As you may or may not know, I’m suffering a bit with hayfever, as it’s Spring here in Australia. I’ve done some research about ginger, garlic & turmeric being very helpful with hayfever relief. As well as these three ingredients, there are other amazing herbs, spices and ingredients which are used to treat many ailments. So, over the next few weeks I will be experimenting with ginger, turmeric and garlic to create some amazing dishes (hopefully). I hope you enjoy my creations as much as I love writing about them.
This recipe came up ‘out of the blue’. I love my Asian cuisine and feel very comfortable holding a wok – it’s like an extension of my arm! A stir-fry is one of the simplest dishes to cook as everything cooks quickly and is ready on the table within 30 minutes, maximum. How pretty is yellow rice? When cooking the rice with turmeric, I find the intensity of the turmeric gets absorbed by the rice. Ginger, garlic and soy, which is added to become a sauce, are just the perfect combination in any stir-fry. The flavour infusion work perfectly together.
Here are some interesting & insightful facts and health benefits I found while searching ‘tinterweb’ about turmeric, ginger and garlic:
Turmeric has been around for centuries and is most commonly used in Indian cuisine. In Chinese medicine, turmeric has been used to treat inflammation and arthritis for thousands of years. Curcumin is the compound that gives turmeric its distinctive yellow colour, which isn’t found in any other plant foods only turmeric. A small amount of curcumin may be found in ginger, a close relative of turmeric, but significant amounts have only ever been found in turmeric.
The other benefits of turmeric are it’s a great natural antiseptic; displays powerful antioxidant properties; inhibits damage to cells; acts to lower cholesterol and protect our cardiovascular system; is good for brain health; aids in weight loss; controls blemishes and strengthen bones. Thank you to Victoria Health for this information.
Ginger has also been around for centuries. It’s is widely used in Indian recipes, and is a very important ingredient of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and many South Asian cuisines for flavouring dishes such as seafood or goat meat and vegetarian cuisine.
Nausea, morning sickness, arthritis and lowering cholesterol are just some ailments that can be treated by taking ginger on a daily basis. Having ginger tea & honey is great if you’re not feeling 100%. It makes you feel better almost instantly. When I had an upset tummy a few months ago, ginger & honey tea calmed my tummy down and I started feeling better as I drank it. Give this tea recipe I found at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial a try, you’ll feel better for it, I promise.
TIP 1: Ginger can be tricky to peel with all its bumps and irregularities. Rather than using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, reach for a teaspoon. Scrape it against the skin and it will come right off, following every contour and minimizing waste.
TIP 2: When choosing ginger, pick ginger that smells amazing when you break or rub it. It should have a smooth texture – this is the juiciest ginger you can find. Ginger that is ‘knobbly’ is too fibrous, which isn’t good for eating (information via The Incredible Spice Men).
Garlic, the third main ingredient used in my recipe, is part of the onion, shallot, leek and chive family and it has been noted that garlic was used for culinary and medicinal purposes in Ancient Egypt.
Garlic is the most significant ingredient for many eastern Asian, South and Southeast Asian, the Middle Eastern, northern African, southern European and parts of South and Central American dishes. This delicious Gremolata prawns from my friend Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things, shows us that lots of garlic can add heaps of flavour to your dish.
Garlic is beneficial to reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, it’s a common cold fighter so helps build the immune system, has anti bacterial properties and it can be used as a preservative.
TIP 3: I’ve heard that asafoetida is a great alternative if you have garlic or onion allergies.
NOTE: Please use only as directed. I am not a health expert and am only creating dishes using turmeric, ginger and garlic to see if the benefits help my hayfever. There’s no excessive amount of any herb, spice or ingredient being used in any of my dishes, just the right amounts that enhance the flavours in my dishes.
TIP 4: I used a 3cm piece of turmeric fingers and grated it to make one teaspoon. If you’re lucky enough to use fresh turmeric, please halve the amount used. Fresh is always more intense and a lot stronger in flavour than ground or fingers.
TIP 5: Using Canola oil is a much healthier alternative to vegetable oil (I’m not a big fan of vegetable oil as I’m not sure which vegetables produce oil naturally?!) You can also use peanut oil to cook with. Avoid using Olive oil or extra virgin olive oil as they change the taste of a stirfry dramatically. Sesame oil should only be used to finish a dish, never cook with it.
TIP 6: Using powdered spices instead of fresh, eg. powdered ginger and garlic, can be used but it changes the taste of the stir-fry completely. To me a stir-fry should be fresh and bursting with flavour. Try and leave the powdered spices for long cooking dishes like curries.
TIP 7: If you don’t own a wok, I don’t expect you to rush out and buy one just to cook this dish, unless you intend to cook a lot of stir-fries. A large frypan will work just as well.
PREP: 20 minutes COOK: 5-6 minutes SERVES: 4
1½ cups Basmati rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon Canola oil
Sea salt to taste
GINGER, GARLIC & SOY CHICKEN:
1 tablespoon Canola oil
1 free-range chicken breast, sliced
½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger (6cmx2cm piece fresh ginger)
2 garlic cloves, grated
¼ cup of light soy
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
TO SERVE: (optional)
Spring (green) onions, thinly sliced
RICE: In a medium saucepan add the rice, then water, turmeric, oil and salt, stirring to mix all the ingredients together. Bring to the boil, covered, on high heat then turn heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and set aside for 7-10 minutes. Separate the rice, gently, with a fork – the perfect fluffy rice every time.
GINGER, GARLIC & SOY CHICKEN:
Put the oil in the wok and quickly fry the chicken until it changes from pink to white. Add the ginger, garlic & soy, frying for a further 2 minutes before adding the broccoli.
Fry until desired tenderness – we like our broccoli with a little crunch so it only took about 1-2 minutes.
Serve immediately with the turmeric rice, sliced spring onions and chilli flakes (optional) for a little kick.
I love joining share parties and link ups. Some of these parties is my first time joining and others I’ve missed for a week or two due to school. I would like to thank all my hosts for great parties and for meeting some lovely new friends along the way – why don’t you come join us!
BIG Thank yous go out to my beautiful foodie friends:
Joanne from What’s on the List and Natasha from Natasha in Oz for Say G’day Saturday #113
Lucy from Bake Play Smile & Lauren from Create Bake Make for Fabulous Foodie Fridays #27
Ronda & Dina from Kitchen Dreaming, KC The Kitchen Chopper & Judy from The Midnight Baker for The Weekend Social week 46
Heidi from The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch for Pure Blog Love #10
Steph from A Time for Seasons for My Favourite Things #52