Zedoary info Cooking Tips
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Zedoary info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.
Zedoary is found extensively in India and Indonesia and is hardly known outside these countries. Great heaps of it are sold in October and November and it is seen pickled
on many indian tables in winter. Zedoary is an ancient spice and is believed to have been used as a perfume and medicine several centuries ago.
How it grows
Zedoary a close relative of turmeric is a rhizome or underground stem of a plant with long fragrant leaves. There are 2 types of zedoary seen in indian markets Cuntuma zedoana which is small and fat like ginger and Curcuma zerumbet which is long and slender like tumeric. In India zedoary grows all over Maharashtra Gularat and in areas which have a moist climate. It is often grown in kitchen gardens for home use.
Appearance and taste
The rhizome has a thin brown skin and a bright orange hard interior. Zedoary has a smell reminiscent of turmeric ginger and mango. In fact it is because of this strong aroma of mango that it is called amb halad in many indian languages (amb means mango). The taste is crisp and gingery with a bitter aftertaste.
Buying and storing
Zedoary is sold as a fresh root or dried slices. The fresh root is more popularly used in India. Buy plump rhizomes that show no signs of shrivelling or wilting. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Pickled zedoary lasts for up to a month.
Medicinal and other uses
Zedoary is highly valued for its ability to purify the blood. Zedoary like turmeric is an antiseptic and a paste applied locally to cuts and wounds helps healing. It is used in indian perfumes called ittars as well as in some drinks. A paste of a little zedoary and cream makes a good face mask and keeps the skin clear and shining.
Zedoary enhances some soups and chutneys. However its main use is in a pickle which must be eaten quickly. It adds flavour as well as colour to a dish and cut into little squares it can make a pretty garnish for salads. Use sparingly as the taste is powerful and be careful while handling it as its bright colour can stain clothes and fingers just like turmeric.
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