soft).

In Western cooking, ginger is mainly used like this to flavour cookies, ginger beer and sweets. In other eastern cuisines, ginger is pickled in vinegar or sherry to add a tang and heat to snacks and nibbles. It's amazing thing really, as it also has a number of medicinal properties and even relieves nausea during early pregnancy! Always good to know...

When I use ginger I treat it differently depending on the dish I am cooking. If it's going into a masala sauce I wash and grate with the skin on, but if it's for a soup or lamb biryani I like to garnish with thin, raw, julienne slices (looks pretty and you get a bit more of a bite too). In marinades I like to pound it so the flavour infuses quickly and more effectively into the meat.

Top Tips:

Don't spend ages peeling your ginger – just wash and grate (always use the big grating side).

Ginger freezes really well so you can blitz it and fill up ice trays to use later. Just tip the frozen ginger cubes into a re-sealable bag, then whenever you need a little in your cooking, just pop a cube or two in.

Ginger Infographic showing the health benefits of Ginger

Infographic provided by Hari Ghotra

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