What is lemongrass?
A herb so aromatic that most South Asian cuisines can’t do without, lemongrass has grown to be quite a popular grass throughout the world today. This herb is native to Asia, more specifically tropical countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand. But over the years, it has become increasingly popular in the western countries too.
Though there are many varieties of lemongrass, two of the most commonly used varieties are known by East Indian (Cymbopogon flexuosus) and West Indian lemongrass. The East Indian lemongrass is also referred to as Cochin or Malabar grass, whereas the West Indian one is often referred to as just plain lemongrass.
Used as a herb for flavouring extravagant and simple dishes alike, lemongrass has a unique taste and aroma to it that it is almost unmatched by any other plant or herb. From stirred fried chicken with some sizzling lemongrass to some warm and homely vegetable stew, the addition of lemongrass turns even the simplest of dishes into delicious delicacies.
In addition to the cooking and recipes, lemongrass is also in many other ways, and citronella oil is one of them.
Citronella oil: How to use lemongrass leaves?
Citronella oil is a very popular essential oil which is extracted from fresh lemongrass leaves. It is used in various forms, such as perfumes, incense, soap, cosmetics, flavouring, and even as an insect repellent.
The essential oil is rich in chemical compounds such as citronellal, citronellol, and geraniol. These compounds are responsible for the perfume-like nature of the oil. Out of the various varieties of lemongrass out there, the java citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) and the citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) are the most commonly used varieties for extracting this useful essential oil.
Citronella oil also has some useful benefits that comes along with it as well. Some of which are listed below:
- Known to be an excellent in treating wounds.
- Known to be quite effective in treating parasitic infections
- Known to be possess certain anti-fungal properties
- Known to be effective in relieving stress.
How to use dried lemongrass?
Dried lemongrass can be used in a lot of ways. One of the most common uses of dried lemongrass is incorporating it into soups and stews. The aromatic grass goes so well with broths, stews that it makes them utterly irresistible to the senses.
Another use of dried lemongrass can be associated with a more warm and refreshing take on the aromatic grass. Lemongrass tea has grown to be one of the most popular uses of dried lemongrass leaves. Of all the lemongrass recipes, lemongrass tea is surely one for the books, especially with all its added health benefits.
How to use lemongrass as a healthy herbal tea?
As mentioned, lemongrass tea is gaining much popularity in today’s modern world. Everybody is scrambling to find herbal remedies to treat and soothe their ails.
One of the ways in which you can use lemongrass as a herbal tea is by steeping it in hot boiling water and allowing it to release all of it essential compounds which help make it such as potent herbal tea.
You can also add more potent ingredients to it and it can take your lemongrass tea to a whole new level. Ingredients such as ginger, black pepper, and turmeric are perfect in adding complimentary benefits to your lemongrass tea.
Speaking of benefits, here’s look at some of the lemongrass tea benefits:
- Lemongrass tea is widely known for its excellent property when it comes to aiding digestion. It is very effective in treating certain stomach related problems.
- Lemongrass tea is also jam packed with properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial.
- Lemongrass tea is also known to be quite beneficial in maintaining blood pressure as well.
- It is also known to aid in weight loss.
Hence, drinking lemongrass tea is very beneficial for your overall body. It offers these benefits that most of us all yearn for in a herbal remedy.
Lemongrass Tea: Benefits and Uses of Lemongrass
Where to buy lemongrass plants?
When it comes to buying lemongrass plants, you can get it from any local market or farm, but with the increasing growth of online shopping, you can now purchase lemongrass plants easily online.
There are a host of e-commerce websites which deals in providing lemongrass plants. So, simply browsing online is enough for you to buy lemongrass plants.
Lemongrass is considered to be a very versatile herb when you think about it. Its fresh leaves is used to extract essential oils which are responsible for the production of a number of proprietary products. When dried, it can turn into an aromatic and healthy herbal tea. When it comes to the stalk, it is a perfect ingredient to spice up your dishes. Here are a couple of recipes which you can try out using this aromatic and zesty herb:
Stir Fried Chicken with Lemongrass
Doesn’t the sound of that make your mouth drool? One of the most popular and absolutely delicious way in which you can incorporate lemongrass into your recipes. Coupled with some Szechuan pepper, lemongrass instantly adds a more zesty and aromatic feel to your stir fried chicken. Couple that with some home cooked plain rice and you’re all set for a cozy and lazy afternoon brunch.
Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass
Who doesn’t love some nice warm and heartwarming chicken noodle soup on a cold winter evening? A no brainer fan favourite, chicken noodle soup is easy to make and adding lemongrass to it can make it even more wholesome and refreshing. The zesty and citrus element brings about a nice balance to the somewhat overpowering chicken stock in the soup and makes the soup light, refreshing and tasty!
Lemongrass can also be used as a salad dressing when combined with a few other ingredients such as ginger, garlic, pepper, etc. and blended into a fine puree.
It can be used as a sauce for your crispy golden fried prawns or pakoras.
And there are countless more lemongrass recipes that you could try so go ahead and get a hold of this fine herb and start relishing it’s fine flavour and aroma.