Lemongrass, What's the deal?

Updated: Apr 8

Balinese spas have it's scent wafting to relax and clear your senses. You can find also find it in tisanes, curries and even use as skewers for grilled meats. This is one delicious and multipurpose plant you need to be acquainted with.



THE PLANT

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) plant can be found abundantly in the tropics such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand and widely used a herb. They have stiff upper stems and rhizomes rootstock. Its grows in clumps that can reach height of 3-5 feet tall.


FRESH vs DRIED LEMONGRASS?

It is used in multiple cuisines because of its edible aromatic leaves and stocks. They can be used fresh or dried. Fresh ones are normally preferred when cooking stir-fry dishes because its 'lemony' smell is much stronger, while dried ones can be used for soups and teas (tisane).


BENEFITS OF LEMONGRASS

Multiple studies have been carried out to study the benefits of various active compounds in lemongrass.


  1. Reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body - Anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-cholesterolemic properties that help to prevent the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels, promoting good blood flow in the arteries.

  2. Good for body detox - Its diuretic properties such as those of coffee and tea aids in cleansing and flushing out toxins from the body. This in turn helps in the regulation of organ health especially liver and kidneys, while also reducing uric acid levels.

  3. Aid stomach disorders - The anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties of lemongrass essential oils in studies have found to be effective against infections caused by pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori and Escherichia coli. (Both pathogens can enter the body and live in the intestine, causing stomach ulcers or infections that can lead to cancer). The anti-inflammatory property is used to treat constipation, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, nausea and stomach aches.

  4. Great source of vitamins - good source of essential vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B3, folate and vitamin C for healthy bodily functions.

  5. Calming effect as remedy for insomnia - Lemongrass has a calming effect on nerves and muscles, helping to induce deep slumber.

  6. Aromatherapy - Contains essential oils such as neroli, citronellol, myrcene, dipentene, geraniol and methyl heptenone that have antiseptic, anti-fungal and insecticidal properties. It is also used in therapeutic baths, to assist in relieving symptoms such as anxiety and fatigue caused by stress.


USES OF LEMONGRASS IN EVERYDAY LIFE & IN YOUR COOKING


INSECT REPELLANT (How to prepare)


Using lemongrass to ward off lizards has long been a traditional remedy amongst Asians.

  1. Buy fresh lemongrass leaves, and tie 2-3 leaves together in loose knots and place them in kitchen cupboards, or near doors ways or windows.

  2. Change out the leaves once the leaves looses it lemony smell.


LEMONGRASS TEA (How to prepare)

  1. Wash the 2-3 lemongrass stalks.

  2. Pound the stalks (starting from the white ends of the stalks and move along upwards towards the green tips of the stalk.)

  3. Place the stalks in a pot of boiling hot water (approximately 2.5 cups of water).

  4. Boil the stalks for 20 minutes until its fibrous texture softens.

  5. Add and stir to dissolve 2-3 cubes of brown or white sugar (Tips: adjust sweetness to your preference)

(Optional : When ready, add in 2-3 thin slices of ginger to steep for 10 minutes, then remove it. Ginger gives it a nice spicy feel to it that warms the tummy.)



CUISINES WITH LEMONGRASS PASTE (How to prepare)


Many Asian cuisines such as curries and meat marinades have been prepared using lemongrass paste. And these paste are usually prepared using a stone mortar and pestle. The lemongrass stalks are pound with other ingredients such as galangal (also known as Thai ginger that has a nutty flavor), shallots, garlic or even kaffir lime leaf and chili. These paste are then placed directly on meats as marinades or cooked in oil to release its aroma and flavor before adding vegetables or proteins.


With Mekhala's lemongrass and turmeric paste, we'll minimize the work for you. All you need is to is 2 heap teaspoons of our paste to coconut milk or any stock of your choice and your dish will taste brilliant as it it were prepared from scratch!


Try out our selection of recipes with lemongrass and we've positively sure that you'll be a lemongrass convert.




RECIPES FOR CURRY LOVERS (Pestcatarian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free)

Spicy level : Kid-friendly

  1. Lemongrass and Turmeric Tofu Curry - inspiration by Nisha Melvani (better know as Cooking for Peanuts on her amazing blog and instagram)

  2. Lemongrass and Turmeric Salmon Curry

  3. Lemongrass and Turmeric Quorn and Vegetable curry - Vegan-friendly

  4. Lemongrass Turmeric Fish "Curry" With Organic Ghee

RECIPES FOR PASTA FANATICS (Pescatarian)

  1. Lemongrass and Turmeric Seafood Pasta

RECIPES FOR STIR_FRY FUSION FOOD LOVERS

  1. Lemongrass and Tumeric Tofu or Chicken Skewers - Replace those old fashion cocktail skewer sticks with lemongrass stalks and watch it flavor your proteins.

  2. Lemongrass and Turmeric Quick Stir-Fry Minced Vegan Meat

  3. Lemongrass and Turmeric Barbequed / Roasted Fish

  4. Lemongrass and Turmeric Chicken Taco with Tom Yum Coleslaw

  5. Lemongrass and Turmeric Yachaejeon (Vegetable Pancake)

RECIPE FOR DIE HARD SOUP FANS

  1. Lemongrass and Turmeric Corn Chowder


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