It is a very popular spice used in Indian and Chinese cooking It takes its name from the Sanskrit word stringa-vera, which means “with a body like a horn”, as in antlers. It has a tan skin and a flesh that ranges in color from pale greenish yellow to ivory. The flavor is peppery and slightly sweet, while the aroma is pungent and spicy. If you feel a cold coming on a fresh piece of ginger in a hot cup of Indian tea usually does the trick. It is easiest to cook with, once peeled and grated. The length of the root indicates maturity, and the longer it is, the hotter and more fibrous it will be. Ginger makes a tasty paste, especially if mixed with garlic.
Ginger– Names in different Indian Languages.
Hindi– Adrak , Bengal – Aada, Gujrati – Adu , Punjabi – Adrak
Tamil - Ingi, Urdu – Adrak
100g of Ginger contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA
- Calories : 80
- Fat: 0.75
- Carbohydrates: 17.77
- Fibers: 2
- Protein: 1.82
- Cholesterol: 0
In India and Pakistan ginger is called adrak. It is used in pickles, chutneys and curry pastes and the ground dried root is a constituent of many curry powders. Tender young ginger can be sliced and eaten as a salad. Sometimes the roots will produce green sprouts which can be finely chopped and added to a green salad. Fresh, as well as dried, ginger is used to spice tea and coffee, especially in winter. Ginger powder is also used in certain food preparations, particularly for pregnant or nursing women, the most popular one being katlu which is a mixture of gum resin, ghee, nuts, and sugar. Ginger is also consumed in candied and pickled form.
In Bangladesh, ginger is finely chopped or ground into a paste to use as a base for chicken and meat dishes alongside shallot and garlic.
In Burma, ginger is called gyin. It is widely used in cooking and as a main ingredient in traditional medicine.It is also consumed as a salad dish called gyin-thot, which consists of shredded ginger preserved in oil, and a variety of nuts and seeds.
In Indonesia, a beverage called wedang jahe is made from ginger and palm sugar. Indonesians also use ground ginger root, called jahe, as a common ingredient in local recipes.
In Malasiya, ginger is called halia and used in many kinds of dishes, especially a soup.
In the Phillipines it is brewed into a tea called salabat.
Fresh unpeeled ginger root, tightly wrapped, can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks and frozen for up to 6 months. .
Ginger has a strong taste and smell therefore if used in excess it can make the recipe bitter In Typical Indian curry for example it is used with garlic in 1:3 proportion that is one part Ginger and 3 parts of Garlic. Please do not use dried ground ginger for dishes specifying fresh ginger as the flavors differ greatly.