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Dry Ginger (Saunth)

Ginger, or zingiber officinale, is a perennial plant having thick branching aromatic rhizomes and leafy reedlike stems. For centuries, ginger has been widely used as a spice throughout the world, especially in Asian countries. A native to China and India, this plant is widely cultivated in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and the Caribbean.It needs a minimum annual rainfall of 150cm, temperatures of 30°C or over, a short dry season and a deep fertile soil. Known for its slightly biting and hot flavour, this spice is widely used in preparing gingerbread, ginger ale, gingersnaps and Asian dishes. It adds delicacy to the dish by its rich, sweet, warm and woody aroma. The pungency in ginger is due to the presence of a volatile oil. The dried rhizome contains approximately 1—3% volatile oil which is the source of ginger's characteristic aroma; an oleoresin contains the pungent properties.

Spice Description:

Often termed as “ginger root”, ginger is actually a rhizome. It is available in the following forms:

  • Fresh Ginger: The whole raw roots are referred to as fresh ginger. It has a pale yellow interior and a skin varying in colour from brown to off-white. It can be grated, chopped, or julienned for use
  • Dried Ginger: This form is usually found in whole fingers and also in slices. It is usually soaked in recipe liquid before using
  • Pickled Ginger: It has the root sliced paper-thin and pickled in a vinegar solution. Also referred as gari or beni shoga in Japan, this form often accompanies sushi, and is served to refresh the palate between courses
  • Preserved Ginger: Preserved or ‘stem’ ginger is made from fresh young roots, peeled and sliced, then cooked in a heavy sugar syrup. This form of ginger is generally used as a confection or added to desserts, and it is especially good with melons. It is soft and pulpy, but extremely hot and spicy
  • Crystallized Ginger: Also referred as candied ginger, this ginger form cooked in sugar syrup, then air dried and rolled in sugar. It is commonly used in desserts and can easily be made at home
  • Ground Ginger: Also referred to as powdered, this form of ginger is quite different than fresh, and is widely used in sweets and curry mixes.kindly visit our dehydrated agro products category for more details.

Taste and aroma:

Ginger has a peppery flavor and is slightly sweet having pungent, spicy, warm lemony aroma and the taste is fiery, pungent, and penetrating.

Culinary uses:

Dried ginger is extensively used for as a condiment and for food flavouring including pies, puddings, cookies, biscuits. It is also used for beverage flavouring including tea, ginger ale and ginger beer. Fresh root ginger is widely used in many cuisines, including a variety of stir-fry and curry dishes in India and Oriental countries. Dried ginger has a different taste to fresh ginger, and one should not be substituted for the other.

Other uses:

The essential oil from this spice is often used in the production of perfumes. The ginger oil is used as food flavourant in soft drinks. 

Medicinal Properties:

Besides being used as a spice, ginger also contains natural healing properties. It has long been ascribed aphrodisiac powers, taken either internally or externally. It is highly effective in treating nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and general stomach upset. Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis, rheumatism and muscle spasms.

Ginger root consists of gingerols, zingibain, bisabolenel, oleoresins, starch, essential oil (zingiberene, zingiberole, camphene, cineol, borneol), mucilage, and protein. It contains many therapeutic properties and is highly effective in stimulating the blood circulation, removing toxins from the body, cleansing the bowels and kidneys, and nourishing the skin. Other uses for Ginger Root include the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems by loosening and expelling phlegm from the lungs.

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