I am tall and slender
Causing your taste buds to wonder
Lemon or grass
Form a different class
Imagine the quintessential Thai signature dish – The Tom Yum Soup without its dominant lemony flavor. Lemongrass with its strong citrusy aroma and a sweet lemony scent imparts its unique flavor to recipes. Associated predominantly with Thai and South East Asian cooking, Lemongrass can be bought fresh, dried or powdered.
A secret ingredients in broths, in tea, oils, lemongrass stalks can also be lightly crushed and added to dishes such as curry during cooking. Lemongrass stalks also make fragrant kebab skewers and basting brushes.
Indigenous to India and other areas of the Asian continent including Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. It is also common in Ceylon, Central America, China, Guatemala, Java, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.
Also known as fevergrass in some cultures, this stalk like herb is known to alleviate respiratory conditions and sore throats. It commands the reputation for its anti-pyretic properties. Widely used to alleviate certain respiratory conditions including laryngitis and sore throats, lemongrass has many beneficial medicinal properties including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, carminative and diuretic.
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Two names in one
Mary and Rose
Pointy leaves having fun
Like soulmates they pose
Even though, rosemary’s intense and woodsy aroma has traditionally been paired with meat, lamb and chicken, this herb imparts a unique flavor to baked potatoes and the popular focaccia bread. Predominantly used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, this herb is used with a light hand due to its strong flavors. Rosemary is one of the five herbs comprising the bouquet garni – a bundle of fresh herbs used in stocks and stews. Rosemary infused oil is extremely good for skin and speeds healing of wounds and bruises.
I inspire poetry,
Keep cough and cold at bay.
Am native to my country
Seasoning all the way…
Whether used by a pinch or by a handful, fresh basil is one of the most important culinary herbs. It pulls a recipe together by infusing the dish with its unparalleled flavors. Used extensively in Indian, Italian, Thai, and cooking, this royal herb is used in sauces, sandwiches, pizza, soups and seasonings. They are best married to tomatoes when it comes to salads. The famous Italian salad ‘Insalata Caprese’, made from tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, olive oil is unfinished without basil. The top 4 types of basil that are used in cooking are Holy Basil- Medicinal properties, ‘Sweet Basil’-Italian cuisine, Lemon & Thai Basil – Thai cuisine. The benefits are multifold – it has anti-bacterial, antiviral and immune enhancing properties.
The ‘neem’ of the South
Addition but mandatory
Commonly used as a tempering spice, kadi patta (curry leaves) is often mistaken to just add flavor to staple dish. Imagine the delectable sambhar without the kadi patta. However the innocuous looking leaf is blessed with properties to manage anaemia, fight diabetes, lower cholesterol and improve digestion.