Last Updated : Feb 12,2024

What is cloves, laung, lavang? glossary | benefits | uses | recipes |
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What is cloves, laung, lavang?

Cloves are the immature unopened flower buds of a tropical tree. The four-pointed flower bud with a tapered stem measures 12-16 mm, and looks like a small nail. Hence, it is believed that the name clove comes from the Latin word clavus, which means nails.

When fresh, they are pink, and when dried, they turn to a rust-brown colour. Their flavour can be termed as sweetly pungent, astringent and strongly aromatic.

Cloves powder
This can be prepared by roasting the whole cloves and then crushing them into fine powder. A blender may be used for this purpose as cloves are hard to be ground into powder in a mortar and pestle. Clove powder is used for marinades or stews or soups.

How to select cloves, laung, lavang

• Cloves can be bought whole or in the ground form.
• Whole cloves are much more aromatic and flavourful, and so you should try to buy whole cloves as opposed to the ground powder.
• Whole cloves should be compact and free of any blemishes.
• Just like with other dried spices, when purchasing cloves, try to select that which is organically grown since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated.

Culinary Uses of cloves, laung, lavang in Indian Cooking

• Cloves can easily overpower a dish, particularly when ground, so only a few need be used.
• Whole cloves are often used like a nail to stud or bind vegetables, rotis, samosas, rolls, sweets, etc.
• Cloves are used in the preparation of several spice mixtures including garam masala, curry powders, mulling spices, Chinese 5 spice powder and pickling spices.
• Cloves also figure in the famous Worcestershire sauce.
• They are very popular in Indian cuisine, and used commonly to add aroma to rice preparations.

How to store cloves, laung, lavang

• Cloves are best bought whole.
• They last for a long time, if stored in an airtight container out of direct light. However, due to its high oil content clove becomes rancid after too long. So, check the freshness once in a while by feeling the texture and aroma.
• As a powder, the flavour quickly deteriorates. But, since clove powder cannot be made in a mortar pestle and requires a coffee/spice grinder, it cannot be made for single use. So, try to make in small quantities and store in an airtight container.

Health benefits of cloves, laung, lavang

India's traditional Ayurvedic healers since ancient times cloves as a whole have been used to treat digestive ailments and its oil for toothache. In either form its active compound ‘eugenol’ is the main highlight which has been shown to act as an antioxidant. It has the ability to kill micro-organisms like the bacteria and help overcome cold and cough. When boiled with water and gargled, cloves are a good antibacterial mouthwash, which can help to combat bad breath and relieve a sore throat. Clove Tea is known to be one of the most common home remedy to relieve congestion. Clove oil applied on head is known to relieve headache is some people. A few drops of clove oil applied on acne may help to treat it.

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