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Also Known As
Cymbopogon, barbed wire grass, Hare Chai Ki Patti, Gavati Chaha.
Lemongrass is a grey green colored tall perennial grass. It has many species. The leaves grow in bunches as a shrub and have a pointed apex. As the leaves are tough and hard, the outer leaves and the tips are cut off before serving. The grass is tall enough and the lower root attached portion is thick and inedible.
Chopped Lemon grass is generally used in salads. For chopping it, first wash and drain thoroughly. Remove the two extreme ends, which are inedible. Now place the grass as a bunch on chopping board in horizontal manner. Start cutting it using a sharp knife in ½ inch diameter. You may decrease or increase the diameter to obtain finer or coarser pieces as per the recipe requirement.
Lemongrass juice can be easily prepared at home by using a simple method. Extracting this juice is quite different as compared to normal fruit or vegetable juices.
While there are several methods to make lemongrass juice, the first step is common to all, i.e., preparing lemongrass. Select fresh stalks and remove the outer leaves that have already turned brown in colour. Slice off the bottom portion, and then cut each stalk into two parts for easy washing. After this, rinse properly to get rid of adhering dust and dirt. Cut the stalks into pieces of about 1 inch in length. For the bottom portions, crush them slightly with the blunt side of a kitchen knife. You can use these pieces in preparing lemongrass juice. Then, boil some water in a deep pan, add the lemongrass and simmer covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When the water turns thick and green, add sugar to taste and strain well. Use as required.
Lemongrass stalk is nothing but a thick whole stalk of lemongrass with woddy texture and are composed of tightly packed grey-green leaves. The fragrance and flavour is unique - lemony, but sweet - and is quite subtle until the stalk is cut or bashed. The stalks are available freeze-dried, too. Full grown lemongrass stalks are usually about 12-14 inches long and are preferable to pre-cut pieces which don't seem to have as much flavour.
How to Select
Sliced lemongrass stem
Sliced Lemon grass is generally used in Thai cooking. For slicing it, first wash and drain thoroughly. Remove the two extreme ends, which are inedible. Now place the grass as a bunch on chopping board in horizontal manner. Start slicing it by cutting in an vertical manner. You may decrease or increase the diameter to obtain thin or thick slices as per the recipe requirement. But generally, the slices need to be thinner as the leaves are tough to eat. So you can use a food processor or a chopper and place it on "high" to get fine slices.
Select the tall green ones. It should be fresh with its prominent lemon aroma. Avoid buying the shrinked or wilted ones, which have lost its moisture. You can get it only from selected vegetable vendors. Culinary Uses
· Due to its citrus flavor, it can be used in variety of recipes.
· You can dry or powder it and use as a flavoring agent in teas and drinks or cordials.
· Lemon grass can be eaten raw in salads.
· Its juice can be made and had in warm weathers.How to Store
You can wrap it in a damp paper and store under refrigeration temperature. This will allow its fresh aroma to remain intact, until its use. Lemon grass remains fresh for at least 1 week, if stored under refrigeration.Health Benefits
Lemongrass is a wonderful herb used in Asian cooking.
· It has good calming effect and is consumed during periods of stress and insomnia.
· Lemongrass is also known as Fever grass due to its property of relieving fever, body aches and colds.
· It is proven to be antibacterial and anti fungal. Sometimes, it is used as a mild insect repellent.
· It regular consumption helps in cleansing and detoxifying the liver, kidneys, digestive system, urinary tract and pancreas.
· It helps relive indigestion and gastroenteritis.
· It has the quality of cutting down uric acid, hence is suggestive in the treatment of Gout.
· Lemongrass removes the "bad" cholesterol from our body and improves blood circulation. Therefore it must be consumed by people having Heart disease.
· It also increases lactation and helps relieve menstrual pain and nausea.
· Its regular consumption improves skin texture by reducing acne, pimples and oil secretion. Thus it is a muscle and skin toner.CHOPPED LEMON GRASS
Chopped Lemongrass is generally used in salads. For chopping it, first wash and drain thoroughly. Remove the two extreme ends, which are inedible. Now place the grass as a bunch on chopping board in horizontal manner. Start cutting it using a sharp knife in ½ inch diameter. You may decrease or increase the diameter to obtain finer or coarser pieces as per the recipe requirement.
Lemon grass paste is basically a type of chutney obtained by heating oil and adding ginger, garlic and chopped lemon grass along with little water. Heat the ingredients until it becomes tender and the water is evaporated. Transfer the puree into mixer grinder and turn it in to a paste. You can bottle it and store under refrigeration temperature for at least 1 week.it is used as an accompaniment with dry snacks or in sandwiches.