Gingerly

My love affair with Ginger

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Ginger finds its way in mostly everything I cook, from the simple morning tea to the exotic evening accompaniment for Indian bread or rice. Not to mention its innumerable health benefits, it is simply a zesty, aromatic addition to the dinner table.

As much as I love this ingredient in my dishes, my thirteen year old disapproves of it-with vehemence, with passion, with the skill of a detective bestowed with an extra pair of nostrils and several hundred taste buds designed just to sense this benign root. I defend; I come back with an equally fervent delivery of eulogistic monologue on why it is an inevitable ingredient of my kitchen spice list, but to no avail.

As I pen these lines, I am invigorated by sips of ginger tea that go in, with every word that flows out. Words fall short of the varied roles this effervescent spice plays, from the kitchen table to the Ayurvedic medicine chest (Ayurveda is a traditional, alternative system of medicine being practiced in India for centuries). Simply put, it is an integral part of my cuisine and everyday life. Here’s why:

  • Ginger is an underground stem that not only adds zing to the food, but also enhances its absorption and digestion.
  • It can be used in many forms – fresh, dried, powdered, or as a juice.
  • A concoction of fresh ginger juice mixed with honey is a perfect home remedy for cough and sore throat. About a teaspoon would suffice.
  • A cup of ginger tea with honey gives soothing relief to sore throat and cold.
  • It is applied to skin to treat burns in many parts of the world.
  • Ginger is widely used for treating stomach upset, loss of appetite, nausea and flatulence.
  • It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, helping in reducing pain caused by swelling.
  • It is used as a flavoring in food and drinks, a spicy herb in cooking and a fragrant in soaps and cosmetics.

I assure my daughter that I love her and my culinary endeavors are mere extensions of that feeling. I look at her with thankfulness as she surpasses, with time the stage of discomfort, biting into a piece of ginger root in her food. She gives me the all-encompassing look of ‘Mom knows better’. I sigh in relief as we declare ceasefire on the Ginger War zone!

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